45 comments on “Weird, just weird

  1. The extreme litigiousness here is due to the almost universal carrying of legal insurance. Once you don’t have to stake a single penny of your own you end up suing people all the time.

    Landlord/tenant disputes are especially common, and the weird ones always get picked up by the press. Like this one, they mostly serve to define the fine line between everyday wear-and-tear (which is the landlord’s problem) and negligent damage (which the tenant has to compensate the landlord for).

  2. Oddly enough, while I pee standing up almost everywhere, in the comfort of my own bathroom, I like to pee sat down.

    I also like to pee in the garden (standing up of course).

    Sorry chaps if that’s too much information…

  3. When I lived in Germany my tenancy agreement specified that I must be a “sitzpinkler”. Well, I just carried on stehpinkling. How on earth would they ever know? (OTOH given the curious German fascination with all things piss-and-shit-related, I wouldn’t put it past them to rig up inspection cameras under the auspices of the Bundesarschampt, with on the spot fines when the Bottom Inspector pays a visit.)

    Funny place, Germany. In our office we got a new lady boss who promptly banned the wearing of ties because they were sexist. Since I never liked wearing one I was happy to comply. Additionally I noticed in Sweden a few years back that angry feminists were insisting men should piss sitting down. Something to do with patriarchal dominance or somesuch wiffle. I daresay these things are coming soon to a Harridan Harperson near us.

  4. Luke – “I am told that sitzplinker has the alternative meaning of wimp – bit like quiche eater.”

    If it didn’t before, it damn well ought to now.

  5. Luke: looks more like ‘plonker’ to me, with your spelling!

    Of course, with the German loo’s inspection platform, the incidence of splash-back is rather greater than hierzulande.

  6. Matthew L: You really shouldn’t be emptying your bowels in the pool. Think of the poor people who have to clean up after you.

  7. I always liked the French idea of stand up shitters, must be careful when you flush though. Though, what it is about the northern European fascination with toiletten etiquette, God only knows.

  8. > the German loo’s inspection platform

    This nonsense. The Germans never saw a problem they couldn’t fix with engineering, and so they fixed the problem of toilet water splashing on your anus, which I hope we can all agree is just awful. It’s not a shit-inspection platform; it’s an anti-splash shelf. The Germans have no more interest than anyone else in inspecting turds. It’s only the British, faced with this (to them) baffling bit of industrial design, who say, “Ah, yes, well, that’s obviously a shit-inspection shelf. Very keen on inspecting shit, the Germans. Not like us at all. Such a thing would never even occur to a good honest Brit. Not in a million years.” To which Germans respond “Sorry, you think we do what?”

  9. Squander Two – “It’s only the British, faced with this (to them) baffling bit of industrial design, who say, “Ah, yes, well, that’s obviously a shit-inspection shelf.””

    Actually it was Erica Jong who made the most famous comment on German toilets. And she was not British. Jewish American – like most feminists.

    “German toilets are really the key to the horrors of the Third Reich. People who can build toilets like this are capable of anything.”

    Also mad. Like most feminists.

  10. In our office we got a new lady boss who promptly banned the wearing of ties because they were sexist.

    If somebody told me more than once to stop wearing a tie at work, I’d politely tell them to shove it.

  11. BiG
    You should try Japanese toilets: when you’ve finished they squirt water at your ar*e, then dry it with warm air. Quite a shock the first time I can tell you.

  12. SQ2: No. That explanation is incredible. One of the purposes of a WC is to cut down on stench by submerging the filth. So the Germans, in their supposed ingenuity, are quite happy to have their shite lie there in the open air and stink out the entire room–if not the entire floor–rather than risk a tiny splashback?

    The explanation–that big meat-eaters inc raw/semi-raw meat want to check if they have worms seems much more likely.

  13. Additionally I noticed in Sweden a few years back that angry feminists were insisting men should piss sitting down. Something to do with patriarchal dominance or somesuch wiffle. I daresay these things are coming soon to a Harridan Harperson near us.

    Probably something to do with this nonsense:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Potty_parity

    http://time.com/3653871/womens-bathroom-lines-sexist-potty-parity/

    I know quite a few skippers insist that men sit, or at least kneel, when using the heads, especially at sea. I don’t but I do insist that if they don’t they clean up after themselves.

    As for me I find that if I sit for a piss I can’t empty my bladder properly and need to go again as soon as I stand up. Maybe its my plumbing but its damned inconvenient.

  14. Sebastian Weetabix – “In our office we got a new lady boss who promptly banned the wearing of ties because they were sexist.”

    For realsies?

    Ties are going out of style in our business because the new CEO is a fan of the Richard Branson look.

