Lavatories Of The World

Let's see how this goes.

Most people have a spiritual association with lavatories - if I judge my readership demographic correctly, a good 30% of you are probably sitting on one right now as you read this. And just as, they say, everybody has one novel in them, surely everybody has one lavatory story, right? I, for example, was unable to get out of a cubicle in the lavatory at a University disco for well over a hour one time. For reasons it would be legally unwise to tell you.

I'm looking for the whole lavatory experience here, for something we can leave to future historians who'll otherwise only know about the signing of declarations and stuff. National toilet trends you've witnessed - German toilets have a 'shelf', so that you may inspect before you flush (the Germans also send more faeces through the post than any other nation. No, really, that's true), while the Spanish appear to be satisfied with simply hole in the ground - or specific lavatories you have encountered whose existence, for good or ill, should not slip from the memory of History. Anecdotes where a lavatory is a main player, even.

I'll kick off with a couple of examples I've recently had pass through my head, just to give you the idea.

(As you might expect, given the location, some of the knowledge shared by our researchers below is not the kind of thing you'd want to have as a dinner party anecdote or an amusing tale used to break the ice by a headmaster at a primary school assembly. If you suspect you are the kind of person who is capable of using the phrase 'Oh, Sweet Christ, I'm going to be heavingly sick.', then you might do yourself a favour by not reading on. Let me thank you in advance for not writing idiot emails.)

Told to me in Jay's Cafe over lunch, translated from the Dom by Andy Penco.

Dom has just returned from India and has gone to see Penco. He says he went to a toilet there that was only flushed once, every Autumn. It was basically a bit of a cliff over which you hung your arse and shat. The whole village did this, the resulting, year-sized, multi-turd being washed away by the Autumn rains each year. Dom said "Naturally, I turned to watch my log fall through the air to impact. And you know how, when you drop a stone in the water, you get those concentric circles rushing outwards and then slowing into calm? Well, when my turd hit, viewed from my position high above, that's exactly the effect I saw with the flies."

From Matthew Walter.

I sincerely feel my wife should apologize to me for dragging me to Greece, which once you get past the history, architecture, beauty and all, is really quite a revolting place. Did you know that when one wipes themselves in Greece, one may not "drop and flush" the paper into the bowl? Heavens no. One must manoeuvre the soiled paper up from the nether regions, through/under/around one's legs (depending on one's personal style), often times requiring a "hand-off" from one hand to the other (which does not sound very difficult until you try it) and then place the paper into a trash can-looking receptacle, which when opened, smells as though there were a conglomeration of hundreds of peoples' faecal matter all stewing together, and for good reason. Barbarians.


From Angie in Bucks. (Yes, yes, I know that sounds it ought to be next to a photo in the Reader's Wives section of Fiesta or something - what can I do about it, eh?)

My tale from the toilet is of having a much needed pee in a loo in Lanzarote... I sat down and sighed - usually I would check the seat first for bugs (insect variety not loo listeners) but this one time I forgot. After enjoying my sought after pee I stood up, turned around to flush and saw a face looking up at me from the back of the seat. A face with huge black eyes and swishing, searching anteanna frantically wondering what had just blocked out its light! In the same country, I got pissed in a club (sigh, the good ole days), went to the loos and chose the end stall. It had no working light bulb. In my pissed way I said to myself "Aww it don't matter" and sat down. As I stood up I realised that I was going to be sick. I turned round and aimed towards the loo using the recent memory to position my face in respect to the bog. I couldn't aim at all, but I was convinced I could and thrust my head towards the mystic bog cracking my nose on the porcelain throne in the process. I had a set of black eyes for 2 weeks and blushed everytime had to recount how it happened. I have never sobered up so quick. I never use dark toilets now.


From Sam Gray.

There is a cafe in Oakland (that's in California, for those of you from civilized nations) which is very near to (a) a freeway onramp, (b) Lake Merritt, and (c) a hyperspace portal to the Dimension of Sci-Fi Terror. I am not kidding. When you ask where the restroom is, the wait-staff will helpfully direct you through the kitchen at the back of the cafe, fourth door on your left. These four doors are spaced more widely apart than the east and west sides of the San Francisco/Oakland Bay, and the intervening space is liberally peppered with menacing clusters of plumbing (with up to fifteen pipes, running in packs), primitive chalk art on the walls (a la Blair Witch), claustrophobic steps/portals marked by spooky bedsheet curtains, what looks to be high-current wire (for the Doctor's laboratory, no doubt), and a marked absence of more than two forty-watt incandescent bulbs. The Indiana Jones-style rolling boulder must've been out of service that day. It is emphatically *not* handicap-accessible. I've taken several parties there as much for the trip to the potty as for the incredible omelets. One of them couldn't make it, which is really quite a shame, because to top it all off, once you run this gauntlet of fear, the actual room is a rather cheery shade of pink -- much like the raspberry lemonade which prompted the trip in the first place. Which only serves to emphasize the fact that Chthulhu Itself is waiting to devour your soul as soon as you unlatch the door. If you're ever in the SF Bay Area, do head over to the East Bay (that's Pig Latin for "beast," by the way) and check out Mimosa Cafe -- it's well worth the trip.


From Rolf.

There's a town in Romania (Eastern Europe, ya know) called Lupeni (which woud translate to something like Wolves' Town). It's in a mining region and not very pretty. Anyway, I was just leaving from that town, and while waiting for the train at the railway station I had to go pee. I quickly found the door on which it said 'WC', opened it and saw that the whole floor was covered with dirty water (or some unidentifed fluid). I was wearing water-proof boots so I thought, what the heck, and stepped inside. As I stepped into it, I felt something was wrong, and I quickly raised my foot. I discovered that what the water concealed was an (estimated) 5 cm thick layer of shit. Needless to say that I had enough to do (and say) 'till the train came.


From Andrew Roberts.

Sunday night at Glastonbury 1999 we decided it would be wise to take a piss before settling down for a bit. For some reason we thought that going up against the nearest hedge wouldn't do: we should visit the official facilities. Now we had figured out quite quickly that the portaloo doors were the gates to hell, so we were destined for the pit loos. Not so one poor inebriated soul, who entered one of the green units. Next thing, we watched amazed as it toppled over onto its side, door facing down. As you may imagine, by this stage of the night they're usually piled up above the brim with unspeakableness, this was no exception amd the evidence spilled out onto the grass. A thumping ensued and we and some other passersby looked uncertainly at each other. Should we help the poor bastard? What if he's really hurt himself, might we have to touch him? How the hell would we get it upright? Some sort of unspoken group decision was made and a few others and I approached and rolled it over, with quite a thump, until the door opened and the most sorry, shit-sodden, stinking individual fell out in a pile at our feet. We ran back, quite terrified, and to our relief he rose to his feet and stumbled off, in no worse state than when he went in (except for the shit). I hope he had some really good mates with a hose and a hell of a lot of water. And I hope he had a sense of humour when he came to his senses in the morning.


From Niall Sweby.

Chinese Toilets.
5,000 years of civilisation has not bought the chinese any closer to decent lavatories. Although for fear of offending gentle sensibilities, I could not begin to describe the range of dank, vile sites I squatted at during my year there, an example of an advanced and respectable model will do for now. The toilets at the university at which I taught were a broad model for many of the "advanced" toilet facilities in China. On one wall was a standard urinal, such as you might find in any nation concerned with hygeine. No problem there. However the toilets themselves followed the Chinese belief that squatting makes a bowel movement easier and healthier, which experience has taught me to be largely true. As befitted its "advanced" state these toilets were sturdy porcelain models with molded spaces for ones shoes. Ones excrement then coiled (or exploded depending on health) into the basin. All satisfactory in principle, and as I said healthier and easier than sitting. However there the Chinese have stopped, deciding civilisation need go no further. Firstly there is seemingly no need for privacy when taking a dump. None of the 4 stalls had a door and on each the partitition wall was a brazen 3 feet high, giving an excellent view of your neighbours face in case of any straining. Furthermore, instead of a decent flush mechanism, there is a constant trickle of water, which seeks to act like some particularly ineffective UN mediator in gently persuading the pile of faeces to dissipate peacefully down the pipe, a process which by itelf can take several hours. When combined with the the contributions of the other 200 males on the floor, the resultant stench from the four stalls was sufficient to ensure that toilet windows were kept opened even in the depths of winter. What compounded the problem was that the entrance to my classroom, indeed the very space where I stood to teach, was opposite the gents toilet. The door at one point had a small window, now sadly lost, leaving a gaping hole through which the foul stench of the by-product 200 chinese students meals could reach me, for upto three hours at a time in some lessons, a contant reek I could never escape from and that eventually became part of my world. A million other stories of less advanced toilet facilities spring to mind. Riverboats awash with urine, or trains where the toilet consists of a hole in the floor (Never to be used if you have diarrhoea. In your weakened state the sight and smell alone will cause you to void through every possible aperture. I know), bus stations (universally lax in toilet provisions) where the wood on which you squatted was rotten and worm ridden and the feculent pile was so high your own crap had almost no room to go.


update to the above From Paul Grace

The public lavs in China are on an equal par with the university ones except that you get charged 1 yuan to use them, and the resulting matter is ferried away each morning in "night pots" about the size of a large plantpot. These "night pots" are ferried of to the rice fields as night soil and used to fertilise the crop. Recycling never seemed like such a bad idea


From Quentin Cobb.

My Lavatory Data or "Things I have accidentally flushed"
1) A brand new pair of sunglasses that fell out of my jacket pocket - well strictly speaking not flushed, they fell into a Turkish hole in Istanbul that didn't flush but as I had had the squirts for several days (as, apparently, had the entire population of Istanbul) there was no way I was going to put my hand in there.
2) Several hundred Turkish lira in another hole from my shorts pocket
3) Two security access cards (on two separate occasions) from my shirt pocket. I watched them swirl round a couple of times but thought "Naahhh" After the second they told me I would have to start paying for them myself.
4) Several pens - best count four at one time.
5) A cell phone from my shirt pocket - damn these things are small. Fortunately it didn't make it round the U-bend and it still worked after being well rinsed. I thought I would send it to Nokia for an advertisement but the cheapskates wouldn't exchange it for a new one!
Now I try to remember
1) not to use my shirt pocket for anything other than pens (and then only the cheap company provided pens)
2) not tot bend over the toilet when reaching down to pull up my pants
3) to keep loose change in a wallet.


From Jamie O'Connell

I am Irish but living in Germany at the moment...
...I woke up sitting on the toilet at 2:30am with my pants around my ankles and my shirt off.


Jared C. Rypka-Hauer.

My father, a God-fearing, service-to-mankind-rendering soul, accompanied an American friend on a missionary trip to preach to the sweat-drenched masses in the Philipines. Oddly enough, American entrepreneurs have not yet penetrated this dark and distant Sauna masquerading as a nation with any form or sort of deodorant. Neither the room kind nor the underarm kind are to be found in this place. Apparently, the loo in rural Philipino areas is constructed by first digging a large hole in the ground. Say 6 feet square and 8 feet deep. Over this hole is placed a stiff but flexible woven mat of bamboo as a floor and on top of that is constructed the shelter for the privacy of those in need of relief. This works well in that once the pit becomes overly occupied by repeated deposits (local checks only, please) the mat/structure assembleage can simply be redirected to cover a new pit, covering then the old pit with dirt to protect the unwary from deep, dark disaster... very efficient! Now, I am definitely for local residents of a place making maximum use of their native resources, but one has to consider the fact that the above recipe is designed to serve a maximum of one local adult male... generally in the neighborhood of 120 pounds. Yes, it has happened. One's greatest nightmare has come true. The added robustness in stature and girth shared by both Europeans and Americans visiting the area have indeed resulted in the collapse of the woven mat floor simply by being present at the time of their own elimination (take that in whatever sense you wish), causing the entire structure -- mat, shelter, and unsuspecting visitor alike, to be plunged into the murky and colorful (both in odor and visual spectrum) depths of human waste below.
One can truly end up in deep shit while visiting foreign lands if one does not keep his wits about him.


From Bill Tucker.

If you've traveled much, or lived in Earl's Court, you'll have realized that much of the world doesn't use commodes, but rather squats over, and shits into, holes. (I'm not going to get into toilet-paper-vs-washing-yourself-with-your-left-hand.) When a person who grew up with squat toilets is first confronted with a Western-style commode, their first instinct is to climb up on the commode, with one foot on top of either side of the bowl, and then squat over it - a precarious position at best. In the men's room in the museum in Malacca (aka Melaka), Malaysia, there is a sign illustrating the proper use of a commode. It includes drawings of the "right" way to use it, as well as the "wrong" way - these latter with bars sinister across them. At the bottom of the sign is this: "Warning! Failure to use this toilet properly may result in severe injury OR DEATH!" By the way, the sign won't come off the wall, no matter how hard you try.


