Monday, 8 October 2012

Everybody Poops, But Don't Always Flush

Before I go any further, if you don't like toilet humour or people writing at length about human bodily functions, then stop reading right now. This bog is about blogs. Oh yes.

No one likes having to do a poo in public do they? I don't mean actually just dropping your trousers in the street and curling one out on the pavement. That would be nasty. I'm talking about using public toilets, or more specifically: toilets in supermarkets. We've all heard people complaining about graffiti in public loos, or saying how badly attended they are, or even comedians joking about them. But supermarket toilets? I can't think of much comment, offhand.

The reason I bring this up is that today I needed a poo. So I trundled off to Sainsbury's, and headed for a cubicle. I was met with a brown shark peering back at me from its stagnant pool of wipe-weed, and Immediately went "ugh" while simultaneously being quite impressed by both the circumference and length. It wasn't that it was a particularly massive turd, just that it looked a bit like a bent torpedo. As someone had followed me in to use the urinal, I made an attempt to flush it with no success.

So I used the other cubicle, and while my own food-baby made its way out I considered how the water pressure and design of the bowl itself were probably more to blame for the inability to flush it than the diet or physiology of the creator. I've done stinky bombs myself that have been considerably bigger than that one, and yet they have been sped on their way by a focussed combination of water delivery and efficient u-bend design. Because that's the sort of thing I think about when I'm walking the brown dog.

So imagine my dismay when once I'd wiped, the particularly ordinary sub-aquatic log of no lasting impression completely failed to disappear with a double-pressed long flush. Oh, the humanity! I waited for the water to be replaced and tried it again, this time with a bit of added paper, in the hope that it may help. It did not. In fact, all the paper flushed away, leaving the poo to prove how actually aquadynamic it was. I was at once annoyed and quite pleased. I mean, everyone can appreciate something so perfectly formed, right?

Well I hope everyone can, because whoever next felt the call of the turtle's head would be faced with a cool stool whichever cubicle they ended up using. Hey, there's always the disabled loo.

It does rather suggest that in an effort to save on water (which in my line of work can only ever be a good thing) there are some supermarkets that are losing customer service kudos by making savings on poorly designed porcelain gods. A combination of a lower flow rate and less considered pipe engineering simply does not shit well with the average British man's diet. I, for example, consider my diet to be quite well balanced as I only eat red meat once or twice a week and have a largely vegetarian diet. Okay, I like to drink, but for me that's Pebbledash City where I know for some blokes it's the equivalent of a cork. But for many men, there is steak, bacon, sausages, pork chops, bacon, chicken wings, burgers, gammon, bacon, roast beef, salami, bacon and liver which form the bulk of the weekly diet and inability to see one's own penis without a carefully angled mirror.

But this was Sainsbury's! They're supposed to be one of the more upmarket supermarkets. I bet if I'd laid the same cable in Lidl it would have flushed with no effort whatsoever. But that makes perfect sense, because Lidl is a German company, and there is no way on this Earth that German management would ever tolerate under-engineered toilets. I bet designers of terrible toilets during the War soon found themselves in Auschwitz. Or were sent to France to design their public toilet system.

We all prefer to drop the kids off at the pool in our own homes, but unless you're the sort of person who is either eerily regular in their movements or has the incredible ability to cramp it all in until your comfort zone is available then I would say the majority of the human species has left faeces in the toilets of a supermarket. I went through a phase a few months ago where I had no trouble setting myself up for the day shortly after waking, and it was great. I never had to worry about what I might encounter. I was freed up pretty much for twenty four hours.

Yet somehow this ended abruptly and urgently one fateful day when I ended up having an uncomfortable twenty minutes in the bogs at Asda in Long Eaton (where my Mum works) where I struggled to pass something that felt like it was made of pure ghost chillis (which were possibly present) coated with barbed wire and drawing pins. When it finally climbed free it made like a brief bidet, and my sigh of relief was both heartfelt and unashamed. If I'd had my phone on me, I would've taken a picture and got at least an 8.2 on ratemypoo. I didn't tell Mum about it when I went to see her, though.

Asda's flush system had no trouble sending it off to the sewage farm. I was reminded of this fact (and indeed being reminded was the inspiration for this blog) as I left Sainsbury's. It got me thinking about other locations I've had to drop anchor during the course of the working day. Tesco? I love crapping there, because I hate Tesco. Morrisons? A bit hit and miss. Their toilets, not me. I never miss. I don't think I've ever taken a dump at Waitrose. I'm not even sure Lidl or Aldi have toilets, having walked through some of their stores' car parks.

To sum up, I had no intention of summing this blog up at all. I just felt like writing about poo, my experiences of pooing in supermarket toilets, and wondering if anyone at all had read to the end. I'll tell you something else, while I'm about it. is nowhere near as good as it used to be. You used to get some genuinely massive chocolate snakes on there, but now? It's all loose stools and pebbledash. Pffft.

It's almost like people don't see the art in launching a torpedo any more. Shocking.