Category Archives: Toilet Reviews

You can’t have a decent shit these days without some struggling noisy bastard in the cubicle next door ruining your contemplative musings, or have to squat over a rancid throne awash in STD’s and piss. These are the best traps I’ve had the pleasure to become acquainted with.

Toilet Review #1: The Head Of Steam

'A HOP-ping good time...' - a human being probably came up with that.

‘A HOP-ping good pub…’ – a human being probably came up with that.

A little while ago, the Head of Steam in Newcastle underwent an extensive refurbishment.

Having been a regular patron of this iconic little dump back when I used to be allowed out after dark, it hadn’t gone unnoticed that each time I’d bypass it in order to head to a more pleasant imbibing establishment, the doors seemed to remain permanently and mysteriously closed.

In much the same way you’d moodily stare at the floor after spotting a friend of a friend approaching you from afar with whom you didn’t want to end up trapped in excruciating conversation, I’d begun studiously avoiding my old stomping ground lest I fall back into my old habit of spending whole evenings trapped in excruciating conversation with friends of the friends with whom I’d initially gone out on the drink. 

Aside from the more believable theories as to why it was shut which included rumours of a long overdue death in the downstairs venue bit, there came quite the inexplicable rumour that it was going to be magically transformed into something resembling the inside of a Swedish sauna. On hearing this news then ultimately seeing the occasional photo of the new interior being drip fed to social media, this fable turned out to be bang on the money as you can see from the photographs I’ve appropriated from Microsoft Google Inc. without assigning authorship. 

Sauna area

Sauna area

I felt quietly intrigued as to whether the brand new toilets in this brand new Head of Steam would be transported into the 21st century and include toilet roll, locks on the doors and actual doors themselves. Also of interest to me was whether the Hepatitis virus was still used in the cisterns when flushing the toilets, and if there’d still be free Class-A drugs hidden behind the toilet bowls to use at one’s pleasure. I suspected luxuries such as these would be a long shot, but I approached my first use of the new HoS toilets with the same amount of excitement and trepidation that one would generally expect when venturing into a WC in order to simply use it.

*For each toilet review, I’ve created and will adhere to a strict 7-point ‘Toilet Test’ to ascertain whether each public lavatory subscribes to my sky-high criteria for a pleasant toilet experience, and all future reviews will follow this. 

1. Toilet Approach: does it seem threatening? Do your eyes water on approach?

Thankfully not. Approaching the entrance to the toilet made me feel a lot like Sir David The Attenborough in that nature film he was in when he visited Planet Earth because there was a small rainforest by the entrance window that contained all forms of life that I can only presume is very important to the small but intense sub-climate the Head of Steam now cultivates. And feeling like David The Attenborough is obviously a good thing as he’s 149 years old and can still run faster than a car.

2. Toilet Entry: is there a toilet attendant inside and is he/she grinning at you?

Again, no, there was not another human being awaiting me with an extensive array of high sugar lollipops and disgusting aftershaves, nor was there a lustre of desperate self-loathing and an aggrieved sense of injustice in the air when I washed my hands and didn’t have to pay for that privilege.

3. Toilet Cubicle: is there a lock on the door? Is there even a door? 

I was vociferous in my joyful relief that there were now doors in the HoS cubicles. In the past when you wanted to do your business you had to ask a friend to stand like Batman at the entrance to the cubicle, warning people to stay clear in a rich, sexy voice like the way Gareth Bale speaks in Batman Returns. The locking mechanisms were also correctly fitted and in place which means management have taken great pains to ensure Gamekeeper Robert Muldoon doesn’t moan on and on like he used to about the lack of locking mechanisms on vehicle doors when he worked at Jurassic Park.

Click to hear the Head of Steam's gamekeeper whinge about locks...

Click to hear the Head of Steam’s gamekeeper whinge about locking mechanisms…

4. Toilet Privacy Settings: is it an isolation booth? Is there a gap at bottom/top of door/walls? In the toilet, can anyone hear you scream?

Disappointingly, there is a small gap at the top of each cubicle presumably as an emergency escape route should the entire building go into lockdown like what happened at my work the other day when I misplaced my iPhone and didn’t stop screaming. Speaking of which, I did try the Pavarotti Test and sang the crescendo of ‘Nessun Dorma’ in full voice whilst having a relaxing sit down wee. Unfortunately people can definitely hear you as I received retorts from fellow toilet users in an abusive vernacular hitherto unknown in the English language. So while the privacy appears to be good, it’s really not. Think Google for comparative purposes.