    Under the old boss, who probably wore a tie and cufflinks while in the bath, if you were seen without a silk noose around your neck you’d be subjected to snarky comments about business casual.

    The new boss prefers to give us an unobstructed peek at the top of his luxuriant chest hair, so overnight there was a senior management style revolution. Nobody said “don’t wear a tie, chaps”, everybody just started copying the cool kid.

    I’m wondering if having to look at the corporate alpha primate’s Sean Connery-style bosom-fur isn’t actually a worse microaggression against feminist sensibilities than anything the Brooks Brothers or Hermes could have devised.

  15. @Jonathan, I came across that in Taiwan. Fortunately it had an off-switch. Actually, I’d love to have a bidet at home but the bathroom isn’t big enough. I don’t think I could cope with having it combined with the toilet. Just seems wrong.

    I would also wear a tie if told not to.

    Splashback occurs irrespective of the distance from anus to shelf or pool. The further it is the higher the velocity with which the shit hits the whatever, and thus the higher the splash goes. The solution is a couple of sheets on top of the splashy surface.

  16. Having lived for several years in Germany, I’ve always found the “Shit inspection shelf” curious, not for the potential of examining your turds in all their glory, but rather that it exposes the turds to air rather than water, thus allowing the turdy miasma to overwhelm the bathroom, unlike the British water closet which just drowns the fuckers.

    All I can say is that it’s a quiet evening here in Penang.

  17. My Dad told me the German shit shelf was invented because the Krauts are stingy bastards and want to retrieve their peanuts.

    He also told me that the Child Catcher from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang was a real person and he’d get me if I didn’t walk the dog.

    And if I ever shook up his cans of beer when fetching them from the fridge, they’d cause an atomic explosion and he’d die.

    I was a bit slow on the uptake, so didn’t work out till later in life that his main hobby was lying to children.

  18. @Steve: for realsies. 100%. She said they were phallocentric representations of masculine aggression and dominance and therefore “nicht erlaubt”. I really hate wearing a tie so I wasn’t complaining. Imagine if they’d never existed and someone came along with it. A noose round your neck, cutting off the air, which you can’t clean and gets caught in machinery? You’d tell them to fuck off.

    Feminist dreck aside she was actually a really good manager and sacked various politicking mid-management primates, to everyone’s enormous satisfaction. Her MO was to go round asking people what they did. Those who merely gave a job title and couldn’t explain their activities in plain language were soon out. She got shot of 4 layers of management. Even answered her own phone and gave her mobile no. to everyone, which is unusual in my experience of German CEOs.

  19. @Sebastian Weetabix

    You do realise that the origin of the tie was the cravat?

    Made some sense when we were riding horses perhaps, but now that we mostly don’t time for it to be ditched along with the buggy whip.

  20. “Sitzpinkler” (capitalised as it’s a noun) is indeed a German word for wimp – because men dominated by their Sixties feminist mothers were taught to pee sitting down to minimise splashing and the attendant workload placed on the poor Hausfrau. Kind of a Millie Tant-era “mummy’s boy”

  21. SQ2: Doesn’t abolish stench but it does minimise it. Switch your water off , drain your toilet and then flush afterwards with a bucket of water. The difference will be very noticeable.

  22. The solution is a couple of sheets on top of the splashy surface.

    Also helps prevent skidmarks in the pan, if you care about leaving the office crapper stain-free.

  23. I am amazed at the contention that the miracle of submersion prevents smellsome bathrooms. Pretty sure my wife would disagree.

    Not particularly bothered about smelly bathrooms, but then when I’m working in an office I always go to the stalls on the bureaucracy floor if I need a dump.

  24. S2: and so they fixed the problem of toilet water splashing on your anus, which I hope we can all agree is just awful

    As a citizen of the Federal Republic I’m always glad to have the arcana of my cultural heritage pointed out to me.

    Have I overlooked a time and motion (!) study which demonstrated how my fellow Germans are so well engineered as to activate the flush while still seated?

    Gives a whole new and urgent meaning to Vorsprung durch Technik

  25. Back to the original complaint by the landlord, I’m interested in the suitability of marble flooring under a WC.

    Marble is metamorphosed (ie volcanically heated and altered) calcite, dolomite or limestone. Thus (though much less for the dolomite-based variant), it is prone to attack from acids. Urine itself has a tendency towards acidity. Also, a great many bathroom cleaners contain acid, to deal with limescale.

    A landlord who uses (particularly non-dolomite) marble near the WC, and probably elsewhere in the bathroom, is asking for trouble: surface damage and/or need for significantly greater cleaning frequency, with specially selected cleaning agents.

    Marble is not really a good choice, if one intends to let the property – the average tenant being what they are.

