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The Existential Compost

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9th March 2011

Bogs @ 18:01

When did you last use a public loo? Today? Last week? Last month?

I think my last visit to a public loo was when I went to Tenbury Wells with Z.

 

Nice looUsually, when caught short, I’ll try to sneak into a pub, pretend that I’m looking for someone and do my business there. Well...not in the pub lounge...more like in the pub’s bog. But you get my meaning. This, I must explain, is only for number ones. NEVER for number twos. And only recently, number ones in urinals.

You see, I have this dislike of public bogs; Dirty, smelly and dingy cathedrals of cess and unease. Or at least that is my experience of them. Every man that enters a public loo is potentially a murderer, a druggie or a rapist. Every drop of water on the floor a potential plague bearer and every surface the path to dysentery.

Not very nice.

2928572045_2382f5a664I suppose this began at primary school. School for me was in a Victorian building. Ageing. Falling apart at the seams. Paint peeling from the high vaulted ceilings. Wooden floors. Creepy corridors. That kind of thing. The toilets reflected a similar age. Buffed greenish brown stone urinals. The trough caked with strange solid matter and verdigris encrusted plumbing. The stalls contained low porcelain thrones that wouldn’t look out of place in a retro-furbished bathroom with rising chain operated flushers. One of the thrones was permanently blocked with matter that I care not to describe and the whole room had an odorous miasma of cheap bleach, urinary infections and damp staleness.

X20387This was probably not the thing that kick-started my dislike of public toilets. I think it was the characters that tended to loiter in this palaces of piss stink. Mostly the bullies, the ne’er-do-wells and the feckless. You know the type, they probably grew up to be successful “business men” who peddle drugs and traffic women in their vast criminal empires or, they’re locked up in prison.

The toilets were always the last place I’d want to be. I had even been known to hold off from going to the toilet until I had returned home. Something I still kind of do. British public toilets nearly always remind me of those awful facilities at St Mary’s. Sometimes even the ones in the pubs do that too. It’s like people are not proud of toilets. They’re places that, left untended, seem to rapidly decline into dirty horrid holes.

glory-holeI’ve been in nightclub toilets where the floors were sodden with liquid. I’ve been to restaurants where I’ve refused to eat because of the condition of their toilet facilities. I’ve seen sights you would never believe in platform toilets on railway stations. Even abroad, I’ve used manned conveniences that I’ve paid to use where a swish of the mop wouldn’t have made the slightest difference in cleanliness.

Now, before anyone starts kicking off about how not all toilets are like that. Let me agree with you. Not all toilets that are for public usage are like that. I’ve been in pristine bogs. So clean they smell of roses. Clean enough to pass as a toilet in a private stately home. I’ve also been in adequate bogs that, though free to use, are manned by a maintenance person who spends time ensuring that any puddles of piss are swiftly mopped up.

 

dirtytoilet

 

Then today, there came the news that a number of councils in the UK are selling off or closing their public lavs because they are no longer used or they have fallen in to disrepair. A look on the internet will uncover no end of tribute sites dedicated to the grand old public lavs that once graced UK townships. These days they are few and far between as councils cut back on budgets and sanitary services suffer.

girl-toilet01If I had the money I’d buy one. I’d refurbish the place and charge £1 to use it. I’d ensure that the place was light, airy, clean and safe for people to use without fear of a penis being stuck through a hole in the partition. Users would not have to worry about stepping into anything unpleasant and maybe even buy themselves a freshly made coffee on their way out. The attendant would be proud of their work and rewarded for such. Maybe even make it a members only place for an annual fee of say £20. Each stall would be cleaned by the attendant after each use. No fear of druggies or buggery.

 

Sadly I doubt I could raise the funds.



Cross posted to stegzyblogspot
 
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Comments

 
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From:venta
Date:9th March 2011 18:28 (UTC)
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The last public toilet I used was a week or so ago in Victoria station in London (30p for the privilege).

I don't really like skulking around in pubs if I'm not a customer, so I do use public facilites and rarely find them particularly bad (though I'm assured that gents' are usually much worse than ladies').

On the other hand, it's very common to follow signs to a public convenience, only to find that it isn't there, or it is shut. No wonder no one's using them any more, they're always bloody locked. In the case of the bogs in Brockwell park ten days ago, locked with the lights on, and (in the case of the gents) the urinal flushy thing still running, because you could hear it.

It makes me rather cross that councils don't feel the need to provide toilet facilities. I don't mind paying (though things which require exact change are stupid), but I do object when the damn things just don't exist.
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From:stegzy
Date:9th March 2011 18:34 (UTC)

it's very common to follow signs to a public convenience, only to find that it isn't there, or it is

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Too true!

In the little village I grew up in in Liverpool there used to be two sets of public toilets. One closed many years before I was born but the other was handily situated near a bus stop popular with old people commuting into nearby Garston for the train or the market. The signs are still there but it's been chained up for about ten years now due to "cost to to repair". The pensioners who used to use it became quite vocal about it in the local newspapers too IIRC. Fat lot of use that did.

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From:fox_bard
Date:9th March 2011 19:11 (UTC)
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LOL! These captioned photos are full of massive amounts of win.
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From:stegzy
Date:11th March 2011 07:30 (UTC)
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Thanks :D
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From:zoefruitcake
Date:9th March 2011 22:38 (UTC)
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I'd be happy to join a loo club
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From:stegzy
Date:11th March 2011 07:31 (UTC)
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You too can join a loo club. Pay me £20 and you can use a lovely toilet. And be guaranteed an erection.
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From:billzy
Date:10th March 2011 09:36 (UTC)
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The pub loo's of the American Irish Bar on Lime Street are the worst ive ever seen!
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From:stegzy
Date:11th March 2011 07:32 (UTC)
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Flanagan's Apple had nasty bogs. So did the Krazy House. Worst though was the legendary Swan.

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