back to article Motion detectors: say hello, wave goodbye and… flushhhhhh

How did Ernest Hemingway get his scar? Come on, everyone loves a quiz. Bored stay-at-homes play them. Pubs boost their weekday profits with them. Facebook influences the voting patterns of the feeble-minded with them. So, that scar on Hemingway's forehead, how do you think it was acquired? You don't even need to be well-read …

  1. Pascal Monett Silver badge
    Flame

    "the smartphone will need to install and run a specific scanning app and media player"

    Aaaand that is where I start looking for how to return the bloody thing.

    Who do you think you are to force me to run executable code on my phone just to watch a video ? You already have an unknown name, the least you can do is make it easy for your customers to get the info.

    The guys who have ideas like that should be invited to a grand buffet, chauffeured to the middle of the forest and left to their own devices to find out that the buffet is taking place in New York and they are in Oregon, five miles from the nearest road, eighty miles from the nearest airport. Bon appetit !

    1. BebopWeBop Silver badge

      Re: "the smartphone will need to install and run a specific scanning app and media player"

      Aaaand that is where I start looking for how to return the bloody thing.

      The bin is close by I assume?

      1. Anonymous Custard Silver badge
        Headmaster

        Re: "the smartphone will need to install and run a specific scanning app and media player"

        From past experience it's normally where the delivery drone has dumped it in the first place for safe keeping so it's dry and protected.

        Presumably in a customer service attempt to cut out the middle-man and save you the effort?

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: "the smartphone will need to install and run a specific scanning app and media player"

          "From past experience it's normally where the delivery drone has dumped it in the first place for safe keeping so it's dry and protected."

          True. But not necessarily your own bin.

          1. Stoneshop Silver badge
            Holmes

            Re: "the smartphone will need to install and run a specific scanning app and media player"

            True. But not necessarily your own bin.

            Plus there's the timing of said dumping relative to the collecting of the bin contents by the council.

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: "the smartphone will need to install and run a specific scanning app and media player"

      left to their own devices to find out that the buffet is taking place in New York there are bears about and they are the buffet.

      FTFY

    3. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      Re: "the smartphone will need to install and run a specific scanning app and media player"

      they are in Oregon

      Northern Alaska at the end of winter would be better - at least the local polar bears can get some use out of them..

      (And then the coprophages get a second use)

    4. Rich 11 Silver badge

      Re: "the smartphone will need to install and run a specific scanning app and media player"

      You already have an unknown name

      Rubbish! They're very well known. I buy all my handbags from them.

    5. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: "the smartphone will need to install and run a specific scanning app and media player"

      No problem here. I have a time and stress saving cell that's not smart. Thus, I can safely ignore stupidity such as described in the article.

      And to think that I always thought the singing birthday cards were horrible...

    6. the Jim bloke Silver badge

      Re: "the smartphone will need to install and run a specific scanning app and media player"

      "chauffeured to the middle of the forest and left to their own devices to find out that the buffet is taking place in New York and they are in Oregon, five miles from the nearest road, eighty miles from the nearest airport. Bon appetit !"

      Anyone advocating installing mystery apps should be chauffeured into the Appalachians and left there, with the sound of approaching banjos...

      I mean fairs fair.

  2. Franco Silver badge

    Oh great, motion activated flushes. We already have motion activated taps (which either don't dispense water or run continuously IME) or soap dispensers (which either jizz out soap constantly or are replaced for 2 minutes by a bottle of Carex until someone steals it).

    Most toilets now have the eco flush split button, so how does a motion activated toilet tell what is required? And what happens if the previous night's meal was several pints and a curry and more than one flush is required? Do you guard the door until it's finished refilling then go back in and back out to trigger another flush?

    1. Dave K Silver badge

      Worst part is sitting down, being in the middle of your business, shifting slightly on the seat only to suddenly receive a wet posterior as the bloody thing flushes beneath your backside...

      1. BebopWeBop Silver badge

        The prewash by a smart loo?

        1. Wellyboot Silver badge

          If so the water arriving at 37o would be nice.

          1. David Harper 1

            Why it's important to specify units.

            A 37-degree rectal jet wash would be okay in Europe, but they use Fahrenheit in America, and that's barely above freezing point.

            1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

              Re: Why it's important to specify units.

              Be grateful that no-one uses kelvins for everyday purposes.

              1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

                Re: Why it's important to specify units.

                For every day purposes a flush at 37K would be a bit hard.

                1. A.P. Veening

                  Re: Why it's important to specify units.

                  I'd say the water/ice would be pretty hard at 37K.

                  1. Mr Sceptical
                    Unhappy

                    Re: Why it's important to specify units.

                    A clean posterior would be the least of your concerns after a 37K cryo-treatment.

                    Tricky to explain in A&E too!

                    1. Anonymous Coward
                      Anonymous Coward

                      Re: Why it's important to specify units.

                      Nah .... talk to any A&E nurse. They see that sort of thing all the time......... at least that't what she told me.

                    2. Anonymous Coward
                      Anonymous Coward

                      Re: Why it's important to specify units.

                      I once engaged in a long conversation about how you take a dump in Elsa's ice castle as the flush wouldn't work and the ubend would be iced over. We decided that a vertical tube which allowed enough drop time for the chunks to freeze, followed by a gentle curve to the pipe to allow the now frozen turds to be shot out of the side of the castle would work. Some quick back of the envelope maths and a guess at the cooling constant of human shite produced 37 degrees kelvin is the ideal temperature for the tube to be to solidify a dropping dropping in a couple of meters, allowing for a first floor bog, but not a ground floor one unfortunately. Well, not without some kind of pit to collect the brown troutcicles.

                      But this does raise a problem. As the tube would be cold enough to liquefy air, the drop in pressure caused by condensing air would be enough to suck you well and truly to the bog seat, and probably down the tube too.

                      So we decided that as Elsa is a bit of a wiz with the magics, we'd just ask her to flash freeze it on the way out.

                      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

                        Re: Why it's important to specify units.

                        Well, whatever the solution to problem, you still have to Let It Go at some point every day.

              2. paulll Bronze badge

                Re: Why it's important to specify units.

                I'd rather Kelvins than Fahrenheit.

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Why it's important to specify units.

              "A 37-degree rectal jet wash would be okay in [the entire civilised world, no, really, the ENTIRETY of the rest of the world: USA, you really *are* the odd, and I emphasise ODD, ones out, here], but they use Fahrenheit in America, and that's barely above freezing point."

              That seems a perfectly fair and proportional punishment for being weird enough to use Fahrenheit, if you ask me.

              1. tfewster Silver badge
                Facepalm

                Re: Why it's important to specify units.