5. Toilet Use: is there a toilet seat? Location of roll dispenser? Proximity of walls to push against should the need arise?

Use of facilities was better than expected as is clear having mentioned I sat down to have a wee which is a rare treat for the male of the species. The space between cubicle wall and toilet is distant enough for a quality test of resilience, enough to not pop your shoulder or cause a migraine should you find yourself in dangerous waters during your toilet experience. Unfortunately the toilet roll dispenser was located behind the toilet and above my head which will result in you appropriating a backward slam-dunk stance each time you want to get some paper. Which is fine for any basketball fans out there but what about the rest of us?

6. Airblade Alert! Airblade Alert! Airblade Alert! Airblade Alert!

*The presence of the famous Dyson Airblade automatically awards the toilet the Must Visit Because It Has A Dyson Airblade Award regardless of how atrocious the toilet is, how many sheets of bog roll you cover the toilet seat with or how many times some boorish fuckwit bangs on your cubicle door when you’re trying to do drugs.

Head of Steam Airblade. Our survey says...
Picture used without permission...

Picture used without permission…

7. Toilet Overall Score Out Of 1000:

750 out of 1000 with plenty of scope and time for the facilities to be decimated to a pre-2014 standard of airborne-syphilis and doorless ponderings. Recommended. Would come again.

Lockable doors and unshattered mirrors. These truly are the days of our lives.

Lockable doors and unshattered mirrors. These truly are the days of our lives.

Barry Potter: Unpotted

So this morning when I was on the toilet I read a few pages of Barry Potter & The New World Order that I’d stolen off a child from the playgroup at work, and immediately became fascinated by J.R.R. Rowing’s weird little world of elves, goblins, drugs and chaos. So much so that I stopped reading and decided to write a brief review of it, as well as my private, personal thoughts so far. I should warn you before I begin that it’s an incredibly dangerous book that should be vetted by all relevant authorities then sent to America so normal people can read it and assess its suitability for the wider world.

Those of you who know me will know that for some time I’ve cultivated a somewhat unnerving fixation with a real Potter, namely Beatrix and her wonderfully friendly anthropomorphic creatures that steal, hunt, swear and have generally weak moral compasses. Unfortunately, her surname has been somewhat tarnished having been appropriated by that ubiquitous little squirt called Barry.

For the uninitiated, Barry Potter is a severely abused child wizard who likes to fly about on a broomstick fighting his arch-enemy Lord Vadermort who’s perpetually angry because of a life-long cocaine addiction which caused him to have most of the septum removed from his nose. Now he just harbours a severe LSD condition which causes intense hallucinations in which he visualises Danny Boy Radcliffe and Michael Gamble repeatedly attacking him with sticks, and himself gets his rocks off by attacking children. Both Barry and Vadermort have a mutual Facebook friend in Albus Tweedledum (played in the Holyrood motion pictures by the aforementioned Mickey Gamble) who is a grand wizard of the KKK and likes to wear his dressing gown, night-cap and slippers in public which, being something of a wise old sage, isn’t very wise at all given the amount of violent abuse dished out to students who wear their pyjama bottoms and Ugg boots to buy a pint of milk from the local Tesco Extra.

Lord Vadermort is played by him out of Schindler’s Lists with a funny name, Ralph Fine. It looks like Ralph but is apparently pronounced ‘Raaaafe’ as in ‘rafe’ which is all well and good but this isn’t GCSE English and I’m not a teacher.

Throughout the course of the books, movies, Broadway show, pantomime, cartoons, sitcom, soap opera and one man band, Lord Vadermort comes across as a whingeing old pisspot who moans about not having enough gak and hates everyone including those from a different background, social strata, anyone on a lower income; benefit claimants, asylum seekers, the working class, and anyone who comes into this country taking everyone’s jobs.

