Sunday, 22 April 2018

L'Art pour l'Art - In Which We Completely Fail to Justify Our Raison d'Être (Again)

Well, tally-ho, darlings, it's been a while, what, what? We have, regrettably, been feeling rather feeble this winter and have spent an inordinate of time on the old chaise-longue, clutching our head and yelling for the butler to bring tea and painkillers. (Turns out we have wasted many hours thus unprofitably engaged - apparently we don't actually have a butler.) 

However, spring has arrived, bringing with it daylight, fetching ducklings decorating our streams and rivers, and temperatures conducive to human survival. In short, we feel life returning to our weary limbs! Consequently, the urge to write a toilet blog post has gripped us with increasing urgency, finally overpowering us completely. Huzzah?

Let us lose no time in ogling pictures of toilets. The following exciting images are from a café called The Underground, in Saskatoon, Canada. We were weirdly asked, when wishing to partake of a refreshing beverage at this charming eatery, to decide on a tip before we had got our order, which we found confusing, but of course we want to support workers on minimum wage. It's not their fault the system is fucked! Also, we found the staff friendly, the walls filled with thought-provoking and sometimes amusing art, and the toilets excellent!
This, friends, is a place where one can feast one's eyes on some art while enjoying a super hygienic toilet. Huzzah!

We found that, as a rule, coat hooks in Canada were of a very high quality. These ones were no exception!
Some more art.
Even the outside of the toilets was thought-provoking! One door is labelled as a not-toilet. A non-toilet. Not a toilet. One can't help but wonder - if it is not a toilet, what is it?
This air freshener tried, and failed, to smell like cinnamon. What is it with air fresheners that try, and fail, to smell like cinnamon? Why go to all that trouble? As Kacey Musgraves says, "I'd rather lose for what I am than win for what I ain't". This one goes to a lot of trouble pretending to be what it ain't. If we were to offer it advice, it would be to chill the fuck down. Stop trying so hard. Maybe try a simple apple scent? Almost anyone can pull off synthetic apple.

A final view of this hauntingly beautiful toilet.

"What were you doing in Canada, you old rogue?" you are no doubt wondering, winking in a suggestive manner and perhaps making rude hand gestures. The short answer to your query is "We were visiting Shewee Fiend Friend". The long answer is a story that is definitely not safe for work and is, perhaps, best not told at all. We suspect it will seep out gradually over the years, in moments of inebriation. You may as well lock any children in a dark cupboard and duct tape the cat's ears together now, saving you time later.

We feel like we have energy left for a couple of pictures from Japan, land of fabled toilets! A friend of Our Mum's went there recently, and kindly provided these pictures of Japanese toilet engineering.

We do, always, encourage clear signage...

...especially when it is this amusing!

Finally, before we retire to rest our weary head on the afore-mentioned chaise-longue and binge-watch Gossip Girl, let us have a read of this little collection of bons mots - a guide to etiquette that we wrote a long time ago, but for unknown reason have never published. It seemed very amusing when we revisited it in the back of an Über with Shewee Fiend Friend (perhaps next time we should discuss the exploitative and abusive business practices of Über? Just a suggestion), but maybe it's not actually that funny when one isn't morally corrupt and physically broken after a possibly-rather-too-exciting road trip? You tell us.

“Oh, behave!”

The Privy Counsel’s Guide to Etiquette.

Board-game parties
Don’t go. If you must, burn the house down.

Communal brunches with flatmates
If you are forced to go, despite escape manoeuvres, don’t talk to anyone. If you don’t engage with the crazy, they can’t get to you.

Accidentally getting shitfaced on Sainsbury’s brandy
If you accidentally get shitfaced on Sainsbury’s brandy at a dinner party, with the result that you end up locking yourself into the bathroom and hurling the toilet seat into the shower then passing out, your host and hostess have to pick the lock and put you to bed on the sofa, and you wake up the next day and proceed to throw up yellow bile: leave. You have already put your hosts through enough bother and embarrassment. Don’t stick around, throwing up yellow bile. Get out immediately.

If you continue to throw up yellow bile on the train
Not a hell of a lot you can do about it, except try to be discreet. If possible, throw up into the bin. If this manoeuvre fails, look apologetic or, if you can possibly manage it, pregnant.

