Posted by: Didapper PJ26 FEB 2014
Public lavatories in Britain are something of a mystery to me.
The first mystery is why the facilities are always allocated in a way that seems biased against the fairer sex. Women commonly have to queue for a vacant cubicle whereas men hardly ever need to wait — apart from loitering until their womenfolk reappear.
This inequity occurs in airports, shopping malls, concert halls, car parks, sports grounds, museums, superstores, cinemas — wherever. Why have the architects of these places still not twigged that they need to adjust the balance further to reduce the inconvenience of their conveniences?
Secondly, why do so many public loos offer us toilet paper that is perforated to provide sheets that are more than three times the length of the typical domestic product?
In the interest of scientific research, I recently liberated a length of loo roll from a local shopping centre toilet and found that each sheet was a mere 9cm wide but more than 39cm long. In contrast, the bumwipe I normally buy for home use has sheets measuring 12cm by 11cm. Practical experience suggests that this is a perfectly adequate size.
A third mystery crops up when it comes to washing your hands after using the facilities. Instead of sensibly installing mixer taps, so that you can wash in water at a temperature to your liking, British public loos, if they offer hot water at all, usually give you separate hot and cold taps, even though it is impossible to mix a bowlful of warm water because the sink plug has invariably been stolen.
You therefore have to wash under running water that is either icy cold or boiling hot, depending on the tap you choose. Or in some cases it is either icy cold or icy cold, despite the letter H or the red blob on one of the taps.
Nevertheless, we should be grateful that much of Britain still has a reasonable provision of public lavatories and we do not have to keep dodging into cafes for an unwanted cup of coffee so that we can make use of their customer-only facilities.