He does, however, have a handful of confidantes and besties with whom he likes to talk about dismantling the planet including insane News Corp emperor Rupert Murder, the overly ostentatious walking hairpiece Donald The Trump and all members of the Tory Party of Middle Earth, Middle England, England. Fun fact: J.R.R Rowing has said that she based Vadermort’s entire personality on those from the political spectrum. Here’s an extract from Wikileaks: ‘he is a “raging psychopath, devoid of the normal human responses to other people’s suffering”, and whose only ambition in life is to become all-powerful and immortal. He is also a sadist who hurts and murders people just for pleasure. He has no conscience, feels no remorse, and does not recognise the worth and humanity of anybody except himself. He feels no need for human companionship or friendship, and cannot comprehend love or affection for another. He believes he is superior to everyone around him, to the point that he frequently refers to himself in the third-person.’  At the time, J.R.R. Rowing caused a nationwide sensation when it was confirmed that she was reading aloud from the Tory Party manifesto, and current Tory stormtroopers the Primed Minister, Guy of Gisborne and Iain Dunked-In Shit are said to each have a copy of Lord Vadermort’s autobiography entitled ‘My Muggle’, and use it to inform home and foreign policy.

Our bespectacled little spelk Barry, however, has his own problems. Over the course of this inexplicably popular franchise, Barry repeatedly ropes in his two best mates, Ron Queasy and Hermione The Ranger, to do all his dirty work for him. Barry is a fame hungry tosser who got his place in the Hogroast School Of Witchery because of nepotism. He likes nothing better than to humiliate Ron and his low birth by commenting on how stupid he looks and that he has a magic wand but doesn’t know how to use it properly. As he grows up, he repeatedly leers at Hermione The Ranger and throws suggestive remarks at her at every opportunity. He knows deep down, however, that this is just a front for the confusing feelings he has about Ron Queasy and his flame-coloured mane. He won’t admit his true self though and continues to be a bastard to everyone he meets, including the audience watching. Barry is on the Premier League footballer scale of everything that’s wrong with Middle Earth. It’s no wonder the books sold 4500 copies. That’s nearly as old as the earth.

Ron Queasy is so-called because he looks generally uncomfortable with existing as a human being and fully aware that he is basically a figure of fun for the entire western world to take the piss out of simply because he looks he’d be more at home as the character Piggy in J.K. Tolkien’s Lord Of The Flies when all the other flies gang up on him, steal his glasses then squish him with a big rock. Needless to say, he has the last laugh as he ends up marrying Lady Emma What’s On? and having loads of babies together. (Not in real life, of course. In real life no one knows what happened to the lad who played Ron Queasy. I suspect he’s a paper boy somewhere.)

Anyway, Hermione The Ranger is played by the aforementioned Lady Emma What’s On? and she’s smarter than the average bear. When she was a little brat in the earlier movies, she was a right little brat. Bossy and vindictive almost to the point of being Machiavellian, I convinced myself that she was in cahoots with Lord Vadermort and was undercover in Barry’s wizard team of wizards like what Jason Bourne was in Martin Scorcheese’s brilliant masterpiece, They’ve Departed, in which Jason Bourne goes undercover as a policeman, disguised as Matt Damon, and Sir Leonardo Da Vinci goes undercover as a gangster in Jackie Nicholson’s motley crew of gangsters. That was an epic film. In the end they all died though which means there’ll be no sequel unless Michael Bay can bring them all back to life and add CGI and Transformers. Anyway, I digress. It turns out that Hermione The Ranger is bae with Queasy and Barry, flirts with them a lot as they get older, ultimately causing them to fall out, fight with sticks and eventually kiss and make up causing all kinds of media instrusion about Danny Boy Radcliffe’s sexuality in much the same way that Barry is gay in the books. Like Sammy and Fro-does in the Lords Of The Ring.

In real life, Lady Emma What’s On? has become an inspiring voice for the feminism movement, a vocal proponent of women’s rights as well as a U.N. Women Goodwill Ambassador. She’s highlighted gender inequalities in the arts and politics and become an advocate for the HeForShe campaign. She’s a God-damn heroine that one, isn’t she? Her next starring role is in the live-action adaptation of Beauty and The Beast in which she plays Belle, a Disney character who is judged entirely on her looks, sticks with a violent and abusive partner and is bullied into abandoning her hobby of reading in order to be a submissive housewife. Feminism ftw.

There are other characters in the book as well but it’s mainly about Barry and his massive ego. In the end, they all do loads of speed, have a party and Lord Vadermort is written out by J.R.R Rowing who wanted to stop writing children’s horror stories in order to be a grown up writer like Dan Brown.

Overall, I thought it was good. Good but not great. It would be much better with Terminators in it. Preferably T-1000 but I’d be happy with Cyberdyne Systems Model 101.

For those of you who didn’t like it, including me, here’s a better wizard than Barry Potter:

Fuckity Fuck Bobbins

My blog is coming soon…

Very soon, there’s going to be a lot of offensive writing here. Fuckity fuck bobbins. See?