Thursday, 25 April 2019

Springing a Leak

It seems improbable, at the arse end of February, that you will ever see sunlight again, or do anything more constructive than sit wrapped up in your duvet, rocking back and forth and eating cheese. The memories of last summer's carefree, open-air gin consumption seem like a dream at best, or at worst a cruel and sadistic joke by our robot overlords who may well be amusing themselves by implanting false memories into what passes for our brain these days - we can't prove that they're not. Still, the world keeps turning round the sun and soon enough the birds are tooting in the shrubberies and various species of wildlife are doing unspeakable things to each other in the grounds and messuages. Spring is here, and there are signs of life from various corners of the world. Semi-Intellectual Friend, for instance, sprang this stark and surprising message on us:

Holy shit. I assume the internet is all over sending you stuff like this but biiiiig feature on hand towels vs dryers in the Guardian today:  

Also noticed a link to an older story about bowel movements near the bottom (fnar) of the page:

Is the Guardian trying to make a move on Privy Counsel? Maybe you could sell out and make your millions.

Regarding the hand-dryer-versus-paper-towels issue, there are good arguments on both sides. We reckon it's one of those things where you just have to pick a side, and stick to it, belligerently. We've made our views on air dryers known, and will most likely maintain our opinion, even if presented with evidence that we are wrong, until old age and senility make the matter moot. Be advised that we are prepared to defend our viewpoint in a bout of bare-knuckle fighting. Bring your own gin.

When it comes to bowel movements and the worry that sitting on a toilet is "unnatural" compared to the "natural" method of squatting on the ground, we think it's mostly Brits who agonise about this. Possibly also Germans. (More research is possibly needed on which nationalities, exactly, are afflicted by this particular anxiety.) Personally we are very fond of the allaturca or squat toilet, but we by no means feel the need to purchase the "wildly popular seven-inch-high plastic stool, designed by a devout Mormon and her son, which curves around the base of your loo".

Is the Guardian trying to make a move on the Privy Counsel? What a fascinating question. What do our readers think? Feel free to drop us a fan letter in the form of a five-paragraph essay, either arguing for or against, or discussing the different viewpoints. Don't forget to summarise your views in a neat conclusion.

On avance. We're sorry to inform you that we've had another disagreement with Shewee Fiend Friend. Though most of the time we are as two giant brains pulsating as one, sometimes we have different opinions about things. Last time we counted, we came to the conclusion that we disagree on a total of nine things. (We're fucked if we can remember what those nine things are, but remember our terror when we realised that the powerful magical number nine was involved. We're not free of superstition at the Privy Counsel, however intellectual we purport to be.) Our latest clash was regarding the toilet doors at Vancouver Airport. Shewee Fiend Friend thought they were great, we thought not. We shall present you with the evidence, so that you can form your own opinion and stick to it, belligerently.

Possibly an entirely inoffensive toilet. We can't quite tell from this photo. The tiles are nice, though.

If you enjoy almost seeing people, here's your chance to go hog wild!

We do like the fact that these doors look like they lead into a Wild West saloon, but why do people insist on designing toilet doors that don't go all the way down to the ground? Our guess is, a man did this.

We can't fault these hooks. They're fucking excellent hooks.

The conversation went as follows:

Shewee Fiend Friend:
Vancouver airport loo is swank

Privy Counsellor:
They are very good hooks
I shall make a note of this.
Thank you for sharing the picture of the excellent hooks


Swanky, but don't go all the way up to the ceiling or all the way down to the floor
#fail #YouHadOneJob

Nice and bright, but why do they do that horrible material in the sinks that looks like grubby cement

It's sparkly [the Privy Counsellor]
I love it
So critical
The doors were super nice 
They looked all woodsy/cabiny

Yes but they're not noise-insulating

And that's the end of that fascinating academic debate, because at this point we went on to discuss something completely different.

Finally, we've got a build-up of enticing pictures of Jonny that we should publish before there's a blockage.

The first picture comes with this comment:
I did an art piece
It’s dark tho
Viewer discretion advised
It’s called Beauty and the Beast

The [non-] mixer taps are the beast and it think it’s obvious who the beauty is

We couldn't agree more! Woof!

The next set of pictures is summarised by these words:

Somewhere in London
Too drunk to take note where

There was a dog in the bar too so extra points

Feeling single, seeing double?

Well, this is a very nice sink, good tap, and unobjectionable hand soap. Why do people insist on making counters out of wood, though? There is a reason why the traditional materials are porcelain or stainless steel - they're easy to clean and FUCKING HYGIENIC. Wood absorbs water, making for a germ-friendly environment and has plenty of crevices for bacteria to fester in.


We can't tell if we approve of this saloon-style door or not, as it lacks context.

The graffiti comment says, "We evolved to walk upright and use cutlery".

Actually, now we check our archive, we discover that there is a metric fuck-ton of toilet selfies from Jonny that we have forgotten about, due to the horror, trauma and gin consumption of recent times. We don't wish to overwhelm you with wonder and awe, so we'll save those ones for whenever we next find ourselves inspired by the gin fairy.

Let us finish with a festive video. We enjoyed, when in Budapest recently, a very nice and intellectual lunch with Lithuanian Friend and her intellectual colleagues. One of them sends his regards to the Privy Counsel's readers, and a video! It relates to our musings on the German toilet shelf, which is apparently rife in the Hungarian capital, and about which we poured forth appalled comments at some length in our post about that city. We're not sure we agree with any of the points made in the video, but it might potentially be considered an amusing political commentary. Apparently, the above-mentioned intellectual colleague says to keep in mind that the drawings are not correct.

Festive Video: Hermeneutics of toilets by Slavoj Žižek

Related Reading

Some other times when we enthused about the arrival of spring:
Cracking Some Suds in Kreuzberg

In Which We Express Our Gratitude to Electricians Springing into Action

All posts featuring Semi-Intellectual Friend 

Our opinion on air dryers:

All posts featuring the allaturca toilet 

A blog post on the wonderful things that happen when men don't design fucking everything:
Caitlin Moran Really Does Make Everything Better

According to this post, we described the horror of recent times "with plenty of poetic expression but not a whisper of a scintilla of an iota of hyperbole", in this post:
Hungary: Dubious Shelf-Life

All posts featuring Shewee Fiend Friend

All posts featuring airports

All posts featuring Jonny
For the benefit of all the hipsters out there whose aesthetic and hygienic ideal is a 19th-century farm yard, we hereby remind our readers of the existence of the

Also another post featuring cholera

Also a toilet letter from the 19th century reminding us of the lack of public facilities, and wide variety of hygiene-related horrors that people endured until very recently

Another post in which we despair at the  possible conspiracy by hipsters to make everything look like 19th-century farm equipment:
Stockholm Central Station: The Trauma Is So Great We Are Brought To Quoting Cicero

All posts featuring Lithuanian Friend
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