From Fionna O'Sullivan

On a recent trip to France I was amazed and delighted to have my horizons broadened by, um, encountering the surrealist toilet. At least, that's what I dubbed it. After flushing, the sign tells you to step back, (worrying) then the seat rotates its way through a cleaning system, which if you kind of half close your eyes looks like it is morphing shape. I flushed three times for the novelty value alone.

And then in Italy, I was similarly pleased with the loo that had a sanitising spray underneath the seat, which apparently meant that you had to position yourself and the seat carefully at a 45 degree angle just before sitting down. There was a helpful cartoon on the wall showing a stick figure going through the motions (as it were). Try as I might, (and I spent a long time in there) I couldn't get the jaunty pose illustrated after finishing and standing up - legs straight, one a half step ahead, one arm on hips, the other extended palm upwards as if to show how easy it all was. Well it isn't easy! You try getting from a seated position with your trousers around your ankles to that pose in one smooth motion.

I am continuing practising at home.


From Matt Davis

The Swiss Hotel in Turkey is equipped with a great deal of very fancy toilets which have left me unable to drive through a carwash without laughing like an idiot. Whist at first casual glance they (the toilets, not carwashes) appear to be the standard aerodynamic sloopy white porcelain kind, their seats are a little thicker than normal, and come with a sort of control pod. You may have heard of these things... After performing one's natural motions, a few button clicks start a little hidden fountain up from under the seat. You can alter the position of the nozzle or just let it undulate, you can alter the temperature, you can select different grades of water pressure or best of all, the pulsing action... Erm... Finally, the piece de resistance: once you retract the jet, out comes the 'bottom drier' - a gentle but effective draught of warm air. Very pleasant. As is the resultant feeling - cf. Charmin bear on TV ads. There are voluminous pictogram instructions, and emergency bog roll just in case you feel you just can't cope with all that technology.


From Nicholas Corwin

If you have the opportunity to visit the homes of the upper-middle class in California (and perhaps in other parts of the United States as well), you may encounter the decorative, expensive and mechanically inept [Specific brand name removed - Mil. Being sued by a lavatory manufacturer would leave me nothing else worth acheiving in life.] toilets*. Sleek and quite low to the ground -- those of you from the "squatting cultures" might feel more comfortable at first -- these models flush with a notorious lack of vigor. In order to avoid leaving annoyingly visible traces of one´s visit to the porcelain god, one is almost compelled to flush a second time, thereby a) obviating the ostensible water-conservation features of the more newfangled toilets and b) announcing to your hosts and the other guests that you have indeed deposited a hefty pile of dung in their bathroom. California is also noted for its long-standing state law requiring installation of seat-protectors in all public restrooms. Frankly, I would trade these for an overall higher level of sanitation, but then I am eccentric. Older public restrooms tend to be equipped with Crane urinals which sport a larger "lip", minimizig the accrual of floor-eating acid urine below.

*Note: Actually, the mandate is a federal one, so all new pots in the USofA are of the low-flow variety. This has resulted in [a] recycling the old toilets and [b] smuggling more effective flushers from Canada.
Andy "You can have my seven-gallons a flush toilet when you pry it from my cold dead fingers" Beals

From Chris Kendal

The first time I went to Japan I sat on my hotel loo only to bolt to my feet in fright as a well aimed jet of lukewarm perfumed water doused my ring. On closer examination it turned out that the loo was fitted with an entire computer control panel, with anime-style hieroglyphs to 'explain' what the various buttons did. After much experimentation I pulled the plug out of the wall and got on with it the old-fashioned way. Personally I'm convinced the German shelf loos are the best. No danger of splashback, you see.


From Steve Randall

Whilst not funny, I would just like to inform you of the most interesting urinal I ever saw. In 1990 my friend Mac and I were returning to his home in Nashville from a visit to the Huntsville Space Center in Alabama, and we decided to take some country roads instead of the interstate, what with me being a visitor. We were getting a tad thirsty, and realised the lack of suitable establishments was down to the fact we were in a dry county. Suddenly, we dipped under a railroad bridge that was in effect the county line, and pulled into the roadhouse that appeared immediately on the right. We went in, sat down and had a draught. Whenever it was that I decided I needed a pee, I trotted into the men's. There held onto the wall by curly cast iron brackets was an enamelled steel urinal. I had never seen one before, in America, England or Europe, and have not seen one to this day, and it was spotlessly clean and impressive, although I wouldn't say I would want to eat my lunch off it. I hope it is still there, and preserved for posterity. I'm sorry I cannot furnish Yawl with the place name, but perhaps someone local can figure out where it is.


From John MacEnulty

Late one cold, February night (or early in the morning) my wife (Dawn) and I were on our way home from a party, and she announced that she had to pee, an that she would NOT be able to wait until we got home. I pulled off of the interstate, and drove to a gas station right next to the highway. The bathrooms were locked, and the attendant (from behind a thick partition of glass) told us that 1) we couldn't have the keys because the bathrooms were closed , and 2) he had no idea where any other bathrooms were. When I came back to deliver this news to my beloved, she instructed me to drive around to the back of the neighboring strip mall and she would just go next to the car in the parking lot. As we drove around to the back of the mall, there in the middle of the parking lot, sitting by itself, was a toilet. Not a port-a-potty, no plumbing attached, just the toilet itself. To this day, we have no idea why it was there.
Yes, she used it.


From Martin Metzger

In the early 60s, on a bicycle trip through the Provence, southern France, my friend and I were invited to spend the night in a big farmhouse. I t had three floors and a toilet on each floor, conveniently located in the same corner of the house. Being France, in the early 60s, the toilets were the hole-in-the floor type. However, here the floors were wooden planks. The size of the hole in the top floor was maybe 15 x 15 cm, on the second floor it was about 50 x 50 cm and carefully vertically aligned beneath the one above, ditto the one on the ground floor which was about 1m X 1m. Needless to say that a) the consistency of the wooden planks was very interesting, b) children probaly were discouraged from using the lower loo, and c) the user of the top facility had absolute priority.


From Calum Lean

Recently got back from Moscow. The toilets aren't too bad, apart from paying for every one (about 15r - 30p). The trouble there is the "Badger's Arse" toilet paper they expect you to wipe with. (Some of the stuff actually has little sharp pimples impressed into it, which is nice. Not ) Even worse is when the bloke you pay to use the lavatory has the toilet roll in front of him and you are supposed to estimate how much you will use, and rip it off before perfoming your action. However, purchasing your own Super Soft Triple Layered Quilted rolls can ease this. Also, use some of the aforementioned self-purchased rolls to form a make shift seat (if you don't/can't/won't squat), as all, repeat all toilets either don't come with seats, or get stolen.
Basically, if you need a dump in Moscow, there are two places I can recommend.
1. The shopping centre near Red Square.
2. Sherevmetyevo 1, next to the Adminstrators office


From Marcel Liberty

On our vacation trip from Ohio to Florida we decided to stop in Georgia to meet up with my brother-n-law's friend. Innocently enough we stopped at a gas (petrol if you prefer) station... pool hall... bar... book store (used mostly)... video arcade. I entered the male bathroom by pushing the swinging door (like you'd have in a kitchen). I immediately knew something was not quite right. Amid the half-dirt floor there were several blood stains which I stepped over on my way towards the single urinal. I touched nothing but noted that the front half of the toilet was missing, though the rim sat defiantly solid in mid air. I as I did my business I noticed more blood on the urinal and "went around it" if you know what I mean. I left faster than I came in, and needless to say did not wash my hands in the blood ridden sink. I still wonder two things. Who got beat up (the "owners" looked like nothing out of the ordinary had ever happened) and where did that dirt floor/path in the bathroom lead to? Our female passengers had a slightly different experience. The female bathroom simply had about a quarter inch of urine spread evenly across the entire floor.


From Malinthas Draco

My sister's room mate Erin was at a college party at a friend's house, and as is typical for these parties, decided to consume a large amount of LSD. Finding herself in need of a good pee, she headed to the bathroom. Once she got in there, however, the LSD had the effect of making her believe she had become part of the wall, rendering her unable to move. The pattern of the wallpaper seemed to be engulfing her. After a half hour or so, and after she wet herself, some friends picked the lock and carried her out, still stiff as a board. She was horribly embarassed until her friend (who owned the house) said "You got stuck to the wallpaper, didn't you?"


From Mark Ashton

My friend/workmate and I would like to apologise to a member of the public who was using a loo in the Speedwell Caverns in Derbyshire England (where Blue John is mined) in 1985(ish).

We had constructed a new lavatory block further into the cavern and had just finished the new structure. The last part of the job that was to remove the old lavatory block still remained to be completed and I had just informed my workmate that as I was due to move house the next day so I needed to leave work on time. So he would have to demolish the old structure and clean up on his own as the job needed to be finished that night as the cavern was open to the public the day after. As he was due to meet his new girlfriend that evening he was furious that he might be made to be late. As our conversation finished Neil, who is about 6ft 4inches tall and 285 pounds of real meat, picked up a pointed metal wrecking bar and, still in a temper, hurled the five foot long bar like a javelin into the metal side of the old lavatory. The bar went straight through one side of the lavatory and beariud itself into the other side. He then jumped onto the top of the lavatory roof with a pickaxe and battered away for 20 -30 seconds puncturing the roof 10 or 12 times. The noise in the cavern was deafening and he was shouting and swearing as he battered the old structure. Still working like a man possessed, he then managed to peel up the roof in one corner. This action fractured the water pipes within the structure, which he'd neglected to turn off, and water showered everywhere. As he stood back to admire his handy work and turn off the water supply the door opened and the family who had been using the lavatory emerged from the door screaming in terror and running blindly. They all repeatedly ran into the walls of the cavern unable to see where they were going until they found the exit and left. They then jumped in their car and left.


From DW Macaulay

On a work assignment I was working on some mechanical equipment in Mexico with a fellow Canadian. We had finished servicing a large air compressor and I decided to go for a pee while he tested the unit. I had used the tiny toilet nearby a few times and wondered at the amount of water on the walls and floor. My Spanish insufficient to enquire, I though maybe they splashed water around as a cleaning measure. It didn't have the aroma of raw piss, at least. I was standing and doing my business when an alarming rumbling sound came from the commode, and I watched paralysed as it and the floor drain erupted at me in great spitting and hissing fountains. My comrade, having finished the test, had opened the pressure tank drain valve on the compressor - venting a 300 litre tank at 120 psi directly into the sewer piping (which clearly had no venting). At least the unusual "cleanliness" of the facility was explained. I am deeply grateful that I was not suffering from my usual Mexican diarrhoea that day.


From Greg Thomas

We went to Tunis for a day trip. We left early to make the first (and only, I recall) train of the day from Hammamet. The train was in the station when we arrived, and proceeded to stay there for three hours whilst they fixed a broken air conditioning unit. So we sat. It was hot. Tempers flared. But when we got going it cooled off (as did we). Upon arrival at the station my wife declared she wanted to spend a penny, and headed off to the ladies', when, only minutes later, she came back running, looking very scared. Asked to explain, she reported that there was clearly no hourly checking of said station toilets as the particular cubicle she had chosen had a toilet bowl (good start) that was full to the brim of faeces (bad finish). There was however, a small channel which she concluded that urine (possibly) could flow down into the toilet, but she did not want to take the risk. The smell, apparently, was "indescribable". So I won't attempt to describe it. So, complete with large backpack and desperate wife, we headed into the nearest hotel. It looked quite grand, and, according to my wife (for she is the expert of these things), was where "all the famous people stayed in Tunis". Fortunately, it also had a small cafe with street terrace, so I sat down and dumped my bag while she er, went for a dump. Again, she came running back in a panic. We left immediately (I assume the coffee I had ordered was returned, although there's every chance it could still be there), and another explanation was forthcoming. Here it is:
1) The toilet was unisex (ok so far)
2) There were two men in front of the mirror as she went in - one appeared to have his wallet out (still ok)
3) She found a clean cubicle complete with paper and a toilet bowl in which one could see the bottom - hurrah !
4) She spent a penny, and immediately felt better.
5) Upon exiting the cubicle, found one of the men fellating the other.
6) Exit stage left. Fast.
We have never returned to Tunisia, or Tunis.

