Thursday, November 20, 2008

National Toilet Day – The mist of the forest

Yesterday was officially announced to be “National Toilet Day”.

Will it be considered offensive if one wonders whether this particular “day’s birth” may have originated far from here in the Northern Hemisphere? Somewhere on a small green island north of France, south of the North Pole and Orkney Islands, namely The United Kingdom.

Some of my British friends never run out of interesting conversations around dinner and pint tables, as it would be like running out of toilet paper in which cause it would cause severe disruptions in an ordinary English household.

There are two subjects of prominence, namely:



The Weather

I strongly doubt that they will ever tire of these two subjects.In a drenched country with rain, sleet and snow as common ground, one has empathy with people getting nearly obsessed with the weather. The south-eastern parts receive +- 700 mm a year and the Lake District is the wettest with average annual totals exceeding 2,000 mm a year, comparable with that in the Western Highlands of Scotland. I know this because I used to hang out permanently kitted out in wellies and raincoats. I also understand why the Scots are burdened with the stigma of being the world’s heaviest drinkers.

This is rather worrying for a Capetonian as we get more than 788 mm rain a year. Kirstenbosh received 240 mm in one month alone and the place is only over the next little nook from where I live!

Will we become like those people on the small island - alienated from the “normal” world associated with “normal” conversations?

As for toilets, I am at a loss. They told me the correct manner of speaking is “loo”. This was something new to me as I became aware of this class-system which affects the grading of what “material” one uses in this environment: it is now either “loo-paper” or “toilet-paper” and belief me, there is a massive difference between the two.

All these dinner conversations must have rubbed off on this Colonial because it provoked a colleague at work to comment on my version of the British most favorite topics of discussion.

Dryly, he said “Have you ever wondered why you are man-less?”


That comment stinks and makes as little sense as the mention of ‘the smell of forest mist’ has any relevance to sanitary systems. I don’t get what the absence of a male partner in my life has to do with popular topics of discussion...

Do you?

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