Wednesday, 27 April 2016

In the interests of austerity, please use both sides

I had a friend who used to run a vegetarian restaurant here in Bath, and the place suffered badly from a poorly designed drain system. It kept blocking. It reminded everyone about those strange little hotels in Greece which have notices next to the toilets asking you to put the used paper in a bin to the side, for everyone's sake - except the cleaner's.

The restauranteur asked me for help one evening, lifting the external drain cover so he could clear the latest blockage. Not a good thing to be doing in front of paying customers, but better than an overflow on the inside.

"Jesus Christ," he cursed, "Why do women have to use so much toilet paper? They must wrap it around their hands several times with each wipe!'

At the time, I thought he was being a little unreasonable - partly for assuming that women were the culprits and partly for assuming the blockage was caused by them using too much paper per visit, but having lived with H.I. for about 26 years, I now think that he had a valid point.

We seem to get through about a roll a day in this house, and we have to buy it in bulk for fear of running out. I didn't so much confront her about it a week or so ago - having kept silent on the subject for years - but I just casually observed that she must use a hell of a lot. She freely admitted that she did, but didn't go so far as to explain how or why, and I didn't ask. Since then, she has been buying the paper for the house, whereas that used to be my job during the shopping trips for food. I feel ashamed that I may have made her feel guilty.

I used to bring home masses of it from Lidl - great plastic bundles of 24 rolls - in the mistaken belief that this was a more economical way of buying it, but then I did the maths and realised that it was not. Neither is it worth buying the cheaper variety - a compromise between the expensive stuff as advertised by playful puppies, and the sort which is so cheap that you run a daily risk of - quite bluntly - accidentally sticking your finger into one of two orifices whenever you try to use it.

Now I am fully aware that I have already overstepped the mark of decency in a public place, so I might as well continue.

Without wishing to overburden you with information which will never be of any use to you under any circumstances at all in the future, I will tell you that I always wash myself down there with a shower-head. You could eat your dinner off my arse.

This is yet another area in which I and other people of certain religious convictions have something in common.

I was sitting and day-dreaming in the bathroom of a cheap, Egyptian hotel once, when my eyes fell on an incongruously placed little tap within arm's reach on the wall. Being half asleep in the early morning, I leant over and turned it on.

A jet of freezing cold water shot straight up my fundament. In an instant, I was wide awake. It was a blinding flash of enlightenment on a very simple subject indeed.

42 comments:

  1. Shhhhheeeeeeesssshhhh
    And you complain about dog shit stories on Going Gently!

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    1. At least we don't smear it all over duvets and sofas once a week - yet.

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    2. I'll give you .5 years before you do

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    3. I will still be 20 years behind you - with or without shitting on the allotment because I cannot make it back to the house in time. Isn't there a picture of you on Google Earth doing just that?

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  2. The majority of Italiana homes have a bidet. There should've been one in your Rome hotel?
    I think the eggs in Bath have hatched already and now all three chicks are out. Greetings Maria x

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    1. Oh yes, they are even in British hotels now. I'll check out the chicks.

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  3. I am fortunate to live in an apartment with 2 toilets: one for me and one for Him. This means I can use as much as I like. It also has the major advantage of having a "Ladies" not contaminated by careless male peeing which misses the target!

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    1. And he is under no pressure to lower the seat after he has missed, I presume.

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  4. Discussions about what goes down people's toilets can end up being our teatime conversation if I ask P what sort of day he had.

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    1. I had forgotten that P was in the business, so to speak.

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  5. H.I. should not feel guilty; we do the same all over the world, (at least here).

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    1. If I could do it all over again, I'd do it all over the world.

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  6. Ha ha, love Rachel's comment! x

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  7. Women and toilet paper--a story as old as toilet paper. My mother used to take TP as a house present when we stayed at other homes. "More women in the house," she said.

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    1. I do the same, esp when visiting friends with limited income.

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    2. I steal toilet rolls when I visit friends.

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    3. Sometimes I have the urge to steal them from public bathrooms - then I remember I can actually afford to buy them now.

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  8. We do not have mains drainage but something called a fosse septique. I am regularly interrogated about how much toilet paper I use!

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    1. Interrogation is taking it a bit too far.

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  9. I once stayed in a Greek hotel where, when someone flushed their bog, everything reappeared through a grill on the floor of our bathroom. I later saw the owner walking past our balcony with a very long pole, and soon everything was fixed. All part of the Greek Experience!

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    1. I knew someone who stayed in a Moroccan hotel with one of those ceramic holes in the floor. He heard a noise, and just got out of the way of the room above as they used theirs. No plumbing, just holes in floors and ceilings.

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  10. My husband has complained for years about the amount of toilet paper I use. I always tell him,"At least I'm clean!"

    Whenever I'm planning to have a couple of girlfriends over, he always asks if I've bought extra TP. Hahaha!

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    1. He will be the judge of that (pulls out a microscope...)

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  11. Yes, we can learn a lot from sharing bathrooms, at home and at the workplace.

    Thank you again, Tom, for the Bath peregrine link. Great to see the chicks!

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    1. I've just seen one of the chicks poke its head out. The stress begins. They have infra red, so you can watch them at night....

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  12. For the last two of our ten years in our French village we have been blessed with 'mains drains' rather than the septic tank. Oh the absolute joy of being able to flush real TP (as opposed to the airy-fairy stuff) and be able to use a good long squirt of bleach.

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    1. Well, you have the right name for this subject.

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  13. I would just to say following the horror of reading these comments that if you do the perfect turd very little loo paper is required at all.

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    Replies
    1. Tell John. No, tell his dogs.

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    2. " The Perfect turd" is that a film with George Clooney?

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    3. They built a special thunderbox on the set.

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    4. "The Banana Republic" springs to mind.

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  14. Looks like Rachel gets the last word again.

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    1. The final whistle hasn't been blown yet. They think it's all over - all over me!

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  15. I think that you once posted about an original Thomas Crapper. This is like a sequel! So exciting!

    I just googled the inventor of the toilet paper, and it turns out that it was a grumpy looking man with the last name 'Gayetty'. Nothing 'gay' (happy) about him. Might he have been plagued by a dingleberry, by chance?

    Toiletpaper leaves this house as quickly as I can bring it in but, I swear, they have made the cardboard tubes shorter without ever telling us while charging the same price. Anyone else notice this?

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    1. In my long experience of the study of bog-roll, I have noticed how the diameter of the cardboard tubes does tend to vary between suppliers, but I have never really paid much attention to the length. Maybe they distracted everyone from the shameful rip-off by varying the length on a yearly basis?

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  16. Your first story about the Greek toilets teminds me of a story on Gerald Durrell's book My Family and other animals. The Durrell family moved to Corfu and poor Margo Durrell used toilet paper from the box of used toilet . It is a very funny part of the book, but gross.

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    1. That should be Margo used the used toilet paper ,

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    2. It always slightly worries me when a manufacturer proudly says that 'this toilet paper is 100% recycled...'

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