The same Greg Thomas, in a different lavatory

Cross Channel Ferry, Dover - Zeebrugge A rather drunken affair with a few friends. As it was a long (overnight) crossing, we booked a couple of cabins. Upon entering the cabin, the first inspection revealed that the toilet was a "sucky, jet style" toilet, much the same as one finds on aeroplanes. However, this one had 4 toilet rolls next to it. A colleague ventured the question: could the toilet suck the whole roll down in one flush ? So we tried. It did. I thought I was going to hurt myself, I was laughing so hard. It was a two man job - one holding the roll between two index fingers (the fingers playing the part of the toilet roll holder), and one to press the flush. The sight of a whole toilet roll disappearing down a pan is one to behold. However, we were so flushed with our success (ouch !), that we flushed all 4 rolls down the loo, and sure enough, one of us got caught short. So we had to go find some more. Luckily, my friend found the cleaners' cupboard, which was open (as they were cleaning cabins) so we bought back as many as he could carry (i.e. a lot). Marvellous.


From Matthew Hart

Some guy called Chris got to write about the Japanese techno toilets before me which is really annoying. I thought I should add that you can adjust the pressure of the arse cleansing water jet. It's great fun to set it to "Give me all you've got you beautiful beast you!" (loose translation) and listen to the squeals of the next occupant. No, that is fun. Honestly. On a lesser note did you also know that the seats are automatically warmed in winter, can provide a fake flushing sound at the press of a button (to cover up your own "unsoundly" noises) and offer a full testicular tickle massage?


From Andy Cole

A long time ago (nigh on 20 years) I went to Knebworth Festval to see Led Zepplin so the image is blurred somewhat with time, etc. Brilliant wheather, packed out with peeps. The toilet blocks consisted of big planks with holes cut in with what looked like chain saws, the edges were so rough. The walls as I remember them where blue plastic sheet nailed onto a frame. The whole construction was suspended over a large pit roughly 8 feet deep at a guess, possibly being supported by the sheer stench coming from the trench. By late afternoon the deposits had built up, cone shaped solids, a lake of piss, pretty coloured paper to break up the monotony. And one bloke in jeans, barefoot and bare chested covered in shite peering up the holes, asking for a hand out. He didn't get one when I was there. Poor bastard.


From Edward Hilditch

I visited some vaguely impressive castle last year in Galloway, Scotland that is built flush (ha.) up to a cliff face. While there I had the opportunity to use their mediaeval lavatory facilities. The toilet itself was not impressive in the slightest, it was small and cold and damp. However set in the wall above the cistern was a small window, at the perfect height from which to gaze while pointing the pink pistol at the porcelain firing range (thanks to Spaced for that one). This window was a frame for a scene that John Martin himself couldn't have fully expressed. Waves crashed upon the rain lashed rocks, trees were battered by the grey and sullen skies. I can say truthfully that it was one of the most spiritual lavatory experiences of my life.


From Ed Schwalbe

A few years ago, I was returning from Prague to England on the coach (a 24 hour journey), so understandably by the time we had a stop-off at a Belgian Service Station, I was in sore need of a dump. I ran into the service station and found the toilets. My problems started here. The toilets were guarded by a wizened old lady who demanded 2 Belgian Francs from me in order to use the toilet. Of course, since we had come from Prague, I had no Belgian Francs on my person and so this necessitated me going to the cashpoint and buying some beer (which I later found out was non-alcoholic) in order to get the change. So far, so boring, right. But now it gets worse. After paying the women, I reached my cubicle, which, thankfully, was clean and modern. I'd just sat down when I became aware of grunts from the cubicle next to me. OK, I thought, that guy is constipated or something. Just about to launch into my dump, I noticed something creeping under my cubicle wall (which had about a 3 inch clearance from the ground). I noticed that the guy in the next cubicle had shoved a few pages of hardcore pornography across to me. Now I was thoroughly rattled and unable to contemplate starting my dump, let alone finishing it. I left the cubicle and found the elderly women looking at me as if I was some sort of deviant. Too embarrassed to go to a different cubicle under her watchful eye, I mumbled a 'merci' at the woman and had to wait until the ferry for what was probably the biggest dump of my life.


From Mark Divall

I come from Stoke-On-Trent, the toilet manufacturing capital of the world, and have used lavatories regularly since an early age and, as such, consider myself somewhat of an expert. Had a French friend at Uni and went over to his place in the South of France for a holiday about 5 years back. His mother was a lovely, kindly old woman who spoke no English but who showed me around the house. She paid particular attention to the bathroom, showing me the initialled face flannels and handed me the special "guest" flannel (faded pale blue) which was to hang on the rack with the others. The real, sinister use of the flannel became apparent only later when I was, thankfully, alone. I never found where the dirty ones were put.


From Tim Owens

Story 1

When I was ten I suffered from recurring bouts of tonsillitis. At the time, we lived in a small town in Far North Queensland, Australia, which had limited medical facilities beyond the odd leech. I also wore a retainer plate owing an extracted tooth a couple of years before. Being a growing lad, the plate had become quite loose, and I could easily pop it out with my tongue. Anyway, one wet weekend I came down with the tonsils in a bad way, and was in quite a bit of agony. My mother, for lack of anything more positive, kept giving me codeine to shut me up. Unfortunately, she lost track of how much she had given me and I reacted badly. I burst out of my room with my hand clamped over my mouth and raced for the toilet, getting there just in time to vomit lavishly. It was then I realised something was amiss. "Uh-oh", I said, which brought my mother in. "I've lost the plate!" I wailed. We both looked into the bowl but saw nothing other than the standard diced carrot. My mother's face was a study of grim determination as she plunged her hand into the bowl and fished around for the plate. Eventually it was retrieved, and after a quick scrub with laundry bleach, she thrust it back into my mouth with the warning that first thing Monday I was going to the dentist. Predictably enough, the dentist cheerfully informed us that I no longer needed to wear the plate. My mother refused to speak to me for the rest of the week.

Story 2

A few years back, I was out driving when I was caught short in urgent need of a toilet. I stopped at the nearest place I could find, a rather trendy cafe, and raced inside, quickly ordering up both a coffee and directions to the facilities. I made my way down a gloomy passage and found the sole toilet, obviously unisex. Hoping that no-one would come along in the next little while, I dived in and settled down on the seat, letting rip. Doubled over from cramps, I wasn't sure at first if I was indeed hearing footsteps approaching on the tiled floor outside, but sure enough they were. Worse, it sounded like high heels. A tentative knock on the door was followed by a polite,cultured, feminine "Hello?", to which I could only respond through clenched teeth "I'll be out in a minute". I finished up as best as I could, and stood up, only to be embraced by the most appalling smell. I honestly thought I must have died. Head reeling, I fiddled about with the taps and the soap, hoping the smell would dissipate, but no such luck. Time was running out, and the lady was clearly getting impatient, scuffing her shoes on the tiles right outside the door. Steeling myself for the inevitable, I opened the door to be confronted by the most beautiful woman I had ever seen. I quickly cast my eyes downward and brushed past her, realising I could never face this gorgeous creature knowing what she was about to encounter. I hurriedly left the cafe without consuming or paying for the coffee I had ordered, and literally stipped an inch of rubber off of my tyres trying to get away from the scene.


From Mike Wallis

The pub at Ribblehead (the Station Inn) has the best urinal view in England. After drinking a fair amount in the pub the first of our large group to go for a piss came out with a semistunned look on his face, and all we could get out of him was "fantastic... you've just got to see it..." and other such incoherencies. One by one, as our bladders gradually filled we wandered into the loos to discover that the urinals were positioned underneath an open window that looked out over Whernside and Dentdale, and provided an utterly fantastic view that was enough to occupy you in the 15 minutes it took to drain 5 pints of Riggwelter. Until you dragged your eyes away from the mountains to discover that just outside the loo is the beer garden, filled with a bunch of cub scouts pissing themselves laughing because they know you're "doing number ones!" pretty much in plain view while they're eating their sandwiches.


From Jaz Fresh (A name, I can't help observing, that - excellently - sounds like a type of lavatory cleaner.)

At the very tip of the Coromandel Peninsula in New Zealand, there is a remote camping ground, far removed from running water and electricity, yet not without a decent sewage treatment facility. The communal toilet for the camping ground was essentially just a big hole in the ground (a 'long-drop'), but it was chemically treated to reduce the smell and provide a more hygienic way of laying the foundations to a log cabin. All in all, not a bad experience, considering there's no running water or electricity to mechanically remove any deposits. Late one night, the sky being completely overcast and therefore black as a miner's armpit, I had to go for a visit, and took with me a green glowstick to light my way (Glowsticks seem to defy science. The give off an extremely bright light, but that light is emitted at some magical frequency that doesn't reflect off anything. Although they can burn a hole the size of a pencil in the back of your retina, you can't see anything /with/ them, and therefore they're completely bloody useless). After a long walk of stubbing my toes against rocks that the wretched glowstick wouldn't illuminate, I reached the toilet and took a piss, squinting in vain at the vague outline of a hole I could barely see. After I'd finished, the black hole of the long drop wakened my sense of curiosity. How far down was the drop? What did they put in there so it didn't smell? Ok, so my sense of curiosity was a bit sleepy. But I'd decided to find out how deep it was anyway, and knowing that the damn glowstick wouldn't prevent any more stubbed toes on the way back, I dropped it down the hole and peered over. It had landed about 8 feet down, and sunk a little way into the muck already accumulated. Now the bottom of the long drop was glowing bright green (think of that scene when Superman finds the green glowing rod in the hay barn, except instead of hay, it's human faeces) and looking not a million miles away from the sort of radioactive waste dumps in comic books that turn innocuous earthworms into those giant monster worms from Dune. I hurriedly left. On my way back, I passed young girl heading up towards the toilet. My face winced as I realised what was about to happen. Sure enough, a minute later I heard a shriek, a door slamming, and the sound of small feet running very fast.


From Sprought

My friend Andy packed up his belongings and took off for India one day. All alone, with a backpack, a couple of bucks, and a return ticket dated a month or two in the future. Andy's adventures were multifaceted and abundant, but his toilet adventure remains my favourite. After ranging across the continent using India's excellent (read: primitive) rail system, he decided to visit a small mountain village and find a river in which to raft. Unfortunately, the only transportation to the remote village he chose was by bus. Indian buses are not like smooth, restroom- and movie-equipped American Greyhounds. Andy found himself on a rickety contraption packed with peasant farmers (and a few roosters) returning to their mountain homes from the city anticipating a seven-hour bus ride. Now, the food in India is not the most conducive to optimal bowel performance, so it was only an hour or so into the journey that Andy felt a bit of a rumbling and began to worry that his shorts might be in peril. He clenched every nether muscle possible and rode, rigid, for the next hour and a half or two, feeling his stomach grow tighter and tighter, the cramps beginning to stab, and his glutes loosening... Then they stopped, apparently at some sort of mountain waypoint, with a small, ramshackle, Indian version of the highway rest stop. Andy immediately leapt to his feet and pushed past the farmers, racing into the building and finding himself in a dark wooden hallway. He stumbled blindly to the end clutching his stomach and saw, through his haze of pain, the word BATHROOM written in English on a door. He pushed in and found himself in a moderately-sized room with a hole cut in the floor in one corner. He raced over to the hole, put his back against the wall, and did his substantial yet incohesive business. As the afterglow faded and his senses returned, he used a magazine he had carried to tidy up, and then walked out into the hallway. Directly across from him he saw another door marked TOILET. He spun and saw, in the room he had just defecated in, a shelf with a bar of soap on it, and high above, a metal nozzle. He had shat in the drain of the shower, and, as he edged away, a group of sweaty Indian farmers strode in wearing towels, chattering amongst themselves...


From Alex Baden-Powell

1 Whilst catching the train from Eger to Budapest i found myself busting for a pee. Going to the bathroom I discovered that some dirty mongrel dog had wanked all over the seat.

2 A bar in Brno(czech republic) the bar inside has doors on its ceiling and it is very old and cramped and very cool. The bathroom (two unisex cubicles) is extremely arty and excellent with the floor and roof being made up of a mosiac of hundreds of pieces of chipped tiles. There is a urinal in one of the cubicles which is an old drinking fountain (well I hope it was).