                We all used Fahrenheit for a long time. So it doesn't make Americans odd (just a bit slow)

                1. holmegm

                  Re: Why it's important to specify units.

                  We prefer "non-conformists" ;)

                  In reality, it's more of a collective "meh". F works well enough.

                  0 and 100 are essentially the bounds within which any sane human would want to operate. Actually feels rather logical.

                  In addition to spanning a continent making the "need" to change seem less than pressing (it's not like we're constantly rubbing elbows with those using different units), technology makes the need less pressing all the time. We now all carry pocket computers for instant conversions, for all those occasions we need to convert anything (so basically "never" with perhaps a rounding error).

                  1. Jeffrey Nonken Silver badge

                    Re: Why it's important to specify units.

                    Eh, units are units.

                    0 to 100 Celsius apparently represents the respective freezing and boiling temperatures of pure water at sea level. Seems to me that if you're not working with pure water at sea level, any unit of measurement is as good as any other.

                    ...Oh right, almost forgot the Simpsons quote. "Metric is the tool of the devil! My car gets eighty rods to the hogshead and that's how I likes it!"

                    1. MonkeyCee Silver badge

                      Re: Why it's important to specify units.

                      I think he meant that 0-100F covers roughly the Goldilocks zone for humans (-20 to 37.5C), and is thus the "range" for what outside air temperature might be.

                      It's the idea that if 15C is cool, 20C is warm, and 25C is hot, that's not a good range of numbers to describe the experience as compared to 60, 70 and 80.

                      Unless I'm doing a SI calculation, I don't care. Plus I hang out with Aussies and African's, so the European idea of a "hot day" is a bit a of a joke.

                    2. elkster88

                      Re: Why it's important to specify units.

                      Actually I think Abe said he gets 40 rods / hogshead which is a fairly spectacular rate of consumption... (not that 80 rods/hogshead could be considered economical) considering that 40 rods is an eighth of a mile and a hogshead is either 52.5 or 64 gallons depending on whether you want to use the wine or beer measure.

                      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z5-s-4KPtD8

                  2. MonkeyCee Silver badge

                    Re: Why it's important to specify units.

                    "0 and 100 are essentially the bounds within which any sane human would want to operate. Actually feels rather logical."

                    Golly, slightly odd world you operate in then. Be it C or F :D

                    "We now all carry pocket computers for instant conversions,"

                    I'm less than 40 and doing approximate C to F conversions (to sanity check a reading) is something I learnt as a nipper. Using that pocket computer in my head. The relationship is linear, so you only need to remember three data points to be pretty sure of making a more accurate guess.

                    So -40 is -40. No real practical use, but it's easy to recall.

                    Healthy internal body temperature is 37.5C or 100F. For a human thermometer you're unlikely to confuse them :)

                    Standard oven temperature is 180C or 350F (it's 355, but ease of recall etc).

                    The thermometer I use the most (two buck meat probe) doesn't even bother with numbers, just pictures of the relevant beastie and "it's good" range in red.

                  3. iGNgnorr

                    Re: Why it's important to specify units.

                    "(it's not like we're constantly rubbing elbows with those using different units)"

                    So that's the real reason Trump wants to close the southern border then. Next up, build a wall around the Canucks. Then freeze the ocean around Hawaii, if it hasn't already boiled by then.

                2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

                  Re: Why it's important to specify units.

                  "We all used Fahrenheit for a long time. So it doesn't make Americans odd (just a bit slow)"

                  So they what they "short bus kids"?

              2. Manolo
                Headmaster

                Re: Why it's important to specify units.

                Fahrenheit remains the official scale for the following countries: the Bahamas, Belize, the Cayman Islands, Palau and the United States and associated territories (Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands).

          2. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. Ian Emery Silver badge
        Coat

        Being on the slightly gigantic side; I get my arse washed nearly every time I have to use one of these odious devices; yet when I have finished and stand up; will the stupid thing trigger??

        Like fuck it will!!!

        Mines the coat with the soggy back.

      3. Darryl

        We have one here at work that randomly decides to flush. As they're all extremely noisy, it's a good thing you're already "prepared" when it does, because it's shocking enough to make you shit yourself

    2. GlenP Silver badge

      Was in a service station recently and they'd had to tape a notice above every single motion activated flush, "There is a delay before the toilet will flush, please only activate once!"

      So you had no idea whether it would flush or not and the next user might find a sh***y toilet that flushes suddenly.

    3. Doctor_Wibble
      Boffin

      mandatory marigolds!

      > Most toilets now have the eco flush split button

      You mean the one contained in the little inset ecch-collector cup at the top of the cistern that we are required to stick out fingertips into?

      That's surely one of the most unhygienic locations in the entire ablutions chamber, its closest contenders being the underside of the seat and - according to some - any unprotected toothbrushes within a 15-yard radius.

      Handles are easier to keep clean and can be operated with an insulating square of paper if you want. I don't recall seeing any handle-operated eco flushes for a some time now, did they go out of fashion?

      1. Kubla Cant Silver badge

        Re: mandatory marigolds!

        @Doctor_Wibble while you're shuddering at the unhygienic features of the toilet, allow me to remind you that the average computer keyboard is more unhygienic than the average toilet seat.

        (Typed while eating lunch at my desk, on a keyboard that is visibly filthy. The joys of being a contractor! Oh well, that which does not kill me makes me strong.)

        1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

          Re: mandatory marigolds!

          Oh well, that which does not kill me makes me strong

          Speaking from experience, that simply ain't true.

          More accurate would be "that which doesn't kill me will ensure I have to take even more medication in order to survive long-term. And I'll still feel like crap in the morning when I wake up".

          YMMV of course.

          1. MonkeyCee Silver badge

            Re: mandatory marigolds!

            "Oh well, that which does not kill me makes me strong"

            For me it's "what doesn't kill me makes my body very suspicious about anything resembling it in the future"

            I ate a very small piece of toxic pumpkin (blame the ex mother in law) and developed intolerance* to pumpkin, squash and courgette. Not a huge fan of them, so no great loss, but even a few pumpkin seeds in muesli or trail mix set me off.

            * not an allergy, since it's not directly life threatening. It just gets exited post haste from either end of my digestive tract.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: mandatory marigolds!

          "Oh well, that which does not kill me makes me strong."

          No, it's "That which does not kill me, gives me the shi....err, never mind."

        3. ThatOne Silver badge
          Pirate

          Re: mandatory marigolds!

          That which does not kill me will simply try again. *shrug*

          1. Fungus Bob Silver badge
            Unhappy

            Re: mandatory marigolds!

