It drives me potty


THIS WEEK’S BLOG IS NOT FOR THE FAINTHEARTED! Are Englishmen so obsessed by poohing and the loo? It is of course a historical fact that Englishmen have been the world’s greatest plumbers, including the wonderful Thomas Crapper. He set up shop in Chelsea and although did not actually invent the flushing loo itself, he did invent such masterpieces as the ballcock and the spring loaded seat. His Royal Warrants (issued as an endorsement of use by the Royal Household) in the mid-1800s gave the new-fangled machine public approval and was key to its acceptance in homes. The obsession is frequently commented on by visitors from abroad, staying at our home. After a long dinner party, the conversation can so easily turn to bodily functions. The time and observations my English friends make whilst ‘on the throne’ can be discussed ad infinitum. It is said the average person spends three months on the loo during his or her lifetime. That, of course, is utter nonsense for the Englishman who would measure their lifetime’s use in decades.

...and another thing

The loo does pose a number of thought provoking questions.

Does your home have the flap of the loo paper in front or behind the roll (75% of homes in the West have it in front)?

Why has the design barely changed yet the blessed things are so uncomfortable?

Why are men remonstrated for not putting the seat down but women never asked to put it up?

Why do so few bathrooms have a urinal for men? Then the seat could be left down all the time? In Holland one urinal manufacturer paints a fly in the bowl. The effect of men aiming at it apparently greatly reduces the risk of prostate cancer.

Why do women, from what I have observed, consider these ablutions an interruption of the day’s work and need to be finished as quickly as possible?  Men however see it as a welcome break from the stress and strains of the job and an opportunity for other stresses and strains.

My wife still cannot believe I can retire to the bathroom not to reappear for a long enough time to have read War and Peace.

Why when I lived alone did I still lock the door? A shrink could no doubt fill hours in session with that hang up but my wife eventually convinced me not to lock the door in case I had a heart attack!  Occasionally the loo has proved dangerous, both Elvis and George III expired whilst ‘in exertion’.

Why when I am in a hurry, do I require enough paper to create a tower to actually clean my backside, when on other occasions (usually when I have all the time in the world), will one sheet suffice?

Maybe my colon has a sense of humour? My wife sure does. I had a chunk of it removed ten years ago and she now refers to it as a semi-colon.

...and another thing

I recently had my wife in stitches showing her a commercial about the squatty Potty ( The gist of this contraption is to raise your feet so that you are in a more natural pose. I actually did some research which was very revealing. The traditional seating position is a primary cause of haemorrhoids apparently!

So maybe this little ditty has upset some of my readers for which I apologise. The loo and what happens there is a taboo subject, a bit like death…which is interesting. The first movie to feature a flushing loo was strongly criticised for showing something so disgusting. The movie was Pyscho…..which is still why I never use a shower with a curtain!  Poop poop!

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  1. Alex says:

    This has made me roar with laughter (not ideal when you have a back injury and gorging on diazepam).
    This week’s tale really strikes home for me – I can lose Jim for hours, even locking him in the house once with the alarm set as there was no possible way he could have still been on the pot… Weekends are worse or rather they used to be. I now find that as Himself announces the lunchtime ‘moment’ I bang the roast in the oven so when he reappears 90 minutes later exhausted from The Candy Crush Marathon- lunch is done to perfection. Oh, and the advert is hilarious and yes, I have just bought one #dangersofbeingoffwork

  2. Mike Wells says:

    Very interesting blog….best yet, but I feel that you have only skated over the surface of this fascinating and highly complex subject. You dont touch on the rich variety of words available in the English language to describe the various stages of the poo process (turtle’s head etc) or indeed the various types of deposit that result from the efforts made, from pebble dash to log through floater and cowpat. Also the benefits of the bidet have been completely over looked. Originally a continental import these are now really coming into their own and quite rightly given the general consensus that we should save the rainforest. I alone know of several people who would save the Amazon single handedly were they to install bidets in their home.

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