From Gill Hickman

My husband, Jeff, is a marine engineer (this is wholly relevant as you will see). Jeff was working as a project manager at a Royal Dockyard and was blessed with the task of refitting a frigate (one of many, the brief is always to make them sailor proof, but that's another tale). So, to continue, the sewage systems were in the process of being upgraded, repaired and so on. Jeff and a Senior Naval Officer were conducting an inspection when in a nearby cubicle they heard a toilet flush, sadly the toilet was still connected to the water supply coming in but not sewage going out. The result being that the contents of the toilet was splashed liberally somewhere in the bulkhead but inaccessible (this being a description of a financial nature not a physical possibility) The Naval Officer went berserk and refused to allow further work to continue on the vessel until "that turd is found!" Jeff not being too sure whether this was a reference to the culprit who committed the unspeakable act or the actual object of disgust, located the culprit not the object and convinced him to next morning provide a specimen in a polythene bag and then take it personally to the Naval Officer. Work then resumed; no one was ever able to locate the original. The naval officer has remained none the wiser.


From Sean J Whittaker

1. The smallest toilet in the world, well the 'room' it was in, was located in the union jack pub in Ayia Napa in Cyprus (1991). On approaching the door you noticed a hole cut into it, this was roughly the shape of the bowl. You entered the 'room' and had to straddle the toilet to close the door behind you. Tthere was no lock, or a need for one, as when you sat down your knees were jammed up against the door. This helped to block the view through the hole. At least it was clean.

2. 1989 a gig at the labour hall in Farnborough, Hants. It was a basically a long wooden hut with a brick wall separating it from the next building. This wall was used as a unisex toilet, strictly liquids only, and as such was damp, mouldy and stank to high heaven. After too much alcohol Ii staggered outside and joined the line leaning, or squatting, against the wall and promptly passed out. I was later found by my friends sat in a puddle of piss and a pile of vomit in my lap. Needless to say i never wore those jeans again.


From Tomos Bell

I'm surprised no-one has told you about this one already. The toilet on the first floor of the Flying Pig coffeeshop (I'm not sure about this - it may have been somewhere else) in Amsterdam doesn't have a normal light, but it does have an ultra-violet light. Thus the room is mostly dark, and the only light you can see is that reflecting off things. And the only things which reflected it were patches that people had touched with wet hands. So there were fingerprints all over the room, and especially on the flush, the taps and the door-handle. Also, a significant spray of light on the walls showed the effects of flushing with the lid up. Quite disgusting.

The French lack of respect for proper lavatorial facilities is world-renowned and much documented on this site already. However, a couple of examples that have yet to be recorded here:
a) Going to the toilet by the side of the road on a country lane. Perfectly acceptable. But a couple of guidelines apply - firstly, it's best to try to find a spot out of plain view, ie., behind a bush; secondly, strictly pissing only! The French must carry toilet paper in their cars, though, as an average French country lane provides evidence for their flaunting of both the above guidelines, in the form of large, visible dumps, and numerous pieces of shit-smeared toilet paper scattered across the hedgerow and the side of the road.
b) In a cave system in the north-west of France somewhere, there is a large underground lake between several caverns. The owners of the caves provide boat trips for tourists. Thus it was that I found myself at about the age of 10, queuing up inside this dark cave for a tour on one of these small wooden boats. I didn't need the toilet, but presumably often people queuing there do, so a toilet had been provided in a small cave off to one side. A group of people went to use them while we were still queuing. The people at the front of the queue had just got a boat and were starting to row off across the lake. It was then that I noticed three things simultaneous. Children in the boat gleefully dipping their hands into the water; a flushing sound from the toilet (and the people returning shortly after); and a sudden discharge of liquid and material from a pipe in the cave wall near the toilet cave, into the lake, merely feet away from the boat tours.


From Wes Murray

1) Working my way through my undergraduate college years, I was a Sales Associate in a gigantic chain store branch of a major Hardware, Lumber, Tools, Home Improvement, Electronics, Plumbing . . . blah, blah, blah . . . Store one Christmas season, I was assigned to their Electronics Department. A Sales Associate is a politically correct way of saying an underpaid salesman. In the middle of explaining to two older senior citizens the reasons why Brand A clock radio was a better buy than Brand B clock radio, my sales pitch was interrupted by a cute four year old boy, obviously holding his hand over his crotch & holding his legs together, who asked, "Hey, mister, where's the bathroom ?" I was worried that the youngster might not find the Customer toilets. A quick look at the faces of these fever-pitched holiday shoppers told me that they would not allow me to personally show the boy the way to the customer restroom. So, I did my best telling the lone little boy the direction to the toilet. "Go past two aisles that way," as I pointed a finger in the correct direction, "and just past the plumbing fixtures, you'll see the doors to the toilets." The little boy, still physically straining not to wet his pants, kindly said with a sigh of relief, "Thank you, mister," as he waddled off in the correct direction. Somehow something half-way struck me uncomfortably about my directions, "Go two aisles, past plumbing fixtures . . . see toilets," even though I knew my directions were correct. And I was forced by the glaring eyes of my customers to finish my expert dissertation on clock radios. About a minute later, from the direction of the Customer Toilets, I heard a high pitched woman's scream coupled with some loud male laughter. Maybe either just a scream or laughter alone, I could have ignored, but the combination of both a scream and laughter had to be personally investigated! Turning the corner at the Plumbing Fixtures, I immediately knew the reason for the shrieking customer's scream and the man's hearty laughter. There was the little four year old boy, who obviously did not follow my directions to the Customer toilets. Instead he was sitting with his pants down at his ankles and relieving himself at one of the "demonstration-only" toilets right in the Plumbing Fixture sales area! At that moment, I really appreciated being a Sales Associate selling clock radios, instead of being the store janitor.

2) The Bathroom Too Far It was about six months after I had my lower intestine taken out in an emergency abdominal peritonitis operation (really severe internal blood poisoning having eaten its way, like a massive ulcer through my intestine. No fun at all! But at least I was alive! I carried a roll of toilet tissue with me when I drove long or short distances, because the many nerve endings in my lower intestine, were gone, right along with my lower intestine, that is. In normal people's lower intestine, those many nerve cells told them to go to the bathroom long before there was a digestive back-up, even worse than the highway' gridlock. I only got signals of intestinal fullness when there was such a bottleneck of crap that it was almost a medical emergency for me. My present condition was that my rectum and upper intestine filled up massively until I had no time just to hold on to my call of nature. When I felt something, it was a massive load. I had to go now! And I mean in a very few minutes! In town, I generally knew of all the basically hygienic public restrooms. But while travelling, I did carry my own roll of toilet tissue, just in case of sudden & horrible intestinal emergencies. Recently on a local highway, which should be called a 'long parking space' because of its 5mph to 10mph traffic instead of the normal 65mph speed limit traffic, I began to have these massive intestinal cramps, telling me, "GO now !" My dilemma was the bumper to bumper slow traffic and the next exit with Service Station Restroom was about five miles away. At the current snail-pace speed and the abundance of people and the lack of concealing forest, I was in a difficult and cramping situation. I chose to pull over to the highway shoulder, turn on my emergency lights & quickly rush to the next restroom. As I was on the road shoulder for only about five or ten seconds, along with my vicious cramps of a full and ready to evacuate digestive system, I heard that sound, horrible to every motorist: The wail of a police siren. In between my body-wrenching cramps, I looked back to see the flashing lights of a State Highway Patrol car. "Oh, SHIT," I said, not only as an expression, but also as an upcoming reality of my body. I cut off the Highway Patrolman as he said, "Sir, you're not supposed to drive . . . " with my own plea of mercy, "Officer, I gotta SHIT real bad !" My terrible intestinal cramps stifled any polite words like, "Evacuate, eliminate, defecate . . . " I just had to SHIT . . . and soon ! Briskly showing the Officer my 14-inch abdominal surgery scar and the roll of toilet paper that was standard equipment in my car, he looked at my straining face and granted me mercy, even though he giggled a bit and covered his giggling mouth with his hand. "Follow me, sir," the State Patrolman commanded. I thought about the movies, where the leading man follows a speeding police car to the scene of a crime or rushes a pregnant woman to the nearest hospital. It kinda was a waste of a Hollywood dramatic moment, two speeding cars on a crowded highway shoulder, just so a guy can take a dump, that's about ready to come out with or without his body's real consent. At the Service Station, I just bolted for the men's room with my own toilet paper in hand - just in case. I was surprised to find the State Highway Patrolman still waiting as I emerged from the Men's Room, with me about five pounds lighter in weight. He said, "Everything come out OK," as he snickered again. I couldn't sense whether he had planned his little double-meaning comment or not, I was just thankful to be a little lighter. "And next time, sir, you need to . . . " he paused, seemingly going through in his mind all my possible actions, considering my medical situations and the horribly slow traffic pace. The Patrolman restarted his law-filled advice, "Next time, you need to . . . uh . . ." and he had a far away confused look. Then he concluded, "Next time, drive safely and good luck !"with a very compassionate shrug of his shoulders and a slight salute to the brim of his hat. As I got back in my car, I wondered, "Do they make Porto-Potties small enough to be loaded into the trunk of a car?"


From Eric Kervina

While serving in the United States Air Force, I was sent on temporary duty to Price Sultan Air Base, Saudi Arabia, for four month stay. As there were no permanent residential facilities on the base at the time, thousands of American, British, and French service members lived together in a "Tent City." The sanitary facilities were not the most modern. There were actually two different types of facilities - the regular ones and the "Cadillacs." The regular facilities are located in tents. They consist of two rows of toilets, placed back to back with a plasticised canvas hanging between them so that even though you might bump into the guy behind you if you lean back much, at least you won't actually come into direct contact with him. Privacy is provided by additional curtains which extend on either side about to where one's knees are when they sit down. This leaves the front of each "stall" open. Some people think it endlessly entertaining to stand there and stare at their buddy who is trying to eliminate the end products of the delicious, nourishing food which is provided by the fine dining facilities*. The object of attention usually will be so disconcerted that his rectal muscles will lock up completely, leading to an experience satisfying only to his sadistic companions. But I digress.... The entire assemblage sits on a wooden platform above the storage tank, which is emptied on a daily basis via a pump mounted on a sewage disposal truck. The gentleman tasked with said disposal hooks a hose up to the tank, and turns on the vacuum pump. The periodic larger mass of solid will make the hose whip wildly from side to side as it makes its journey to the disposal vehicle. I have seen more than one unfortunate soul attempt to step over the hose just as it lashed wildly, taking the feet out from under the poor sod who was not born with the requisite brains to walk AROUND the whole production. The "Cadillacs" are referred to as such because they are relatively luxurious. The Cadillacs are portable buildings, with actual stalls for the individual facilities. Most of the time they are horribly backed-up, but when they work, they are prime real-estate for the discerning defecator. When flushed, the toilets empty into a large fibreglass tank buried in a hole behind the facility. This tank is covered with a 10-15cm layer of sand. The truck mentioned above backs up to the vent stack and pumps the tank empty. On one occasion, the truck backed up just a little too far, and the weight of the laden sewage truck precipitated the almost instantaneous collapse of the storage tank that the rear wheels were briefly resting on. The rear axle of the truck fell in the tank, which caused the sewage inside to slosh backwards, dramatically changing the centre of gravity of the vehicle and lifting the front tires well clear of the ground. A wave of stench poured forth from the ruptured tank, filling the tent I was living in - about 20 yards from the scene of the crime - with a foul miasma surpassing any previously known to man or beast. But the civil engineers had the tank empty and replaced in a mere FIVE DAYS, so I don't suppose I can complain too much...
*The last third of this sentence contains an amazing number of euphemisms, hyperbole, and outright lies.


From (name withdrawn as career move)

About 20 years ago, I went out with a friend to a ranch south of Kerrville, Texas, to do some surveying. The ranch was huge ----- 20,000 acres or so. So we were out there in the middle of nowhere with our surveying transits and everything and it was lunchtime and I had to take a dump. I ambled off a couple of hundred yards, found a stand of short mesquite trees, looked around in every direction (I was outside, after all), ascertained that I was alone, pulled down my pants, and did my thing. When I was finished, I pulled up my pants and buckled my belt. Within seconds, a Mexican man appeared from nowhere and asked me, in broken English, if I could tell him the direction to Kerrville. Mortified and surprised, I stammered out that it was "norte" and pointed the direction with a wave of my hand. He whistled loudly, and about 15 people ---- two extended Mexican families with kids and grandmothers etc .... scrambled down an embankment and headed off with my inquisitor in the direction of Kerrville. They were Mexican nationals ---- illegal immigrants ----- who had, apparently, crossed the Rio Grande River and were headed to somewhere in the promised land of Texas. They had witnessed the whole thing! I went back and told my friend what had happened and he laughed hysterically. He still does, everytime he tells the story.