            That which does not kill me makes it even easier for the next thing that tries...

      2. Simon Harris Silver badge

        Re: mandatory marigolds!

        Worrying about activating something that may be a little dirty when your previous action has been wiping your bum, and the next will be washing your hands?

        1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

          Re: mandatory marigolds!

          your previous action has been wiping your bum

          One assumes that there has been paper between your hands and the area being wiped.. Yes, I know that germs can get through the paper but, unless you hold it for ages afterwards, seepage[1] isn't going to be an issue..

          [1] Unless you are wiping post-seepage from a particularly vicous curry of course.

          1. Fungus Bob Silver badge

            Re: mandatory marigolds!

            "Unless you are wiping post-seepage from a particularly vicous curry of course."

            Didn't realize that was you...

        2. Doctor_Wibble
          Facepalm

          Re: mandatory marigolds!

          Public facepalm from me to me for services to unclarity.

          > Worrying about activating something that may be a little dirty...

          Not particularly, it was merely an attempt to point out an often-missed thing but clearly not in a sufficiently obviously not-deadly-serious manner which I had really hoped the 15-yard radius remark would convey but it seems there's that many scary clean-freaks out there that I should have done some actual obvious obviousness.

          On a lighter note, how many ways are there to interpret "going to the toilet in a hazmat suit"?

          1. Skribblez

            Re: mandatory marigolds!

            “On a lighter note, how many ways are there to interpret ‘going to the toilet in a hazmat suit’?“

            That method seems a bit inside out, no? Or is that outside in...?

        3. ICPurvis47
          Joke

          Re: mandatory marigolds!

          How do you tell the difference between a Blue Collar worker and a White Collar worker?

          The White Collar worker washes his hands after going to the toilet.

          The Blue Collar worker washes his hands before.....

      3. Rustbucket

        Re: mandatory marigolds!

        > "You mean the one contained in the little inset ecch-collector cup at the top of the cistern that we are required to stick out fingertips into?

        That's surely one of the most unhygienic locations in the entire ablutions chamber, its closest contenders being the underside of the seat and - according to some - any unprotected toothbrushes within a 15-yard radius."

        You're supposed to wash your hands immediately after using the loo so it shouldn't matter, although I usually push the button with my knuckle.

      4. MJI Silver badge

        Re: mandatory marigolds!

        No problem since someone invented the tap and soap

    4. Fungus Bob Silver badge

      My daughter was six the first time she encountered one of these wonder devices. There she was, minding (and doing) her own business when it suddenly sounded like the bowels of Hell were opening up beneath her.

      She found it somewhat unsettling.

    5. William Towle
      Facepalm

      Motion detectors...

      We have detectors by the lights to ensure they're on as you enter and more beside the urinals to flush them as you walk away.

      Unfortunately nobody thought to put the former type in the cubicles, which can turn out to be a PITA (pun accidental) if the one and only trap with a window isn't available and enough time passes...

  3. Mr Dogshit

    "less reliable delivery companies than Hermes"

    There's no such thing

    1. Franco Silver badge

      Re: "less reliable delivery companies than Hermes"

      I can only assume Yodel don't operate in your region

      1. BebopWeBop Silver badge

        Re: "less reliable delivery companies than Hermes"

        I believe they claim to. But operating might imply working?

        1. Semtex451 Silver badge

          Re: "less reliable delivery companies than Hermes"

          You're forgetting DPD

          We all know what that stands for...

          1. Rich 11 Silver badge

            Re: "less reliable delivery companies than Hermes"

            Dual-Penetration Dildo?

          2. Down not across Silver badge

            Re: "less reliable delivery companies than Hermes"

            You're forgetting DPD

            I suppose, as usual, that depends on the area. Around here DPD is absolutely brilliant. They let you know an 1 hour slot (admittedly message does not come up first thing in the morning like it used to) and always manage to deliver within that slot. .

            1. werdsmith Silver badge

              Re: "less reliable delivery companies than Hermes"

              Yes, DPD are top class, Hermes and Yodel are pretty shit, but they know it and they are trying to improve by not recruiting thieves straight out of prison as couriers. The absolute worst round here is Amazon Logistics. Might as well ask for my delivery to be left outside the local dodgy pub.

          3. Franco Silver badge

            Re: "less reliable delivery companies than Hermes"

            The regional variations are pretty clear from the other comments, other than Yodel being shit everywhere.

            For me DPD are pretty good, I get an email with a delivery slot and can reschedule or move it to a pickup point if I'm not going to be in. Hermes quickly learnt I'm out during the day so usually appear about 6pm or later, and I usually use Amazon lockers to avoid any issues with them.

    2. Kubla Cant Silver badge

      Re: "less reliable delivery companies than Hermes"

      What do you expect from a company staffed by hermaphrodites?

      1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        Re: "less reliable delivery companies than Hermes"

        hermaphrodites

        Otherwise known as "a person wot is male and female at the same time, in the same body"

        (Copyright Mr Phil Collins when introducing the song "Fountains of Salmacis" - Prog Trivia R' Us..)

    3. AndrueC Silver badge
      Mushroom

      Re: "less reliable delivery companies than Hermes"

      I tried to send something back to Amazon earlier this year. After a week (!) I got an email from Hermes saying that there was a problem and I should contact them. It took nearly fifteen minutes via their online chat (the only kind they have) to get through to a person who could explain what the problem was.

      The problem turned out to be (so they said) that the courier needed some more information. Unfortunately they didn't know what information so they'd have to ask and would get back to me.

      Two days later I get an email saying that the problem was that the courier was unable to find the destination.

      So I checked the order and it clearly had the correct address for Amazon returns. So I spent half an hour on another online chat querying how on Earth the courier couldn't find the Amazon returns building. Eventually I was told that it was a mistake and that actually the courier was just waiting until they had a large enough collection parcels to make it worth their while making the delivery. When I asked why they had contacted me initially they couldn't explain.

      Fast forward another week and Amazon say they haven't received the return so I've missed the window. So I contact Hermes again to make a claim. Takes another half an hour to sort out. Part way through they try to claim it's my fault for not providing the information originally asked but after I point them to the recording of my previous chat they accept that has nothing to do with it.

      I eventually got the value of the parcel refunded to me but it remains a mystery as to where the parcel actually ended up. What a useless shower :(

      1. MonkeyCee Silver badge

        Re: "less reliable delivery companies than Hermes"

        I've had friends who have been couriers over the years, and how they are managed determines exactly how bad/good they are for the customer.

        When I was a postie, the courier was the person who ran out the 4-6 bags of post that you pick up on the way*, and thus drove along 80% of the delivery routes for the area, and wasn't under time pressure. Also was an employee. Good service.

