I was all set for a post in regard to pub toilets, then a quick read of the blogs informed me the following gentleman, Curmudgy, had beat me to a toilet related posting. Whilst his post is a reasoned and articulate perspective on plans to coerce public houses into becoming public toilets (presumably by doing them up), this is nothing of the sort. Nor is it a reaction. It’s a co-incidence. Serendipity, I was going to blog about bogs anyway.
From the state of most public toilets compared to public houses, I think I know the most hygienic place to sit down, and it’s not in the snug of the Pig and Ferret. Most boozers are dumps, whilst many modern public lavatories are clean, working, comfortable and have enough loo roll for a comfortable, enjoyable even, dump.
However, if truth be told, everyone on the planet has at one time or another had a McShit. People claim to have never been in a McDonalds in the same way they claim not to watch Coronation Street, out of snob value. The truth, however, is the truth, and whilst I can accept the notion of never having eaten a Big Mac, I disbelieve anyone that claims they have never had a McShit.
A McShit marks you out not as a burger chomping chav, but as a citizen of the world. A traveller and explorer to new and exotic places. To have been too far flung places, to have been unable to find a toilet or ask a local, and seen a golden arches just as the turtles head is appearing. It is travelling as the romantic notion of a bye gone era, not as simply a means to going somewhere.
A McShit is not one of the sandwiches or drinks, a McShit is when you are caught short and the only place to pop for a dump is the welcoming glow of the golden arches. You can walk in, drop your guts, and leave without buying a thing. You can do this in other franchise food outlets and I personally recommend the toilets at Wetherspoons. They’ve won awards for the bogs in there. You can have a dump, not buy anything, and no one questions you.
In an unfamiliar area yesterday, I needed the bog, and noticed a nearby pub. There was nothing else nearby, so I braced myself to face a pub toilet. The bogs were across from the main room, so I strolled in and walked to the clearly marked gents sign. Whilst the pub was a dump, and the clientele clearly a bunch of local criminals and chavery, the bogs were surprisingly clean. Upon discovering this I thought I’d treat myself to a dump. A satisfying one it was too. The flush didn’t work, so I left the toilet with an impressively large floater, but managed to clean my hands before departing. Upon walking towards the door, the landlord collared me “It’s not a public toilet, pal” he said. “But it is a public house”, I replied, “And I thank you for the use of your convenience, to a traveller unfamiliar with the area. You have a lovely establishment. I shall return for a drink when my business is concluded” With that I left. I didn’t return. He appeared to have no branded glassware, so there was nothing to nick, and anyway I didn’t like the look of the locals.
It got me thinking, however, in regard to a pubs social responsibilities and its role in the community. Whilst these places may very well be businesses, they are open to the public and trade on what’s called “hospitality”. Hospitality being a welcoming environment. Landlords that moan about having to be hospitable and think their gaff is just a licence to sell grog are not really running public houses. When I’m Prime Minister it shall be a law that pubs have to open their bogs to anyone that enters, and as for paying them taxpayers money for the privilege, they can bog off.