From Nick Hoo

Just a short one for LOTW. I got sent to Moscow, Idaho (pronounced in the same manner as the Russian hamlet of the same name but named after the famous city in Pennsylvania) as a post-graduate student for a year. The toilets in the Capricorn Nightclub, which really stretch the definition, deserve a mention on your page. The conveniences lacked the style, elegance and comfortable atmosphere so important if one wants to enjoy the experience of a constitutional. However, the lack of a conventional Johnnie dispenser was more then made up for as one could purchase, for nay more than a few quarters, a bona fide "cock ring", presumably to enhance the experience for any lady friends one might meet at the club. I cannot vouch for the quality of the product myself and unfortunately, after selling "futures" in the product to several friends back home, entered the club on my last night in the US to find the machine empty.


From Eleanor Ruby Moon

You know how matches are an excellent odour neutralizer? Well, I was at work, taking a bathroom break sitting on the toilet and had need to light a match; so I lit one and dropped it into the toilet between my legs to put out the flame. A short while later I smelled smoke, looked down and saw that I had set my red pubes on fire; of course, it was a bit difficult to handily grab any water to put it out. I can't actually remember how I got the fire put out but, come to think of it - maybe that's the real reason my pubes are red.


From Damon Pipkin

Long ago, when I was quite short, about 9 years old, my mother decided to marry a hick. This precipitated moving us kids from the relative quite sub-rural life to that of a tiny, dusty, under populated farming (town is too big a word) location known as St. John Washington. It's truly and utterly in the middle of no where, surrounded by nothing. I hated life there. I was the outsider, the "kid for the big city" (AKA Spokane Wa, again, calling this a city is too big a compliment), and as such I was a general bad influence on all the kids, dogs, and other denizens of St. John. Recently, the principal had just caused a new gym to be built. It was a true work of modern gym-ness. It was so precious in its newness that we were only allowed to stare at it in amazement. After all, the school had spent all this money, it would be a shame to let anyone actually use the gym! (this being the self same mentality of all the school board members who cover their living room furniture in plastic, and proudly proclaim they have had the same sofa for 30 years!) One day, they relented and let us have an indoor recess IN THE GYM! We were amazed, walking around the new facility with awe "look, it has rubber floors!" After a few minutes, I noted a distinct condition presenting itself to my young body. I went forth to the recess teacher and asked to use the bathroom. It being explained to us that we should never use the bathroom without first asking permission, and second, that we are not to TOUCH ANYTHING other than the gym floor. I was rebuffed, since the "new kid" just wanted to be up to no good. She said I could go later. Not later NOW. so, while she was distracted, I ventured bravely off to the pristine, new polished lavatory. They were a true site. In all my years of public school, I had never encountered any bathroom fixture produced after 1920. Knowing that the new kid may be missed for my hourly hazing, I had but little time to spare... I crept to a nice, large stall, dropped them and let forth what must have been a truly heroic specimen. No small feat this. In fear of someone hearing the toilet flush, and thus getting another trip to the principals office ( I had ranked at least 6 so far, each resulting in beatings), I rushed away like a jewel thief in the middle of the night. The overwhelming feelings of guilt did not surface, as they should, since I reasoned, "why have them if you can't use them". This coupled with a bit of pride for going where no one has gone before, I was secretly proud of my little terrorist dump. We were not allowed in the gym again, for another month, since we don't want to wear it out, you see... Nature, an enclosed space, and time took its course. My little dump festered and maligned until the smell was detectable well outside THE GYM. The principal bravely went to inspect his precious and found, what I could only imagine is the full and unequivocal crowning achievement my little colon could offer. He freaked. The result was massive inquires made to all lower school children of "did you make dookie in THE GYM". We were all put to the question, but I did not reveal my dark, dark secret, until today. A year later, after THE GYM had been opened for regular use, the smell still lingered, and the toilet itself had turned black.


From Walther Barnett

My Dad had many different duties during WW2 in the RAF, (including being in charge of the Officers mess without actually being able to boil a pint of water, the poor souls), anyway he was also responsible for building camps including the toilet facilities. Once in the the Far-East they where building the toilet facilities, which basically consisted of a very deep hole in the ground, a 4x4 across and some very simple walls and roof. My dad's team had finished these facilities late one night, one for the men and one for the women. Being the person that my father was (I can't count the times during my teens that I have said: "Ohh, Dad you are soooooo embarrassing"), he installed a makeshift intercom in the pit in the "Ladies" and the team left without no further ado. Within a few minutes the first 3 women arrived, the team sitting in the nearby shrubs counting 1, 2, 3, skirt down, knickers down, incoming..... Loudly announced with an angry voice over the intercom: "Hey.... Were not finished down here !"
My father was until he died amazed how quickly they could run with their skirt around their ankles.


From Brian Caviness

I noticed that someone has already mentioned the Greek problem with allowing paper into the sewage. My wife is from Greece, and she refuses to discuss it with me, it seems like a fair question.
Another point I would like to make is the inconsistency of Greek toilet functions. In America there is a lever on the left hand side, standard issue, but in Greece, the seems to be a never ending quest to baffle toilet patrons. I have seen buttons that need pushing, levers that need pulling (like slot machines) plungers that have to either be pushed or pulled, knobs that must be turned, ropes or chains that must be pulled (or swung from). And of course a liberal sprinkling of holes in the ground (special note on that: In Greece they call the holes in the ground "Turkish toilets" and unless I miss my read I'll bet in Turkey they call them "Greek toilets" I think they're both right). They can be on the side of the toilet or above, on top of, behind or on a wall somewhere. And it never occurs to me to check the situation before I have already committed. I'm thinking about a coffee table book called "The Toilets of Hellenas"
In Thessaloniki I spent twenty minutes trying to figure out how to flush, finally feeling like less of a man, I went out to my waiting wife, who asked if I was done, and before I could elaborate further, she reached up to a rope next to the door (outside mind you) and flushed for me. It must be love.


From Stewart Brough

Imagine, for a moment, that feeling of security one gets, safely locked away behind a cubicle door. OK, this isn't strictly true of 99% of toilets in pubs as a lock is seen as a luxury. Imagine, then, the drop of my jaw on discovering, in my heightened state of neediness that the pub I was in (The Victoria, Baddeley Green, Stoke-on-Trent) had recently decorated, lock-enhanced, 9"-dick-meet-me-at-8-free sit-downers. And two of them. Sadly their "designers" had taken it upon themselves to add something else - a 2 x 4ft pane of *clear* glass slap bang in the middle of the otherwise wooden doors. Why? The view onto to the urinals perhaps? I shudder to think of the scene had the doors been sans lock too. Needless to say I did the quickest crap 'n' shine of my life - I had to, it was halfway down my trousers, and didn't have time, pre-park, to mull over such a basic design fault.


From Todd Sedlak

1) It seems that the theme of holes in the floor is nothing new, though in South Korea they are porcelain holes in the floor, how quaint. In some places they even have stalls around them for privy privacy. What they fail to mention is that toilet paper is not to be had in any bathroom, but is in fact only available from vending machines for a small fee. Is the machine in the stall? No. The bathroom itself? Nope. How about outside and down the hall? Not clearly labelled as to what it might be for, and I can read Korean. Needless to say, until I learned this fun fact, I was a dirty, dirty boy.

2) I used to be a tow truck driver in Detroit and we get some nasty winters there. During a particularly long shift of over 24 hours I felt the urge and stopped at a restaurant to avail myself of the facilities. Once seated within my exhaustion overwhelmed me and I was soon sawing logs instead of dropping them. I don't know how many people have sat on a toilet seat for any length of time but they tend to make your legs fall asleep. I suddenly awoke in a panic, thinking I had been asleep for a while and was late for my next call. I jumped up, and my now wooden legs failed me completely. The stall door, which opened outward, flew open and expelled me onto the floor, pants around my ankles, for several men to see. No one said a word as I struggled to my feet, pulled up my pants, and hobbled out.


From Paddy Robinson-Griffin

Some tourist-free (wonder why?) dismal little town somewhere in Southern India about 5 yrs ago. We (3 girls and me - don't get excited it's not that kind of story) all needed the loo after 18hrs on a 'local bus' (average speed c. 10kmph - I was so bored I did the sums). We went into a 'restaurant', ordered bottles of water, commented on the lack of tourists, etc., etc., then the girls went as a pack whilst I watched all the tonnage of assorted rucksacks etc. - we were to swap at the interval. My turn came, and I was escorted round the back, down the stairs, down more stairs (very dark by this time) into the kitchen (very sooty and filthy and squalid) through the sink (I am not exaggerating - I had to wade through the sink full of 'dishes'), up twice as many steps as I'd gone down to get to a tin cupboard on the roof (blazing heat etc., etc. - you can imagine). Indian loos don't use paper, you use a (missing) filthy bottle of water to dilute and smear your effluent thinly around your cheeks, then dry in the wind (as it were). Feeling ill, cack smears on my hand, no sink etc, I actually had to bribe my way out of the fetid tin cupboard (now locked from the outside - hahaha just what I needed) with some vile Rothmans fags I'd been trying to ditch anyway. Another paddle in the sink on the way out, and we left soooo quickly to start another 13 hour journey (If you go to India - fly between places, definitely).
My now wife had another fine visit - another Indian backwater unsurprisingly, where she was directed to wade through and squat in a 4" deep pool of cess - and pay 10 Paisa (bugger all, admittedly) for the privilege of having to wash her sandals and feet in Tea Tree before we could continue our travels . . .
And don't get me started on the 'First Class Lounge' loos at Bombay Train Station - really I don't think anyone would believe me anyway unless they've been . . .


From AH

After eating dinner with my friends on another occasion I found that I surpassed my limit and the food I had just taken in was actually pushing against my already-digested food. At this time, I was not a person who could freely take a dump anywhere, but I was at my wits' end and decided 'What the hell'... so I ambled on over to the nearest toilet, entered a stall, and delightfully emptied my bowels - smells and all - and, to my surprise, the toilet attendant actually passed by each stall spraying a lovely rose smelling scent to disguise my stench ...Well, Ii was happy until I stepped out of the stall, only to see about eight other women waiting to get into the stall after me, all staring at me as if I was insane to do such noisy business in a public place.


From Andrew Goggans

In America, particularly in the South, we have these fine eating establishments known simply as "Waffle House". Waffle House makes absolutely wonderful grilled cheese sandwiches and they're always $1.15. On this particular night, I was hanging out with a few buddies and between the three of us, we managed to down 10 or 11 of these masterpieces of culinary art. Now, this might be fine for the normal digestive tract, but not for my "lactose intolerant" shatway. We had been there for a quite a while, talking about nothing in particular, commenting on the fact that it must be corporate law at Waffle House International to have at least one female cook with a total of only 11 teeth weighing in at at least 240 lbs working at every franchise in America. During the course of this discourse, none of us had noticed that the mandatory large woman had disappeared. And of course, my lactose greased intestinal tract was giving me clues that it was time for a massive shat. I excused myself and hurried toward the men's restroom. I fling the door open, ready to drop trou and let loose, when, quite unexpectedly, I see the large woman cleaning the toilet. She looks up at me and smiles with her four good teeth "You need in here, Hun?" (Note: For those not familiar with the grammar of the Southern United States, it actually sounded somewhat like, and try saying this phonetically, in front of the mirror, if you wish, as it can amuse for hours "Yuh need enn haar, hunn?") I nod and smile yes, and she gets out and I lock the door, leaving nothing between me and a shiny clean toilet with which to get down to business. So, time passes and I'm playing with my new phone, chatting to friends all over the world via the wonders of Instant Messenger, when I decide I've had enough of the wonderful world of Waffle House toilets. I make a move for the TP, and discover there isn't any there. Slight panic . . . Look for paper towels. Just my luck, I was in the "environmentally friendly, hand dryer" Waffle House, quite possibly the only one in existence. So, here I sit, dirty bunghole and feeling quite lost, when I stumble upon a bright idea. I had a Kleenex in my jacket pocket for some reason, and I remembered what my friend's father used to say about coal miners. Coal miners will fold one sheet in half twice and tear a part out of the middle, leaving a hole. They then insert one finger through the hole, clean the cupboard out, pull the rest of the sheet up over the finger, removing any excess debris and use the smaller part to clean underneath their fingernail.
I didn't do that, but wouldn't THAT have been an interesting story? Instead, I fished some old receipts out of my wallet and used those to simulate running a cheese grater over my anus, and then used the Kleenex for backup duty. What's the moral of this story? If you fancy a good, cheap grilled cheese sandwich, go to Waffle House, and that really has nothing at all to do with lavatories, now does it?