        The others were on contract, and in the usual way things work, some fool in manglement had set idiotic metrics, which resulted in idiotic ways of meeting them. Mostly it was easier to deliver the "I missed you cards" for non-business address and then only take parcels from the depot if someone called to arrange a time. Or leave parcels in semi-random locations.

        * you sort your letters based on the order you deliver them, and you're only allowed to carry 25kg at a time, so your route is broken up with a secure and dry drop off point for the next lot. I had Karori to Northland so about as much vertical distance as horizontal, so only had 5 loads.

    4. Chris G Silver badge

      Re: "less reliable delivery companies than Hermes"

      DPD and it's Spanish arm (SEUR) have questionable reliability, in as much as you can rely on them to not deliver anything to an address, on time, according to the payment for express, one day , overnight, 4-5 days or at all. Most of the time they just return parcels and then accuse you of not having responded to some message within the (ungiven) given time.

      The last time I received a parcel via them was a packet from screwfix, the driver rang and asked where the house was then changed the address to that of the local garage five kilometers away without explaining anything to them or informing me. It was only when I went to get petrol the girl remembered the name on the packet was the same as mine, gave me the packet and proceed to tell me off for using them as a drop off point.

      Back in the day I used to think TNT were bad.

      1. James Anderson

        Re: "less reliable delivery companies than Hermes"

        I have taken to immediately cancelling any Amazon order as soon as they claim the parcel will be delivered in 5 days by Sewer. This is a blatant lie as the lazy fuckwits just send a message saying you were not in and expect you to collect it from thier scruffy excuse for a depot during truncated Spanish working hours ( 10ish to 12 ish and 3ish to 5ish Monday to Friday .... unless there is a bank holiday somewhere in the solar system).

        Bizarly in Amazons otherwise excellent feedback system there is nowhere you can complain about thier cheapskate delivery company.

    5. the Jim bloke Silver badge

      Re: "less reliable delivery companies than Hermes"

      I was under the impression that Hermes/Mercury was the god in charge of messengers and thieves.

      Nice to see tradition being respected.

  4. Neil 32

    The worst autoflushers are the ones where the sensor is positioned pointing at your back. Any movement to reach for paper, or even just the shifting to allow access to wipe seems to trigger them! I'm particularly thinking of the ones that were installed at Schiphol around 2009 (I think they've since removed them). Quite a powerful flush so plenty of splashback, but also so wasteful!

    1. BebopWeBop Silver badge

      The engineers never heard about timed hysteresis?

    2. Evil_Goblin

      Can confirm they are still there as of February...

    3. Simon Harris Silver badge

      They have some like that (or did last time I was there) at the Barbican Centre.

      There I was having a little poo, leaned back on the seat just a little too far and got a shower of water up my bum.

      1. Rich 11 Silver badge

        That's a design feature.

        1. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge
          Paris Hilton

          Bum Washing For Beginners

          My partner is from the Philippines, guess who had to fit "Hand held bidet sprays" to the toilets for "our" use.

          Still they do make lavatory cleaning that much easier.

          PH - Just because.

      2. ibmalone Silver badge

        The Barbican Centre has an interesting collection of plumbing conveniences from the late modern period. My favourite remain the (original I think) hands-free taps. The place was designed in the 70s and finished in 1982. I would ask those unfamiliar with the conveniences there to guess what late 70s technology these taps employ. Early infra-red? Some kind of ultrasound sensor?

        They are operated by foot pedal.

        Not only this, but the control mechanism is effectively on/off. As is the way with the era's public plumbing, some of them produce a trickle, some will produce a deluge that misses the sink and sprays you with water. Which is which? You're going to have to get close enough to step on that pedal to find out...

    4. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      "The worst autoflushers are the ones where the sensor is positioned pointing at your back."

      Welcome Break motorway service have that type too. The sensor is positioned behind your left shoulder and since most people are right handed, use the left to wipe their arse and trigger the flush. I'd guess that the sensor is placed where a manual flush would have originally been as it's about "top of cistern" height so no extra holes in the wall panelling hiding the gubbins.

      1. werdsmith Silver badge

        But daft having a no touch autoflush but still having to fiddle with a door catch to get out.

        1. Criggie

          Don't give them ideas - they'll take away the latch first, and then the whole door next.

  5. Caver_Dave

    The non delivery

    I'll not name the company (because I can't remember which of the shisters it was), but this is one example.

    Their driver managed to creep across the gravel with the stealth of a cat burglar so as not to wake up to the dogs, who will normally bark at a car door closed 20m up the road.

    Their driver waved his hand over the door and the bell without actually touching them.

    Placed the pre-filled "We missed you" note into the letter box, which started the dogs barking.

    And had left, tyres screeching, before I got to the door in response to the dogs barking.

    At least when the company was presented with the surveillance video they re-delivered the next day. But, I had already paid extra to get the package on the day I needed it!

    Royal Mail are the worst for collections. Their collection site is a 38 mile round trip taking about 1:20 hours. The last time I had to go I was expecting an important parcel from my daughter (which actually turned up 4 days later on a supposedly 24 hour service!), the actual package I went to pick up turned out to be unfranked junk mail! They got quite arsy when I refused to accept the item and pay for it.

    1. Ian Emery Silver badge

      Re: The non delivery

      At least they attempt to deliver to the correct address; despite intercepting numerous posties and pointing out their error, 95% of our post still gets shoved in the letterbox for the flat upstairs - our letter box being in the actual door, and their's around the corner!!!

      As for Yodal/Hermes; our shop is closed on Mondays, and all orders carry a DO NOT DELIVER MONDAY note under delivery instruction.

      Guess what day they try to deliver 90% of it??

      Go on, guess.

      Luckily, the barbers next door will take the stuff and sign for it; but up to a dozen large boxes means it can take up a lot of their waiting room.

      1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        Re: The non delivery

        As for Yodel/Hermes

        Pre-heart attack I used to buy copious boxes of wine[1] from a certain on-line wine supplier with whom I had a standing instruction that the delivery, if no-one was present, was to be left down the side of the house out of public view - which would have involved a walk of about 5 metres[2].

        After the third delivery where they left the box on the front doorstep, in full view of people walking past[3] and the loss of two other boxes of wine[4], I made a formal complaint to the supplier.

        The delivery company carried on leaving it on the front doorstep, I carried on complaining [5]. Eventually, the supplier got the hint and put me on their premium delivery scheme which meant it got delivered by Post Office Parcels. Who followed the delivery instructions..

        [1] In this case, usually 12 or 14 bottles to a box. Which probably didn't help and may have been a contributary cause for the heart attack..

