No toilets deserve to be described as ‘the bog’ more than those you find in British pubs.
Portrait of a pub toilet
At its worst: chipped tiles, damp chipboard partitions and wet floors; blinking fluorescent light; a toilet seat leaning against the wall, a cubicle door without a bolt, no toilet roll. Hasn’t that bit of chewing gum been in the urinal, next to the disintegrating cigarette end, for the last two weeks? The floor is wet. A piece of paper on the wall says, mockingly: “These toilets are inspected regularly.” Abandon hope all ye who enter here.
The ladies have it good
Bailey emerges from ‘the gents’ with a horrified look on his face, hands dripping wet: “Ugh. That was horrible. No soap, hand-drier busted. Need to throw these shoes away. How were the ladies?” Boak looks puzzled. “Lovely, actually. Really beautifully decorated, and clean… wow! I could see my face reflected in the tiles. And feel how soft my hands are – free balm!”
Nice pubs can have horrible bogs, and vice versa
We’ve been in posh pubs whose toilets are nonetheless iredeemably bad, as if they’d spent every penny on ‘limited edition art prints’ and had to cut back on soap and cleaning products as a result. They know that a code of silence exists: no-one wants to talk about the toilets over their rustic duck pate.
Seriously, no soap? What the…?
We don’t expect all pubs to have the palacial facilities of a Wetherspoons, or bar staff to spend their whole shift mopping up wee. We can deal with no locks on the cubicles (lean against the door, loud whistling… there are ways) and all the other indignities. But we must have soap. A bar of coal tar would do.
All we want, truly, is to be able to share a bag of crisps with our friends with a clear conscience.
Picture from Flickr Creative Commons. This post is our contribution to Pub Bog Day 2012.