From Rocky Shoe

In Yugoslavia, 1984, at a nudist beach populated mostly by extremely, annoyingly healthy and nude German tourists. The toilets are the type that is a hole in the ground flanked on either side by porcelain grooves to place your feet in. I wake early one morning with terrible diarrhoea pains. I run to the toilet house and enter a stall, assuming the position. My bowels let loose the most tremendous diarrhoea which explodes over the hole, the walls, practically the entire stall. But there is no toilet paper. There are no towels. There is no bucket to splash water with. There is nothing. I am naked and bespotted, and forced to leave the stall bespeckled for the clean and tidy naked Germans.


From Irene Danks

My friend worked as a receptionist in a very old municipal swimming baths (now sadly demolished...leaving an entire tribe of cockroaches selling the Big Issue). Ladies bog on one side of the pool, gents on the other. One afternoon the cleaner came rushing through yelling "COME AND SEE THIS...." Someone...well some BLOKE had "been" and left the most enormous log in the gents bog...not only did it fill the bowl, they couldn't get it to flush away (they as in ALL of the staff who were gawping in amazement at the amount of faecal matter which could be expelled from one body at one time). They ended up having to poke it to death with a stick to get it to break enough to flush away. They never did find out who'd left it there...and there were no clues crawled in through the door and skipped back out 3 stones hideous screams from the bog...


From Cherryfam

I was in China for a school trip, and we were taking an overnight train journey from Bejing. The train, although we were assured was first class transport, reminded me incredibly of a slave ship. Anyway, for those of you who are unfamiliar with chinese methods of faecal waste disposal, their idea of a lavatory is a hole in the ground. As there was no 'ground' on the train, we were forced to relieve ourselves out of the hole in the floor, with nothing between our bare arses and the blur of the chinese countryside. A certain member of our party desperately needed to shit, so, consequently squatted over the hole and did his buisiness. My friends and I were sitting, innocently, in the next compartment when suddenly we see something small and brown fly past, leaving a long brown streak on the window. Realising what it was, we avoided that particular spot, which remained there for the rest of the trip.


From Pieta

I have shat out of the window of a speeding train in southern India.


From Michael

Here is a scan of a photo I took of the back of the door of the gent's loo in the Siem Reap airport in Cambodia. I think it speaks for itself.


From Jack Jamerson

In my old middle school we had a toilet. This toilet was so backed up with crap that the bowl was filled to the brim with poo and the janitor never, ever cleaned it. When you flushed it, 3-10 seconds later it would chuck up clumps (which could be up to the size of a mouse). My friends and I would play a game where you flushed and then waited for as long as you could - My God, it was tense. One day a new boy came to our school so my friends and I told him that there was a cool thing in this particular cubicle. He went in, and four of us held the door closed. Now, these toilets were strange, as there was the bowl then an eight-foot pipe up to the cistern then there was a chain that went down to about five feet off the ground. Soooo, one of us went to the side of the toilet, pulled the chain over the side of the cubicle and flushed. The new boy stood still, trying to work out what we were doing. Seconds later the toilet let out an almighty groan and a barrage of unspeakableness hit him from head to toe - but before he could quite recover from the shock we flushed again and again and again and again, until we were so weak with laughter we couldn't hold him in. He came out covered in years of built up eeeeeeeeeeeeewww (the toilet had never been used this much and some of the first build-up had come out, which by now had become simply a rotting mass). My mates and I were nearly kicked out of school for that. But it was well worth it.


From Jørn Jensen

I have made some observations on toilets and their design - the design of the toilets seems to reflect on the people using them.
* Toilets observed in the Netherlands have the same 'shelf' as described for the German ones. A little bit too messy for my taste. It seems they usually 'prep' the toilet with a piece of paper, but I have not asked for any details.
* Toilets in Norway are mostly 'no fluff, just flush'. Quite simplistic in design, perhaps even traditional.
* Toilets observed in the Silicon Valley area seem to be made for 'heavy duty' usage, with extra big water container and extra flushing through a small hole in the bottom. One can only guess as to why this was necessary.
* Toilets on old Russian trawlers are uhm.. rumoured to be of the kind with only two footstands and a hole in the ground. This could work quite well on firm ground. Add rough sea. Enough said.
* The Greek system with 'no paper in the toilet' works surprisingly well, but puts more demand on cleaning personnel.
* I have seen old 'outdoor' toilets (no flushing) with two seats. Obviously made at a time going to the toilet was a more natural part of our lives than today.
* Rumours from Australia claim that there are places there you can only get ONE piece of paper at a time. I guess the alternative is the Greek solution.


From Steve Cultler

August 23rd my wife treated me to the U2 gig at Slane Castle (Dublin), which was an amazing gig. The travel from the hotel to the venue was pre-organized and we duly arrived after a 45-minute journey. We were greeted by hundreds of little twelve-year-old Irish water sellers each carrying 60 bottles of water (it was a very hot day) to sell to the arrivals. My wife thought it might be wise to take a leak early on, to avoid having to queue later behind 79,000 beer bursting bladders, She came out of the portaloo with an expression I have not seen before, and we've got two kids.
Someone had wiped their arse with their socks, left them hanging to dry on the door and had a huge violent vomit in and around the seat area.
This was before the gates opened at mid-day, do you think they remembered to retrieve them later?


From Jessica Grainger

In the glorious town where I reside I got so drunk I passed out (after puking my guts up) in the toilet of the pre-club bar/pub, then after waking up and waving goodnight at the awe struck bouncers having their after hours drink I left this establishment. Then in a moment of what seemed like crystal clear thought grabbed a passing bloke and made him take me to the local nightclub only a short walk away. Here I proceeded to make him buy me a glass of coke which I drunk about half of and then went to the toilet again, here I spent the remainder of the evening flitting in and out of consciousness, I gauged the timing of my departure on the fact that the toilet was very quiet and therefore the club was closing (which it was). Next time somebody complains that "they've been in there ages" just think it might be me.


From Kirsty Lee

I was in a small Indian restaurant in Kuala Lumpur and, after having a fairly ordinary meal, decided I needed to take a piss mindful of the fact that a well travelled companion had once said to me never eat anywhere without checking the toilets first as its a good indication of the hygiene standards of the place you're eating. So I've got the order wrong but head out the back anyway as per instructions and there was the bog. It was a smallish room right off the kitchen with no door. The room was basically fashioned out of concrete and dotted all over the concrete floor were turds of various sizes and shapes all just sitting there grinning. The whole room stank of urine, but most of it had run off into the small drain in the corner. Flies and other insects were buzzing in and out of the toilet straight into the kitchen. I needed to go urgently so I took a squat - but it was very difficult to find space to put my feet without getting them in the turds. And while I was sitting there half the kitchen staff checked it out. "That's the 22nd tourist we've tricked today with our fake toilet - wait till they find the real one". Or something. My friend got the trots that afternoon.


From Neil Raine

On this occasion, fortunately, I was not the victim but rather a business colleague who was visiting Nintendo's HQ in Kyoto with me. After a 'hefty' lunch, I retired to the conveniences for a typically satisfying dump only to be horrified that, even in this ultra-modern office block, the bogs were standard ceramic-hole-in-the-ground type. Fortunately, I had my wits about me and checked each of the cubicles, finding the last one to be a safe-haven of a western-style dumpster. Well, that was me sorted. After a couple of minutes sitting there feeling rather relaxed (and relieved), I heard my Scouse colleague stroll into the facility - his identity betrayed the sound of his £200 cowboy boots clanking on the spotlessly clean floor. Due to my occupying the only 'proper' shithouse in the building, he was unaware that such a cubicle existed and so got down to it in the adjacent 'hole-in-the-ground'. The noises, splashes and moans were rather humorous, and no doubt caused by the previous night's intake of dodgy Japanese lager which didn't seem to agree with either of us. I was having a rather similar experience - you know the kind where you explode all over the bowl, all the way up to the rim? Trouble is, my friend didn't have the bowl for protection and basically exploded all over his £200 cowboy boots. I'm not sure how long he was in there cleaning shit off his boots but it was rather embarrassing trying to amuse 8 ultra-efficient Japs who didn't speak English.


From Ally Telfer

Sometime last year, Euston train station in London. Being unemployed at the time I wasn't exactly using £20 notes to blow my nose with, yet I was fortunate enough to scrape my funds together to purchase a ticket back up to Northampton, where I live. And when I say 'scrape my funds', that's BARELY. After buying my ticket, I had 25p to my name. Now, since my train wasn't leaving for a good hour, I had bugger all to do to pass the time, but being slightly peckish, without forethought, blew my wholesome 25p on a meagre tube of Smarties. Imagine my dismay, when 10 minutes later, I'm in urgent need for an evacuation of the bladder and I discover that you need to pay up 20 whole English pence to get access to the bloody toilets. Cue asking random passers-by for their spare change. After many funny looks and 'Get away from me your freak!'s later, I still had no money and was close to springing a leak. Now as far as I know there weren't any convenient hedgerows for miles around and I didn't want to take my chances finding a secluded alley in the middle of London in broad daylight. There was still 20 minutes before they started letting people on the train and I wasn't even sure if there was a bog on the damn thing. Drastic action was required. When (I thought) no-one was looking, I vaulted gracefully over the toilet turnstiles, opening zipper in mid stride, dove for the nearest urinal and let loose with a huge sigh as I finally got to take a piss - I'm sure everyone knows the feeling. Great innit? Yet, on my way out of the toilets, my face drops when I see a big bloke with a crew-cut, arms folded, dressed in a security uniform giving me a deep-freeze stare. A few minutes later, he has slung my hook off the premises. I miss my train and have to walk all the way to Blackheath to skive money off my brother. A damn long walk it is too. Now someone'll probably tell me now that there's a public loo a two minute walk from the station. In which case I'll be slightly peeved. But still, charging people to use the toilet really puts the shitter up people with no money. Seriously, one of these days, some poor soul will end up pissing all over the floor in that place.


From Chris Henley

Two years ago I spent a month on one of the quieter beaches in Goa. The name of the beach escapes me, but it was a rural setting, lots of pigs, chickens and rice paddies. For a hundred rupees a week (about one pound fifty) I rented a house along with two other scruffy backpackers. For the price we were paying the house was fine, except for one detail. It had no plumbing. If you wanted water for washing or cooking you took your rope and bucket and went to the well. We asked the landlord what happened when we needed a number two. He told us to take a jug of water and go up the hill behind the house. The landlord did not mention that the local pigs kept the area clean. For the first week I found it necessary to take a couple of large stones up the hill with me. The obviously hungry pigs were not at all patient. Unless you taught them manners with a couple of well-aimed stones they would be enjoying their meal before you had finished your squat. I don't consider myself particularly squeamish but some things are too much. I have to admit that once the pigs got to recognise me and learnt to keep their distance I enjoyed the arrangement. The hillside was always clean, it was shady and had a nice cool breeze off the ocean and it was in every way preferable to your average Indian toilet.


From Nick Hoffman

One of my more quietly surreal lavatorial experiences came when, as a parent of small children, I visited the Eiffel tower. I had already ascended the tower many years previously, at which time I had marvelled at the clanky old lifts, and the view of Paris, and the urban myth that a Frenchman had once lost the tip of his nose to a sugar cube launched from the top platform, but the existence of toilet facilities had been unimportant to me.
On this, occasion, however, my children ran out of endurance while still at the top of the tower. Wicked thoughts crossed my mind of directing them over the edge, but I forebore and sought out the conveniences. Sure enough, there was in fact a lavatory at the top of the Eiffel tower. My children used the facilities, as did I for good measure, then we pressed the button and the entire contents were launched down the vertical height of the tower through some unsuspected set of plumbing that must parallel the creaky old lifts.
The absurdity of the notion seized me then, about the path that the wastes must take, down the tower, pausing at the various levels to be refunnelled into other pipes until finally they safely reached ground level and were connected to the standard sewer.
Since then, I have made a point of using formal or impromptu toilet facilities in as wide a range of tourist spots as possible. Perhaps one of my finest moments was on visiting the source of the river Thames in England. This rather unprepossessing site is a small stone-framed bed of gravel, not unlike a grave, from which the waters are said to flow. On the occasion of my visit, they were clearly not flowing, so I did my bit to restore vigour to the aquifer. Since then, the Thames has continued to flow steadily to the sea, with a small contribution from yours truly.

(And now a second entry. Mr Hoffman is Australian.)