    Best regards

  26. Oo! And now we have a great second sentence for the novel.

    I got angry when she refused to put on the squirrel suit. As a citizen of the Federal Republic I’m always glad to have the arcana of my cultural heritage pointed out to me.

  27. von Richthoven: How lucky you English are to find the toilet so amusing. For us, it is a mundane and functional item. For you, the basis of an entire culture.

  28. Flat cap, I am told by my source that sitzpinklen after 10pm is often specified in leases for Swiss/German blocks of flats to reduce noise for neighbours…

  29. If somebody told me more than once to stop wearing a tie at work, I’d politely tell them to shove it.

    Really Tim N? If you were on my site, especially if I were designated first aider, I’d tell you to get that disgusting death trap off your neck or get off my site. And not so politely. Even in the office, back in the days when I had to wear one, it was tucked under the first button inside my shirt all day. You only have to see one person have their tie cause them to almost electrocute themselves because it obscured their vision (no that I’m not doing the classic caught in rotating machinery here) to decide that they’re a really bad idea for an engineer.
    At weddings, sure, they’re great.

  30. The German loo inspection platform takes some getting used to. It took me a while to realise that I had to get up from the seat to wipe my arse otherwise my fingers would be dunked into the turds parked on the platform. Smelly shit covered fingers is the result if you use the normal way of rolling to one side to wipe your arse.

    And that Steve, is the reason we find German toilets so funny, we have to change our whole potty regime just to be able to park a turd without having to clean our fingernails afterwards.

  31. If you were on my site, especially if I were designated first aider, I’d tell you to get that disgusting death trap off your neck or get off my site. And not so politely. Even in the office, back in the days when I had to wear one, it was tucked under the first button inside my shirt all day. You only have to see one person have their tie cause them to almost electrocute themselves because it obscured their vision (no that I’m not doing the classic caught in rotating machinery here) to decide that they’re a really bad idea for an engineer.

    Well, yes. I was assuming we were talking about working in an office, not on a site. On any site I go to, PPE is mandatory and any tie would either be safely within the coveralls or (more likely) left on the rack at home. But in the office? Tie it is, always.

  32. I wonder what proportion of the men who wore the “this is what a feminist looks like” t-shirts are Sitzpinklers?

    Also, what proportion of Sitzpinklers have beards? I think this will be surprisingly high, given the profusion of beards sprouting on the faces of tosspots these days.

  33. Many autobahn services ( for which one must pay 70c to use) have automatically cleaning bogs which are radar controlled. This has the unfortunate effect, that if you shift buttocks or move your shoulders (e.g. when turning the page of Kicker football magazine) the bastard flushes and the loo seat starts to rotate on a cleaning cycle. As they all invariably have a shelf, one’s arse usually gets a soaking.

    My late missus and our plumber thought it highly amusing that I demanded tiefspueler loos as opposed to flachspueler (shelf) ones. We regarded each other as barbarians on that front.

    I’ve heard sitzpinkler usedas a term for nancy-boy, but I think warmduscher is better.

  34. Fair enough I guess Tim. I spend too much time on site perhaps, visceral dislike of things round my neck 🙂

  35. What an edifying discussion this has been. While here in CR we have regular UK-style bogs with no shelf, cheapskate plumbers substituting 3″ pipe for 4″ plus a less than sterling municipal sewerage system means that in a lot of places instead of flushing the paper it is deposited in a little bin by the side of the loo. If not emptied with great alacrity this becomes somewhat fragrant. Fortunately I live in a more affluent neighbourhood with decent plumbing.

  36. Interestingly, until the age of two, my daughter urinated standing up when she was unclothed (eg before getting into a bath or getting dressed).

  37. It is a sign of huge progress that we have moved from a world without thrones of any kind, to one with such variety in such a short space of time. More to the point, what are grandparents would have swooned over, we can now find barbaric if it’s not exactly the right type.

    BiCR: I have experienced exactly the same in a well-to-do expat community in Cyprus. Utterly miserable.

  38. Clearly, proper toilets and plumbing are among those miracles of modern civilisation we barely notice, but certainly would in their absence, i.e. going abroad.

  39. BNLIA:

    “…automatically cleaning bogs which are radar controlled…”

    I think the actual technology is a motion detector.

  40. CJ Nerd

    There’s’ a central organisation that contros the loos in public places;

    Waschraum Anlage Zentral Zustand-und Ordnungs Kontrol or
    WAZZOK

    There’s’ a guy sitting at a bank of terminals just waiting ;

    “Englischer Schweinehund !” He shouts and brings his hairy German fist down on the FLUSH button.

    Technology pioneered by the Stasi, no doubt.

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