Facebook birthdays
If you wonder whether to wish a friend, with whom you no longer have anything in common, a happy birthday on Facebook, and the uncertainty as to the advisability of the action causes you actual nervous strain: hold off. Most problems solve themselves if you leave them long enough. (Massive, massive exception: application deadlines.) Soon enough your friend will post an update about his or her dinner, and you will then immediately be morally justified in never speaking to them again.

Communal brunches with flatmates, part II
If there is talk of buying ingredients, and even this simple undertaking causes frictions and bruised egos, run for the hills. Or even better, get sloshed on whisky while slagging off your bitching flatmates to someone else.

Communal board-game evenings with flatmates
Seriously, what is it with board-games? Cough loudly in their faces, and tell them you have pneumonic plague.

Ideally, do this in bursts of barely controlled panic; the stress caused by poor time-management will add zest to your dull, mundane life. Whenever possible, combine with alcohol.

A flatmate has an unreasonable obsession with the toaster
Tricky. Trawl the internet for exorcists. Or – a well-documented method, this – put chilli powder in her underwear.

Having babies
Foisting life on someone without asking first is the height of rudeness. Life is mostly pain, suffering, and that odd smell in the closet – who in their right mind would expose a tiny, defenceless creature to that? Avoid.

Your supervisor “improves” the language in your essay by introducing errors
Curse her with a heinous disease and ignore the changes. Remain polite.

A friend fails to see the rationale of your Richard Armitage obsession
Cease to acknowledge their existence.

You’re not sure how best to undermine your toaster-obsessed flatmate’s confidence
Look at her pityingly whenever you bump into each other in the kitchen. Respond doubtfully, but politely, to everything she says, as if she were a dangerous lunatic.

A friend is insufferably patronising when proofreading your essay
Suck it up, princess. You asked for it.

An awkward situation arises because there’s a bunch of you in the kitchen and you refuse to engage in the conversation while your toaster-obsessed flatmate is present
Well done.

The person in front of you in the supermarket aisle is walking unendurably slowly, right in the middle, making it impossible for you to pass either on the right or the left
Stare furiously at the back of their head, walking as close to them as you can possibly manage. They will soon start to feel very awkward indeed, and disappear down a side aisle to escape the lunatic breathing - literally - down their neck.

Some trollop cuts in line at the library due to an ambivalent set-up with two librarians but only one acknowledged queue
Give her the kind of stare that freezes fire then, when she blushes and acknowledges your position at the front of the queue, yield your place with icy politeness. She will burn with shame. Burn.

A friend talks about kitchen curtains
Life is too short. Avoid for all eternity and don’t return their calls.

A friend sets fire to the kitchen curtains
Here’s an interesting character, worth cultivating. Bring whisky and an economy pack of tissues.

An acquaintance is being all Austrian, hectoring everyone with their opinions and refusing to acknowledge anyone else’s view
Delete from social media. Start wearing sunglasses when going out, even in wet weather and at night. If you slip even once she will recognise you, and stop for a – we believe we’ve got the term right – “chat”.

A friend starts talking about intimate aspects of their wife’s pregnancy
Smile politely. Blink. Change the subject. You wish them well, but there are limits.

A 19th-century academic writes offensive things about women
Speak ill of him at every opportunity. Shake your fist at his headstone and think triumphant thoughts about death, the great equaliser.

A friend is being an absolute gem, taking time out of his busy schedule to proofread your essay extremely carefully and making comment after helpful comment.
Abuse him to his face, calling him every name you can think of, and keep harping on about what a patronising prick he is.

Last but not least, let there be a Festive Video! This one describes our current state of mind with admirable aptitude. We wouldn't say it's been lonely - one is never lonely when one lives in a digital world spanning several time zones where there is always a member of the Privy Counsel awake and prepared to discuss headbands, the Protestant work ethic, or Channing Tatum's divorce - but it certainly has been a long, long, cold winter. Possibly Our Mum will even like it (though Shewee Fiend Friend will, assuredly, dislike it with a vengeance).

Festive Video: Ashley Monroe - Mayflowers

Related Reading
Another toilet with air freshener that tried, and failed, to smell like cinnamon
All posts featuring Canada
All posts featuring Shewee Fiend Friend
All posts featuring Our Mum
All posts featuring Japan 

Also, festive mini reviews we posted on Facebok while in Canada can be viewed here:

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