Earthquake in New Zealand One ill-advised evening I set off for a night's drinking with a few mates in Wellington, New Zealand, while on a visit from Australia. Now Wellington is as close to a morgue as you can get, especially on a Sunday, but today was Monday so all was well. I quaffed heartily and dined merrily with my comrades, and at the end of the evening, after a cleansing ale or two, I returned peacably to my hotel. I retired to bed, aware that I had partaken of the bounty of Bachus, but comfortable in my own capacity to cope. And yet, how high was my pride, and how mighty was my fall to be... About 4 am I awakened abruptly, alert to the sensitive stirrings of my inner self. A small voice told me to make haste for the porcelain throne, which I prompty did, and in the mere nick of time too. I cleansed myself mightily, and again, and again until surfeit was reached. Then the aforesaid small voice suggested that other stirrings were afoot within my body, so I perforce changed ends, and vacated my alimentary canal from the other direction. And again the voice came, and I fronted up to the throne and poured forth mightily until the well was again dry, then another switch, and the other end... And so anon, until a final, restful moment came; as I hung wearily on my arms, suspended above the throne, and my body finally announced to my tired and weary cranium that all had finally been purged, and that it was safe to return to bed. At this point the problems began... My brain recognised the signal from my body, and acquiesced. With sheer animal cunning, my inebriated brain recognised that the time had come to relax, and despite the fact that I was propped on full stretch of my arms above a polished granite floor, it switched instantly to "sleep" mode. Some hours later, I painfully came awake. As often, I was aware that an evening of overindulgence had taken place. I could not quite recall where I was or how I had got there, which was not unusual in those days. What was unusual was the extreme coldness and stiffness that perfused my frame. I came aware that I could not focus on anything, or feel anything. My mind began to stir, and send signals of concern to my body. The returning information gave pause for reflection... I appeared to be stark naked, and laid out on a slab of stone. I was deathly cold, and stiff. My eyes refused to open properly or to focus, and a sticky wet pool appeared to surround my temples. In short, I was lying stiff and deathly in a pool of blood, on a cold stone slab. Obviously, I had passed beyond the pale and was now gazing down at my abused body, lying on the mortuary slab. I groaned audibly, perhaps with the intention of notifying to the attendant that it was not yet time to draw the sheet across my body, and as I did so, sensation and pain crept back into my body. By some mischance I was still alive, and feeling. I shivered and convulsed, crawled upwards from the floor, and regarded the monstrous pool of blood in which I had lain. My decent upbringing led me to swab the floor for some time until the bathroom no longer looked like an axe-murderer's practice room, and I crawled painfully off to bed. The next morning, my work colleagues greeted me at breakfast. I sported a monstrous black eye, on the downhill side on which I had slept, but otherwise had little to show of my flirtation with the trumpeter of Armageddon. In response to their questions I could say naught but:- "Don't even ask!" And when I returned home, I simply said to all who enquired: "There was an Earthquake in New Zealand. It was felt at its most extreme in my toilet, and I am lucky to be here to tell the tale"


From Sid Johnson

I once got plastered and ran into a 24 hour service station at 2:30 in the morning screaming that my legs were on fire and shoved my feet into a toilet to "put them out". Little did I know that the last bright sod to use the toilet neglected to flush and I walked out with rather vinteresting smelling socks. Suffice to say my girlfriend was not happy.


From John B Carter

In the Royal Naval Dockyard there used to be a communal toilet, built in the 1700s I am told. It consisted of a long trough, like a pipe split in half lengthwise. On top of this was a plank with holes in it upon which one sat. It was flushed by constantly running water. In recent times partitions had been added between the holes and doors fitted to provide separate cubicles. There were about eight cubicles as I remember. I had often thought that it would be fun to launch a paper boat from the top cubicle after setting fire to it. I therefore made such a boat, about 15cm long. This was varnished then filled with wood shavings. I waited around until the upstream trap became vacant then went in, doused my boat with lighter fuel and launched it. The commotion from the downstream traps was horrendous! The victims all got singed hair and, as I found out afterwards, one guy had jumped up in the middle of letting one go and had 'bombed' his own trousers. Unfortunately, they found out who the culprit was. At lunchtime I was accosted by a posse of irate shipwrights and dragged into their workshop. They stripped me to my underpants then poured warm wood-glue down the front and back of my Y-fronts. They followed this by giving me a 'wedgie' (pulled the sides of my underpants over my shoulders) then carried me outside and threw me into a static water tank. The cold water, very cold actually, made the glue set immediately to a glass-like consistency. It took weeks to get all the glue off. I would cut away as much as I could each night until I'd had enough of the pain. Getting the glue out from between the cheeks of my arse was especially difficult but was a priority job for obvious reasons! My girlfriend thought I'd gone off her as I wouldn't go near her. Getting an erection was painful as it pulled on any hairs still trapped in the glue. After a couple of days I had to tell her what had happened. To make matters worse someone reported me to the Apprentice Training Officer at my work (I was an apprentice at the Naval Aircraft Yard - we went to the dockyard one day per week). He sent me to the Medical Officer who reported back to the training officer that I had obviously been skylarking. This got me a month on jankers and I had to report to the MO weekly until every trace of the glue had gone. Despite the repercussions I'm still glad I pulled this stunt.


From (name withheld at defecator's request)

I was spending a summer weekend around ten years ago with about 40 other people from college at a friend's house on the Main Line in Philadelphia (one of the toniest locales you can imagine). The place was huge, but we were confined to the guest quarters in the south wing so we wouldn't disturb the rest of the family. Because of that, we were four or five to a room - people sleeping on floors, and in closets and any open spot you could find. So we spent Friday night consuming large quantities of adult beverages, when suddenly I needed to see a man about a dog. Each of our rooms had its own facilities, so I headed back to my room to take care of business. While I was there taking care of the first issue, I decided to clear up matters at the other end as well. When I finished, I tried to push the lever to make the whole business disappear, but for some reason it didn't want to work. So I left it as is, figuring that there was some trick to it that I would figure out when I was back to my old self or someone else would come along later and take care of the difficulties. So we finished the evening many hours, and many more cases of drink later, and I headed back to my room for a good night's rest. As we were turning out the light our host announced "Oh by the way, we haven't used this room in years, so the toilet in your bathroom isn't connected to the plumbing. If you have to go in the night, use the one down the hall." I remembered several days later, by which time I'm sure they had already discovered the present I left for them. I never confessed, but I did notice that none of us were ever invited back to their home ever again.


From C. in southern California

So we're on spring holidays at name-of-prestigious-university-deleted and a few of my friends drop by with some psychedelic mushrooms. I'd never had any before, so I went ahead and ate about as much as the other two, sat back, and waited for the fun. As it happens I'm particularly sensitive to our friend p. cubensis, and after an hour i was quite off my head, and furthermore had to visit the loo something fierce. "D'you want some help?" said m... oh so haughtily I stared him down. "I can go by myself..." and off I went into the cavernous recesses of the ladies' toilet. I got my business done without any trouble. I even remember thinking to myself, "well, I'm doing quite all right, aren't I?" and then... I forgot what came next. Completely. Gone from my mind. I had come into the ladies' room to accomplish the evacuation of my bladder, and now that was done, and i quite simply had no idea where to go from there. i knew there were a great many things that had to be done: find the toilet paper, use the toilet paper, put the knickers back on, put the trousers back on, deal with assorted zippers and tabs associated with same, flush, exit, clean hands. But which came first? In what order must all this fascinating business be attended to? And there I sat... The whole standoff ended some half an hour later, with m. [a male] cautiously invading the ladies' toilet to extract me. By this time i had gotten as far as the toilet paper, which made sense from a hygienic sort of standpoint, but no further. "Do you need help?" he asked from outside, and "...yes," I quaveringly replied. "Well, first you've got to open the stall door..." AHA! He had told me what came first! Fantastic! I undid the bolt with a minimum of difficulty and flung wide the door. Too bad I still hadn't got my trousers on...


From Kathy Nelson

I truly believe that women all over the industrialized world should apologize for squatting over what are clean toilets just because they are afraid some unlikely germ might leap up and bite them on the ass. Not to say that in say, Turkey, you shouldn't take just such a precaution because, in my opinion, anywhere you have to squat over a hole, or rely upon water instead of toilet paper is unhygienic. No, I'm talking about public lavatories in the first world that are cleaned on a regular basis, which, for whatever reason, some women deem unclean and squat over while they do their business, leaving a lovely spray of piss all over what was a previously clean toilet seat, and in the process marking their territory or whatever, because they just don't care that the rest of us would prefer not to have to sit in droplets of urine! In their search for hygiene, they are creating just the opposite of what they want, but of course, because it only affects "other people" so why should they give a rat's ass? Bitches! I have just returned from what was a wonderful vacation to Florida, only to be repulsed by the bathrooms in the Atlanta airport. Dear God in heaven! There was pee on every single one of the seats in bathroom next to my gate on the C Concourse! I complained to the janitor who happened to be nearby, and she let out a loud sigh, shook her head sadly, and then said: "Go figure. I just got done cleaning the stupid things, there was {sic}a bunch of planes that landed, and a whole load of women who had to use the facilities, and now I'll have to start all over again!" Poor woman. It has been my observation, over the years, that the women who do this have absolutely no idea how clean the seats actually are. Think about it. Any restroom in a public place, such as an airport, has full time custodians! They're there to clean the damn place, all the freaking time. More times than say, you would clean your bathroom at home, and yet they have no problems plopping their asses down there! Why should it be any different in a regularly cleaned public restroom? But noooo, they have to daintily hold their asses above the seat just so they can play at being elite! It's a conspiracy, I tell you. Because these are the women who wouldn't know what a bottle of Lysol toilet bowl cleaner and a toilet brush looked like if it came and bit them on the ass (much like the unseen and unheard of germs listed above). Ahhh, thanks. I feel better


From Heidi R Post

On the hydrofoil over to the Isle of Capri, I fell down the stairs and seriously injured my tailbone. Wet rubber shoes + metal steps = bad combo. Right off the boat, I headed for the Farmacia, where through sign language and broken Italian, my sisters conveyed to the worker what I had done. He sold me some sort of pills as well as a topical anti-inflammatory cream. I proceeded to limp around the island for the next 4 hours, when suddenly, the strange foreign medicine started to play tricks on my sensitive little American digestive system. It was off to the public restroom for me. Of course, in Italy, all public restrooms are manned by little old ladies who demand your lire before they let you in. At least, thank God, I was blessed with a clean, private room - with a shower even. After about five minutes of humiliation and torture, I emerged, tail between my legs, to the disgusted face of the aforementioned little old lady coming in to clean up after me. Several minutes later, it was time for Round 2. Again, I ponied up the coins and went back to my little room for more punishment. Probably 15 minutes passed before, "Senora! Senora!" (accompanied by loud banging). Quickly, I finished up and ran out, red-faced, clutching my stomach and apologizing to the lady, "Mi dispiace! Sono male!" Which I believe translates to "I'm sorry! I'm bad!" She waved me out, and I ran to find my sisters again. As fate would have it though, it wasn't over yet. I sheepishly approached the attendant once more with actual paper money in hand, but she snarled at me, refusing to accept my donation, and motioned me back toward my special place. I believe I left everything I'd ever eaten back there on the Isle of Capri. Next time I go back, I think I'll wear a disguise.


From Doggybag

I am an artist who has been making work about, and in, a public toilet in Barga (LU) Tuscany Italy. (If I'd told you I was a glass blower making gnomes in Stourbridge would you have believed me? No of course not, so do come have a look at the stuff that I have been making in the toilet in Italy.) Yes, I am seriously using the net from a public toilet in Italy. The toilet is more or less unused at the moment as the council built another newer one just round the corner (hmm, would they build another older one? .....I think not, so I should have just written that the council built another toilet .......I digress ) The council has their offices above the toilet in the old part of the town. There are 3 stalls in the toilet and 3 urinals. There are lights and more importantly, there is a cable coming down from the ceiling into the first stall before disappearing into the wall just above head height. This cable is one of the telephone cables from the council offices. A quick slit in the cable with a stanley knife, a $3 extension lead, a laptop and hey presto I AM ON LINE!!! There are drawbacks in doing this.... obviously sometimes it really does stink in here but as I said, this place is used fairly rarely. Every second Sunday of the month there is a street market here in the old town which brings in 100's of people, the Monday afterwards this place is just gut wrenchingly bad but that's only once a month. It is my intention to have an exhibition here in this toilet during late January or early February.

(And, because I know that you, no less that I, could possibly resist the line that said "do come have a look at the stuff that I have been making in the toilet in Italy.", here's Mr Bag's site - Mil.)


From Paul James

You could say it's not a toilet story, but I did love watching all the tourists swim in the 'warm' bit on my local Isle of Wight beach when I was younger. Even then I knew why the sea was so warm there; you could actually sit and watch paper wrapped turds and engorged tampons float out of the pipe and swirl around about 10 foot off shore... I think they jettison the shit a bit further out to sea these days.