        [2] And for the driver to actually read (or care about) the delivery instructions. Which were printed in easily-readable font just under the address on the box delivery label.

        [3] The boxes were clearly labeled as being from a wine supplier and it wasn't hard to guess what they contained.

        [4] Which the supplier replaced free of charge - thus costing them about £120 a time.

        [5] And every complaint mean that the supplier sent me a £10 voucher - which over time probably paid for at least one box of wine.

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: The non delivery

      "Royal Mail are the worst for collections. Their collection site is a 38 mile round trip taking about 1:20 hours."

      Ours is only a couple of miles away but only open until midday. Fortunately our posties are aware of the us/daughter addresses (about a mile apart) so sometimes the problem's solved that way.

      1. Cynical Pie

        Re: The non delivery

        FWIW I pay the minimal fee (about 50p) to get RM items delivered to the local post office rather than bugger about trying to get to the sorting office

      2. tfewster Silver badge

        Re: The non delivery

        Mine is on my way to work, and opens at 7am. Perfect for me!

    3. AndrueC Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: The non delivery

      Several years ago the pickup point for City Link couriers delivering to Brackley was just outside Kidderminster (over 60 miles). Mind you it did have one bonus - they delivered to us early in the morning so I usually got the parcel before I left for work.

    4. Barry Rueger Silver badge

      Re: The non delivery

      Surely there is money to be made by offering home delivery in the evening or on weekends for the 75% of the population who are at work from 9 to 5.

      Forty years ago, when couriers were strictly for business , and most homes still had a stay at home mom, it was reasonable to only deliver during office hours.. Now it's just archaic.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: The non delivery

        "Surely there is money to be made by offering home delivery in the evening or on weekends for the 75% of the population who are at work from 9 to 5."

        My wife regularly buys tat important stuff online. It's not unusual for someone in an unmarked car or small van to deliver in the evening up to 9pm and use a mobile phone app for signature.

  6. BebopWeBop Silver badge

    Some things are better left without a video greeting

    I struggle to think about what things are made better by a video greeting.

    1. Wellyboot Silver badge

      Re: Some things are better left without a video greeting

      It gets actors out of working in Maccy-D for while

      1. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge
        Paris Hilton

        Re: Some things are better left without a video greeting

        A friend of mine from a drama group years ago (Who is a actor & one of the UK's new generation of Pantomime dames) was in a advert for McD's* years ago.

        *The one with a group of workers salivating over MCD's latest burger offering, then announce its a limited time deal to their disgust, as the camera cuts away to a establishing shot of them on a oil rig.

        PH - An actress who has apparently appeared in many a short video.

  7. Potemkine! Silver badge

    Come on!

    Didn't you learn how to use the three seashells? ^^

    Talking about shitty interfaces being the new norm, does anyone favor Windows 10 GUI over Windows 7 one?

    1. Tikimon Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: Come on!

      Hell no! Classic Start, all the way!

  8. Teiwaz Silver badge

    Emotionally scarred by toilet

    Never been to Turkey, but the French ones were bad enough during camping trips when I was a kid.

    Not least no seat whatsoever just a couple of foot imprints round a hole in the floor, but the wading through ankle deep sewer water to get there a fair percentage of the time.

    Oh, and Soft Cell used to freak me out as a kid too, thanks for that double bad vibe this morning...

    1. Warm Braw Silver badge

      Re: Emotionally scarred by toilet

      I had the misfortune to have to use a similar French toilet when, mid-crouch, the lights in the (completely enclosed) cubicle went out - not motion sensitivity of a different kind, but they were on a short timeout. Being precariously balanced and unable to see even the most vital things the moment demanded - such as the location of toilet paper or even a hand hold that would allow secure exploration for the light switch - is bad enough, but it does concentrate the mind. You have to weigh up a significant number of things, such as whether to risk reaching for your mobile phone which might perhaps provide some illumination, but which might equally disappear into the stinking void below, or whether just to curl up into a ball and hope the cleaners might find you (though given it was rural France, it might have been a very long wait).

      If it's not part of the SAS training course, it really ought to be.

      1. Mr Sceptical
        Stop

        Re: Emotionally scarred by toilet

        You want to try a Saudi truckers' rest stop - rooms by the hour, sheets optional, bring your own toilet paper! They were most confused when asked how much for the night.

        The squatter toilet was next to the shower (no cubicle, just a wet room), so I decided it would be rather more pleasant to have wet trainers than acquire some free fecal matter on my feet...

        1. John R. Macdonald

          Re: Emotionally scarred by toilet

          Many many years ago I was backpacking in Afghanistan and when the intercity bus stopped at a rest stop for lunch I asked where the toilets were. The Afghan waiter looked at me quizzically then waved lazily at the desert. I walked in the indicated direction and looking down found out he was right.

    2. John R. Macdonald

      Re: Emotionally scarred by toilet

      @Teiwaz

      The French toilets you describe are called, in France and elsewhere ... Turkish toilets despite being a 12th century Belgian invention (Bert Vandegeim)

  9. chivo243 Silver badge
    Facepalm

    encounter with a Turkish toilet

    You mean that hole in the floor, with traction strips on opposite sides to keep you from falling into the hole? Glad I only had to do standing man business!

    1. Stumpy

      Re: encounter with a Turkish toilet

      I had an experience with one similar when in Nepal a couple of years ago. Sadly, I'd picked up a bad stomach infection that day and was suffering from projectile emanations from both ends.

      Not the most pleasant experience ...

  10. Mage Silver badge
    Coffee/keyboard

    Strange Toilets

    Also why does the spring loaded main door usually open INWARDS, thusly you have to grasp the vertical rod that other people with unwashed hands have groped?

    I'm tempted to avoid trips where at some stage I might have to use the loo. Check a restaurant toilet BEFORE you order. Hygiene is maybe more important than menu or culinary skill?

    1. brotherelf
      Paris Hilton

      Re: Strange Toilets

      "grasp the vertical rod that other people with unwashed hands have groped"

      Ooo, errr, missus!

    2. Dr Dan Holdsworth Silver badge
      FAIL

      Re: Strange Toilets

      Stranger yet were the Automatic Slop-water Toilets designed well over a century ago by Duckett's of Burnley. These worked on a fairly simple operating principle, namely water was scarce and you didn't want to waste water using to flush toilets. No, these toilets used grey water that had already been used for something else, and were automatic so whenever the water tipper-pan got full, it tipped and flushed.

      The downsides to this mechanism were many.

      Firstly, the toilet only flushed the actual pan, and didn't wash the edges of the bowl (but you had housewives for that mucky job).