From Dan Rife

I was on a high school trip to Athens, Greece when I first discovered that women 'hover'. I had to have an emergency dump and couldn't make it back to my room, so I used the hotel lobby WC. I was suitably surprised to discover SQUARE toilet seats. Up to that point, and since, I don't remember ever seeing a square ass. Later that evening, I was talking with a female companion and asked if she had used the lobby lavatories. After an affirmative response, I asked if she found the square toilet seats uncomfortable (using the knowledge that women sit to pee). She said she had no idea the seats were square. I wondered aloud how this was possible. She was the first female to describe to me the acrobatics women use in public toilets to avoid touching the seats. I have since made it a hobby to ask every female I meet if she 'hovers' or not. 95% say yes.


From Erin in California

In my group of friends, I am almost always the designated driver. One night we went to a club that had 80-cent drink specials at certain times throughout the evening. I went overboard on the 80-cent vodka and cranberry juice special and was pretty drunk. I decided to go to the ladies room while the rest of my friends were dancing. The line was really long, and by the time I got to the front, I was staggering and swaying. It was really loud and crowded, and I went into the stall, pulled my jeans down, and leaned forward to sit. My sense of balance chose that moment to quit. I pitched forward and hit my head on the stall door. There was a loud BAM and the entire ladies room went silent. I was trying to regain whatever composure I had left (and also try not to touch the floor with my hands) when someone asked "Are you OK in there?" I managed a "Yes" and thankfully the ladies room chatter resumed. I walked as quickly as I could out of there - I have never been so embarrassed!


(One of many) From Steve in Massachusetts

Ft. Edward, New York. It's laundry day so we're all killing time around the "launromania" while waiting for our turn. I, unfortunately was the only one to experience this, everyone else merely saw the aftermath. The restroom was very clean and nice, but about the size of a broom closet. Your knees are against the door when you sit. As I was evacuating myself, it seems there was a hiccup or something in the water pressure. This was only compounded by the fact that ALL the machines were being used. However it came to be, I heard a strange noise. A little curious and basically done, I quickly wiped, stood up, and turned to look at the toilet. It sounded like some weird monster straight out of a bad sci-fi movie burbling. Just as I fastened my belt and was about to dismiss it, the water in the still full toilet starts sloshing around and bubbling as if it's boiling. Being the intelligent guy that I am, I flew out the door screaming obscenities. I slammed the door behind me and everyone looked at me. Lots of noise from behind the door ensued. When it quieted down after about a minute, we slowly opened it to find the entire room soaked and faecal matter splattered all over the place. The natural question was of course, "what the hell did you do?!?" I really have no idea to this day.


From Libby in Michigan

I'm not actually going to use my friend's name for this, because she doesn't know I'm posting it here, but let's call her Megumi. Well, Megumi is only in Japan for about three months out of the year, really, and when she was little, she was accustomed to American toilets, which don't tend to attack you. In case you don't know (I didn't), Japanese toilets sometimes are trenches, sometimes are highly technological things with three buttons at least, some of which make noises to cover up the sounds of your business. Megumi was only about five at the time, I think, and she and her family were staying in a hotel. Well, it was late at night, and she had to go to the bathroom. She did, (no big surprise there) but she accidentally did not hit the "flush please here" button (I don't know what it said in Japanese, probably something more understandable). She instead pushed the "massage" button. I really don't want to know why people have a massage button on a toilet. This ended with a screaming, sopping wet Megumi racing into her parents' room and crying that the toilet had attacked her. I still think they should sue.


From Dan V. in Melbourne Australia

Tasmania, 1994
14year old boys x2
Scene is set:
Tasmania is not exactly what you would call "with-the-times" and in 1994 they built their first McDonalds in a remotely accessible area, sandy bay. Next to the McDonalds was a Coles supermarket. My Mate Bill and I had brought ourselves a goonbag (2-buck-chuck wine cask) and a small bottle of Jim Beam. Using some McDonalds paper cups, acquired by walking through the drive-thru we proceeded to drink all the wine and Jim Beam together. This is about 2.75 litres of alcohol for two 14-year-old boys, which was quite a lot really. Anyway, we decided we wanted to go get some tucker (food for the Americans) from McDonalds. So we cruised up to the door and entered. McDonalds was packed out 9pm on a Saturday night the queue to the checkout was huge, so we figured we'd go shake hands with the unemployed (urinate for the Americans) before waiting to place an order. Hasaan was on duty that night. And we had a bit of history with Hasaan, he was a 30ish latinish looking fella who hated our guts because we would sometimes, if the moment called for it, be a little messy in the restaurant. It wasn't our fault sometimes mess happens, but I digress. Bill and I made our way around to the toilet. The toilet was slightly bigger than a coffin, with one cubicle at the end, a single person urinal and a sink/dryer next to the door. Very, very cramped indeed. I beat Bill in through the door and the cubicle was already occupied so I laughed over my shoulder at Bill and claimed the urinal. Bill was put out that I wouldn't cross swords with him (share the one urinal for the Americans) so he came to the only conclusion that a drunken youth could and started to break his seal into the sink (piss in the sink for the Americans).Anyway it was about 10 seconds after this that Hasaan decided to come and see what we were up to. Remember how cramped the toilet is? Good. When Hasaan pushed the door open it hit Bill's shoulder and spun him like a ballerina, so that he ended up facing and consequently pissing on Hasaan and all over himself. Bill stood there wiping the urine off his hand (and still pissing on Hasaan's leg) proceeded to say "I'm very sorry" amid a guffaw of laughter and offering his hand to Hasaan as an apology to shake. (I think I was rolling on the floor at this stage).I'm sure you could imagine how impressed Hasaan was with this situation. It was like a Warner Bros. Cartoon and to this day I swear I could see steam coming out of Hasaans ears. Hasaan tried to speak, but rage made this task impossible for him, and so he turned and made a bolt out of the toilet. Bill returned to the sink to finish his business. I think I was still located on the floor. We decided it was probably a good time to leave about now. On leaving I stopped and pushed my way through the crowd to the front counter to apologise to Hasaan for the toilet incident. Hasaan was screaming down the phone line behind the counter, he paused to look at me in contorted rage and yell "Yee git outta place here. Poll Ice come now you for" I continued to try and apologise over his rampant ragings (hey I am a polite gentleman after all). Anyway mid-apology a stream… ok… a firehose on full blast of vomit flew out my mouth and all over the countertop. Hasaan went white, then yellow, then pink, then red, then purple and he was bordering on black when I swear I saw that steam again. I started the whole apology again, this time including the vomiting in the repertoire, whilst trying to rub the vomit into the countertop with my hands (yes, really). Saying over and over "It's OK. It's OK. It will rub in). This was Bill's cue to start rolling on the floor. It was this stage that I noticed the siren of the police arriving over the now-deadly-quiet crowd in McDonalds. Time to exit. We pissbolted (ran. Fast for the Americans) from the restaurant and split up, using the old one police car 2 targets theory (the theory that at least one of you will get away, as one car cannot go in two directions at once. The escapee is usually caught later when the prisoner who was caught gives in to the nipple-twisting and gives out names). I leapt the McDonalds garden bed to… *blackness* I woke 4 hours later to bill shaking me. I had landed in the gardenbed I was drenched head to foot (automatic sprinklers) and had landed face-first in dogcrap. Bill was laughing again.


From Big Dumb Ape

Now, this story does not actually take place in a bathroom, it is about events surrounding the incessant call of nature.
A few years ago my ex-girlfriend and I (not ex at the time) were on a month long road trip. We had been gallivanting across the country for about a week when we arrived at a little artist colony were one of my ex's college friends had ended up. Well, after listening to them gab as women tend to do for about fifteen minutes I decided I needed to the restroom. After nine hours and eight coca colas, I needed the facilities quite badly. So, after obtaining directions from an old lady who kept looking at me suspiciously I jogged off towards the bathroom and the relief it offered. Well, several left rights and a few lesbians (complete other story) I approach the final corner. As I was moving at a good clip and seeing through a haze of bladder pain I failed to notice a statue sitting just around the corner and banged my shoulder painfully. Being in a hurry I continued on my way and used the facilities (not impressive, but respectable) without incident. I found, however, on my way back out that I had run into an anatomically correct statue of a rather well endowed man. I had, in my haste, broken off a quite prominent part of his anatomy. Now, being the morally correct person that I try to be, I feel very guilty about breaking the statue and carry the broken piece back out with me. The look on all those women's faces when I walked in with an eighteen incher in my hand was worth any embarrassment I felt. I am now affectionately known as the anatomy killer to all who have heard the story, and I am as yet to hear the end of it.


From Rob in Dayton, Ohio

Every guy knows how much of a bad idea it is to go to the facilities at your girl's place for fear of stinking up the place. How embarrassing would it be to see the look on your girl's face when she gets a whiff of the smell, or heaven forbid if you plugged it up? Now does that apply to your friends place? Now, I really like my friend's girl and I really enjoy going over there and seeing her. So one day I went over there and had a good time, but after awhile I realized that I needed the facilities. So after popping a squat for a while I sat up and tried the lever. Can you imagine the look on my face when it got plugged up? I then had two choices, (A) grab that horrible thing known as a plunger and try to correct my horrible mistake or (B) get the hell out of there and blame it on the cat. I think you can guess which I chose. I used my stealthy powers and left the bathroom without saying anything to anybody. I just hope they didn't suspect me when they found it.


From Kristin in California

Every summer I go to the North American Rainbow Gathering. If you don't know what this is, imagine 20,000 hippies camping out in the US National Forest for three weeks... no amenities. So one of the first things folks wonder is... where do 20,000 people in the middle of nowhere poop without everyone getting sick. They have what are called "shitters"... 6ft long, 1ft wide, 6ft deep slit latrines dug into the ground, away from any water source. These make for quite an adventure. First, you're rarely alone at the shitter... even if you are the only one using it, there is always someone waiting. It takes some adjusting to, to smile at the guy or girl squatting next to you as you twist your face in concentration. Also, folks often forget you can't drink straight out of a stream, so the number of people with the runs is abnormally high. As another on this page has mentioned, using a squat-style toilet with the runs is not easy, or fun. Add to all this the fun of using the shitter at night, did you remember your flashlight? Sadly the guy there before you didn't. The icing for this whole scenario is the sheer volume of hallucinogenic drugs consumed at any gathering. Shitters are scary enough before they appear to be a 10-foot wide undulating sea of shit. One thing I have to give it up for... they don't smell as bad as a port-a-potty.


From Nigel in Phoenix, AZ

Not so much about lavatories.... but bidets… and Americans.... Now, here I am, living in the good ol' US of A through every fault of my own and despite the US Government doing everything possible to make it as hard as possible for me to do so, and I own a house which has, of all things, a bidet in the guest bathroom. It would appear that Americans are completely uninformed as to how to use a bidet or, as has become apparent, what a bidet actually is! What follows, are the various uses to which my bidet has been subjected or the reason (according to many of my guests) I have one at all. We'll start at the beginning and see how far I get before my mind finally pulls down the shutters and gives up for the night. My bidet has been:
Pee'd in.
Poo'd in.. (With a very distressed lady telling me the paper wouldn't flush away.)
Had a sweet lady wash her feet in it... and found water shooting up the inside of her legs soaking her right through her pretty lace underwear.
Considered to be a unique method of washing my dog.
Thought to be some form of English plant pot holder/watering system. (I was presented with a pot plant just for this purpose!)
A receptacle for the remains of well-chewed tobacco.
Considered the latest thing in European devices to provide sexual pleasure through means of rapidly changing hot and cold water sprays.
A waste paper/tampon disposal system.
Thought to be an indoor birdbath.
A toilet I had specially installed for my cat.... (The fact that I have never owned and will never own a cat seemed irrelevant.)
Considered to be a device used for softening one's toenails prior to clipping.
Used as a disposal system for neatly trimmed pubic hair... (Blonde and lightly curled… if I remember correctly.)
And finally... a device to cool down one's nether regions while undertaking some extremely strenuous sexual activity... which caused the bidet to tip over, wrenching the pipes out of the wall and flooding the entire bathroom. My "guests" simply got annoyed because it "didn't work properly"!!!

I have since replaced the bidet but with a warning sign placed neatly above it telling my "guests" not to use it unless they have read the manual, which I will provide if asked.


From Neven in Australia

The people in Australia (where I live, obviously) have been enlightened by their government. The government has issued a "toilets around Australia" CD (unsure about the actual title although this sounds fitting). It lists all the toilets on roads for people who travel on holidays by bus or their own personal transportation, I haven't actually seen it, however it was "proudly" shown on telly.

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