      Secondly, the pan had to be below the source of the water, so the toilets were always cavernously deep pits, dangerous for small children to use.

      Finally and worst of all, they didn't actually save water. People do not like crapping into someone else's mess, so houses which had these sorts of toilets quickly developed the habit of leaving a tap running just a little, to make the toilet flush at regular intervals. This habit wasted more water than a normal flush toilet used.

      Very few working examples of the Duckett toilet are left in the world, and thankfully the design never really travelled far beyond industrial Lancashire.

    3. joea

      Re: Strange Toilets

      "Check a restaurant toilet BEFORE you order".

      On a road trip once, with the now ex, we stopped at a stellar place known as "Denny's", at her insistence. Popular place, there was a waiting line, so I took the opportunity to use the gents.

      Upon opening the door, I was confronted with a horrible stench and the appetizing sight of a full to overflowing commode. Yes, with solids.

      The rest of the prospective diners seemed oblivious and continued to wait eagerly to be seated, while the wife (now ex, did I mention?) could not understand why I wanted to leave immediately, despite my attempts to convey my concerns, quietly at first, but with abandon soon after.

      Did I mention this was in the Deep South, USA?

      1. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge
        Mushroom

        Re: Strange Toilets

        The lavatories in Alberta Provincial parks seem to work on the principle of stick up a wooden hut over a concrete floor, add a great white throne for comfort & convience, allowing you to crap or urinate straight into what appears to be a cave below the floor, it may be a large septic tank I tried my hardest not to go in for any close inspections.

        1. Barry Rueger Silver badge

          Re: Strange Toilets

          It's called a pit toilet, or if home made, an outhouse. Probably it gets emptied by a big sucker truck from time to time. Smaller home toilets just kept being used by the family (with scoops of lime to help manage things) until a new pit would be dug, the building moved, and the old hole filled in.

          In a large family the bench in the outhouse often had two holes, a big one for adults, and a small one for children.

          1. Mark 85 Silver badge

            Re: Strange Toilets

            It's called a pit toilet, or if home made, an outhouse. Probably it gets emptied by a big sucker truck from time to time.

            Don't forget the corn cobs instead of TP for the family units. Two kinds, white and brown. Use the brown one, toss in pit. Use the white one to see if you need another brown one. Not the most fun thing. Painful if the cob is dried out.

        2. ICPurvis47
          WTF?

          Re: Strange Toilets

          Sounds very like the toilets on the Paris Regional trains. I went into one for a pee, and could see the sleepers racing by underneath through the vertical discharge pipe.

  11. Dr_N Silver badge

    Japan

    After next year's Olympics everyone will want wash 'n' wax toilet.

    All hail our Japanese toilet overlords.

    1. Giovani Tapini Silver badge

      Re: Japan

      Do you come out all shiny and lacquered like a new car? Does it put extra shine on the undercarriage? Sounds like it may be a bit much for me.

      I just recall toilets on the train in china which was essentially a hole in the floor of the carriage with the track flying past underneath. You would not retrieve your dropped mobile from that one... This was also the carriage with a boiling water tap (for the ubiquitous tea) at child reaching height with even adult splashing tendencies when switched on.

      1. Mr Sceptical
        Childcatcher

        Re: Japan

        Ditto, on my only train ride in Nigeria as a kid - open doorways* we could sit in and throw stones out at the bushes and generally watch the scenery go by - and toilets with a flap at the bottom onto the track. I think hand washing water was optional...

        * Train only went about 20MPH so not too dangerous but in the 80s 'elf and safety was unknown in Nigeria - not too different today I gather.

      2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Japan

        "I just recall toilets on the train in china which was essentially a hole in the floor of the carriage with the track flying past underneath."

        Some of us are old enough the remember UK trains where the toilets had signs on saying not to be used while in the station for the same reason.

        1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

          Re: Japan

          Nearly there...

          "The final flush on train toilets that empty their contents directly on to Britain’s tracks will be pulled in 2019, rail bosses and ministers have promised."

          https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/oct/10/train-toilets-to-no-longer-empty-on-to-tracks

          picture in above link - Tomato plants growing on the track at Swindon...

          Coincidentally, about 20 years ago, whilst waiting to change trains at Swindon, spotted some unusual "ballast" on the track next to where I was on the platform - needless to say, I moved along the platform...

          1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

            Re: Japan

            OMG! As someone who rarely uses trains these days, ie not for at least the last 10 years at least, I had no idea this was still a problem in the UK!

    2. Andraž 'ruskie' Levstik

      Re: Japan

      You mean the horse style? xD

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0eKesaCJyOU

    3. magickmark
      Trollface

      Re: Japan

      ahhhh - The land of the rising moon!!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Japan

        Google: Goa Pig Toilet

        You are welcome!

      2. DuchessofDukeStreet

        Re: Japan

        Encountered on a regular basis whilst in Russia, India and further east...

        https://i2.wp.com/travelswithtalek.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/dashboard-jap-toilet.jpg?resize=600%2C338&ssl=1

        (Also in a castle in Scotland)

        1. Alistair Dabbs

          Re: Japan

          "Wand Cleaning"... now that's thorough.

          1. Dr_N Silver badge

            Re: Japan

            I didn't have you pegged as a Harry Potter fan, Mr Dabbs.

    4. jelabarre59 Silver badge

      Re: Japan

      Yes, that will be one of the downsides, as it were, for when/if I ever get to spend that month's vacation in Japan. I've seen what their's look like (except you don't see them in anime. You think the old Toyosato school has those weird floor-slot toilets?)

  12. Anonymous Custard Silver badge
    Trollface

    Back to your regularly scheduled programme...

    To which subject do I return every few weeks, without fail?

    Ah yes. Toilets.

    Well they do say it's healthy to be regular in such matters...

    1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      Re: Back to your regularly scheduled programme...

      healthy to be regular in such matters...

      Does once a week count as regular? (TMI - but heavy use of codeine did (at one stage) have that effect..)

      1. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge

        Re: Back to your regularly scheduled programme...

        Was that the Bob Monkhouse one where he talks about Fecal Impaction being a movie & giving birth to the Mississipi delta?

      2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Back to your regularly scheduled programme...

        "Does once a week count as regular?"

        Yes. Bur frequency is more important :-)

    2. Nick Kew Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: Back to your regularly scheduled programme...

      This column is indeed full of crap.

      Isn't that why people like it?

  13. Voyna i Mor Silver badge

    Works both ways

    A former colleague had a mother in law whom he detested but his wife insisted that they had to go on holiday with her, and the MiL wanted to go to the South of France, never having been there before.

    Husband ended up with the long drive, and they duly ended up in a pension not that far from Nice.

    Then the MiL encountered a French toilet and that was that. Next day she demanded a return to civilisation.

    On the way they had to stop for the night. Places were full but eventually they found two rooms in a rather run-down pension. As one room was very small,MiL decreed that husband must sleep in the small room and she and daughter would have the large one.

    In the middle of the night he was woken up by screams and MiL entering his room to demand he fix the cockroaches, of which there were a sizeable number.

    Result. The MiL declared she would never go on holiday with them again.

    1. Omgwtfbbqtime Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: Works both ways

      So it was worth it then?

      1. Voyna i Mor Silver badge

        Re: Works both ways

        I didn't think I needed to explain that.

    2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      Re: Works both ways

      mother in law whom he detested

      Am I alone in having had a MiL that I really liked and got on well with? (She's dead now but, when she was alive I got on better with her than I did my own mother at that time).

      1. Voyna i Mor Silver badge

        Re: Works both ways

        Not necessarily, and it wasn't intended as a "mother-in-law" story, I was just reporting.

        There are plenty of nice middle aged women about, and simple statistics suggests many of them must be mothers-in-law.

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: Works both ways

          "There are plenty of nice middle aged women about,"

          And eventually, you reach the age where a nice middle aged women is a "sweet young thing" to your eyes.

      2. eldel

        Re: Works both ways

        Nope. Had two of them. Was very sad at both funerals (having stayed close to the offspring of the first one). I suggest that if the (natural) female parent of a prospective partner is a total nightmare then that should be considered a red flag. Genetics.

        1. Nick Kew Silver badge

          Re: Works both ways

          The mother-in-law joke comes from living under the same roof, with no privacy to enjoy your beloved's company.

          Easy to forget where the archetype originated, when living as a couple under your in-laws' roof is at least unusual, and counts as official homelessness if you don't at least have your own room.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Works both ways

        I like my ex's parents better than my ex too. OH...I think I see a potential issue. The ex and I certainly have our differences but she is an excellent mother. I do still miss my in-laws though.

      4. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
        Happy

        Re: Works both ways

        @CrazyOldCatMan

        Was your MiL a "CrazyOldCatWoman"?

  14. Doctor Syntax Silver badge
    Pint

    open the window to let the "bad air" out

    For the Jelly Roll Morton/Buddy Bolden reference.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vgmZyImasvA

  15. mrdalliard
    Stop

    Nope.

    "Let me make it simple: if there was a universal AR standard and a universal AR app, or if it just ran in a web browser without proprietary plugins, everyone would be using it, every day, for everything."

    I'm pretty sure they wouldn't, just like 3D TVs and VR never really became properly mainstream.

    1. Richard 90

      Re: Nope.

      Something like AR google maps for directions in a non-glasshole format i would imagine could be very popular - as would be something like AR shopping for furniture inside your own home. I'd do a lot to avoid shopping centers..

    2. Alistair Dabbs

      Re: Nope.

      3D TV didn't catch on because it needs a special TV. VR hasn't caught on because it needs special specs, apps, file formats, etc. This is my point.

  16. cosymart
    Holmes

    Interesting... ?? Toilets I have seen.

    In my youth we were hiking in The French foothills of the Pyrenees and stopped at a small campsite at the side of a river that ran in a ravine. The toilets were typical French hole in the floor design but unusually these were a row of small wooden huts jutting out above the river some 50+ feet below. From the interior you could see the river below and feel the cold mountain air via the hole. If you chose the correct viewpoint you could watch the bombardment in action. Not for the faint hearted :-)

    1. Giovani Tapini Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: Interesting... ?? Toilets I have seen.

      @cosymart - not for the faint hearted, nor those that habitually hold their breath until they hear the splash...

    2. Voyna i Mor Silver badge

      Re: Interesting... ?? Toilets I have seen.

      There was one of these in Slovenia, and it was a lot more than 50 feet. If someone was in the wrong place and the wind blew the wrong way I guess it would have extended the meaning of "terminal velocity".

  17. Russell Chapman Esq.
    Unhappy

    I hate airport toilets.

    I don't know if it is only Stansted, but unless you sit perfectly still while doing the 2, it will flush, giving your balls a rinse at the same time. To add insult to injury, what is it about modern toilet design for public use toilets which means the tip of my you know what is touching the inside of the bowl. Are toilet designers dick defficient? Nothing worse than feeling the cold touch to the tip as you sit down and wondering how much bacteria is in the loo.

  18. Spamfast Bronze badge
    Headmaster

    ich, mich, mir; wir, uns, uns?

    none for you or I to learn

    "none for you or me to learn", please, Mr. Dabbs. If you're going to write for a living, at least check the grammar.

    Would you use "none for we to learn" or would you use "none for us to learn"?

    "I" and "we" are both nominative so if "we" is wrong then so is "I".

    Using "I" and "we" when "me" and "us" is correct smacks of social insecurity. "Let's all speak like what the queen does." as Ernie Wise might have said.

    Learning a foreign language helps with this now that grammar isn't taught in British schools or even understood by English teachers in the UK, although I'm reliably informed that they're trying to take grammar out of foreign language teaching too. How they're going to achieve this for languages such as German or Latin baffles me completely.

    1. Voyna i Mor Silver badge

      Re: ich, mich, mir; wir, uns, uns?

      The word "nominative" is a clue - English is not Latin and usage defines its grammar. As with other languages. Many languages have "ungrammatical" expressions which have become norms.

      Get an advanced grammar text for almost any language and there will be pages of "ungrammatical" but accepted usages.

      So you may not like "you or I" but it's really irrelevant. People know what is meant, and if a future grammarian was writing a textbook she would simply note it as a variation.

      I am bang alongside not teaching English as if it had Latin grammar, because that is in fact incorrect, whatever Telegraph-reading ex Latin teachers may think.

      1. Spamfast Bronze badge

        Re: ich, mich, mir; wir, uns, uns?

        English is not Latin and usage defines its grammar

        I'm pretty sure Latin didn't spring up fully-formed and immutable either. The Latin your average Roman grunt spoke would not conform to today's scholarly standards I suspect, despite the superb evidence in Life Of Brian.

        Languages evolve of course but at this point British English most definitely has grammatical rules (guidelines sometimes) including cases - otherwise we'd not have different words for "I" and "me" and people wouldn't object to "Us went to the house." in written text.

        I have no problem with people using things like "Me and me mate went to the pub." in spoken English. In fact that's how I speak. But written English is not the same as spoken English, especially when one's (or "you're") getting paid to write it. And using "I" when "me" is more appropriate is just trying to be posh and makes you sound like a nob.

        In any case, understanding the structure of languages - even if it may be a little fuzzy around the edges especially in spoken form - is a useful ability and is certainly not going to hurt when learning a new one or writing a CV.

        By the way, I'd be more likely to read the Grauniad than the Torygraph.

    2. Daedalus Silver badge

      Re: ich, mich, mir; wir, uns, uns?

      To paraphrase the old joke about the weather: Grammar is what you expect, speech is what you get.

  19. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

    Toilet nightmares

    The incident has since taken on epic proportions in my nightmares, in which the bog is dimly illuminated by a flickering, unshaded, yellow lightbulb as an unutterable stench arises from the bottomless well and someone leans heavily onto the keys of a church organ.

    Strangely reminiscent of 3am visit to toilet at boarding school, aged 8. n.b. 20watt lightbulb. Young boys not renowned for their aim....ych-y-fi...

    1. Daedalus Silver badge

      Re: Toilet nightmares

      If memory serves...

      "Toilets still frozen?"

      "I'm afraid so"

      If...... dir. Lindsay Anderson

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    American Airlines

    Assuming you had the "pleasure" of one of their 787s, it sounds like they’ve adjusted the sensitivity or algorithm of their sensors... When I first went on one of them several years ago the bog happily flushed several times during wiping...

  21. DougS Silver badge

    It would be a simple fix

    The flush activation should be two stage - the closing of the door and the absence of a person inside the area. That way it'll flush after you've exited. That way no "surprise flushes" happening before they should.

    1. cosymart
      Alien

      Re: It would be a simple fix

      That assumes that the same team/person builds both the loo and the cubicle. Not a chance, the loos come as a unit including flush mech.

      1. DougS Silver badge

        Re: It would be a simple fix

        All you need for the flush activation to be able to be initiated via an IR signal (to guarantee it can only be activated by something within the cubicle, so you don't want RF) then you can easily retrofit the door with the IR sender.

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: It would be a simple fix

          Or, you know, just stick with a simple mechanical flush. Less to go wrong and cheaper to fix.

          Like those IR activated taps they put in new or refurbished motorway services that gradually get replaced with push to activate taps as the electronic IR ones stop working.

          There always money for new builds or refurbs, but never any for maintenance.

  22. Ken Shabby
    Pint

    My sense, as though of Watneys I had drunk,..

    "Bottom falling out of your world?, Drink Watneys, let the world fall out of your bottom..."

  23. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
    Coat

    Royal Flush

    Is there a "Flusher of the Royal Loo" employed at Buckingham Palace?

  24. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

    "Hey look, I've received a package!"

    Crap recycling by Uncle Alistair

  25. Christoph Silver badge

    "less reliable delivery companies than Hermes "

    A couple of days ago Hermes sent me an email saying "Your parcel is now with your local Hermes courier for delivery".

    At 8:05pm

    The parcel had been delivered at 12:15 that afternoon.

  26. Mystic Megabyte Silver badge
    Mushroom

    Toilet humour?

    My father told me a funny story. On shore leave from the navy he and his mates were befriended by a stray dog. All was well until the dog fell through the crust on top of a disused cesspit. Now they were desperately trying to shoo this shitty dog away. I think long sticks may have been involved. Poor dog!

    More amusingly a friend of mine from an Asian country told me that aged 13 she had her own gang at school. So six girls were in six hole-in-the-ground toilets having sneaky cigarettes when a teacher arrived. The girls simultaneously threw their cigarettes down the holes creating an explosion which covered them in shit.

    Their punishment was to be tied in a line with string and stand in the sun while the entire school was paraded past them. If they tried to pick off the rapidly drying shit they were whacked with a stick! Then marched off to be scrubbed down in the showers.

    You have been warned, beware of hot countries and methane! See icon ======>

  27. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
    Coat

    Bonk to Crap App

    Caught short without change for the public toilet that requires coins? Use the Bonk to Crap App to enter the facility.

    One presumes Apple would insist on a 30% cut...

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Bonk to Crap App

      Surely you mean the Apple Crapple App :-)

  28. Rol Silver badge

    Modern toilets, hahaha - pull the other one.

    Cistern above head height, with a pull chain. Every toilet design after that has been a failure.

    1..The cistern behind the toilet creates a bigger footprint, which invariably leads to the whole thing being crammed into a space that was never designed for it. The result being a toilet seat that can't stay up by itself, and or the door being the perfect distance to have you rendered unconscious if someone were to suddenly open it.

    2.. The low level cistern has proven itself useless at doing the job of shifting shit, bah! it barely takes the piss away! The old overhead cistern managed most jobs with just one pull, and thus saved water.

    3.. The fanatical attempt to make everything push button also fails, as the toilets at work are a testament to. It is far easier to scoop the poop out of the bowl and sift it down the washing basin plug hole than it is to pump the buttons until the pathetic trickle turns into a no less pathetic flush.

    Clearly, modern toilets were primarily designed to fulfill a role. Not that of cleverly and elegantly getting rid of unwanted finished business, but that of proving modern design isn't worth the shit it lamentably leaves behind.

    My answer to those who consider the rush of water from an overhead cistern to be too noisy might want to consider a hybrid, whereby the head of water is held back at the level of the toilet, as with modern designs, but still having the pressure that an extra couple of yards of gravity provides.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hermes? Shmermes!

    Ahh Hermes, the part time job of choice for frustrated housewives!

    My local Hermes courier drives a clapped out Antara that you can hear from 23 miles away, uses the end of my road as a makeshift sorting office - that includes dumping her entire days load (oooh, missus) onto the street, rain or shine and resorting it. She employs her children during the school holidays and doesn’t get her rotund arse out the drivers seat. Persistently walks over my front garden and refuses point blank to leave parcels where instructed. She seems to have a fear of doorbells and always chooses a “neighbour” in a different postcode.

    My heart sinks when I’m told a parcel is coming via Hermes..... they may be worse than Yodel.... may be....

    1. iGNgnorr

      Re: Hermes? Shmermes!

      Hermes are a very mixed bag here, from the truly excellent to ... well, see above. Amazon seem to have stopped using DPD around here, which is no great surprise given the ever increasing "lost package" rate ... "lost" packages which turned up several days later mangled, after a replacement had already arrived.

  30. ske1fr
    Go

    "You'll Never Find..."

    A cafe in Verona. My wife asks me where the loo is. She enters and shuts the door. 5 seconds later she exits and asks where the loo is, 'cos all she can see is "some sort of shower". I enter and recognise the hole in the floor with the tile footprints of a squat toilet. I exit and explain. Her face...think 'Erin' from 'Derry Girls". For more lavatorial "content" find the blogs on the Ech2o website.

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