Taking shy bladder syndrome to the next level
February 29, 2016 10:44 AM   Subscribe

This is the scariest toilet in the world [more photos]. Or maybe this is. This one lets you adjust your level of scary. More contenders.
posted by Mchelly (114 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
 
It's the one with a large spider fully hidden under the seat.

Well, goodnight. Sleep tight.
posted by boo_radley at 10:47 AM on February 29, 2016 [6 favorites]


It's the one with a large spider fully hidden under the seat.

That would be every toilet.
posted by bondcliff at 10:52 AM on February 29, 2016 [12 favorites]


Not at all true. Some of the spiders have been eaten by the snakes.
posted by shakespeherian at 10:59 AM on February 29, 2016 [31 favorites]


It's the one with a large spider fully hidden under the seat.

That would be every toilet.


These comments belong in the ConspiraSea thread.
posted by Fizz at 10:59 AM on February 29, 2016 [1 favorite]


It is terribly disappointing that the first toilet is not just a lid over a hole in the glass floor. Whoever designed that has not experienced the sheer delight of using an extraordinarily deep outdoor latrine and listening to that long delay before your waste hits bottom. The only other way it could be cooler is if it were an actual functioning elevator as well.
posted by mattamatic at 11:01 AM on February 29, 2016 [12 favorites]


"...if it were an actual functioning elevator as well."

The sequel to Charlie And The Great Glass Elevator that no-one asked for.
posted by Capt. Renault at 11:08 AM on February 29, 2016 [33 favorites]


The scariest airport bathroom I've ever seen was in Shannon Airport in Ireland. I mean Trainspotting levels of scary. I still shudder to remember it years later.
posted by tommasz at 11:10 AM on February 29, 2016 [1 favorite]


I'd take any of these over the stall in my workplace where, inevitably, someone sits in the adjacent stall and starts talking on their cell phone.
posted by xingcat at 11:13 AM on February 29, 2016 [3 favorites]


"6 most terrifying public restrooms in the world"

They all looked really clean and safe.
posted by dgaicun at 11:15 AM on February 29, 2016 [13 favorites]


When I was a kid my Gran still had an outdoors loo. It was made of corrugated iron and next to the coal bunker, and when you were using it her - ancient, terrifying, inscrutable - neighbour Mrs Northsworthy would occasionally come out and bang a steel pan on the side. We never worked out whether she strongly objected to the very concept of bodily functions, or just liked to sow terror for its own sake.

Anyway, that's my contender - both for "scary toilet" and "root of many of my deep-seated anxiety problems".
posted by sobarel at 11:17 AM on February 29, 2016 [68 favorites]


A glass-enclosed toilet in Japan was recently named the world’s largest because it’s situated in the middle of a 2,000 square-foot garden. Architect Sou Fujimoto aimed to design a toilet for users "to enjoy this scenery and that feeling of release."
There's a long tradition of this. I was immediately reminded of this bit from In Praise of Shadows, a 1933 essay by novelist Junichiro Tanizaki:
Every time I am shown to an old, dimly lit, and, I would add, impeccably clean toilet in a Nara or Kyoto temple, I am impressed with the singular virtues of Japanese architecture. The parlor may have its charms, but the Japanese toilet is truly a place of spiritual repose. It always stands apart from the main building, at the end of a corridor, in a grove fragrant with leaves and moss. No words can describe that sensation as one sits in the dim light, basking in the faint glow reflected from the shoji, lost in meditation or gazing out at the garden. The novelist Natsume Sōseki counted his morning trips to the toilet a great pleasure, “a physiological delight” he called it. And surely there could be no better place to savor this pleasure than a Japanese toilet where, surrounded by tranquil walls and finely grained wood, one looks out upon blue skies and green leaves.
It goes on for a few more paragraphs.
posted by J.K. Seazer at 11:17 AM on February 29, 2016 [13 favorites]


Capt. Renault: "The sequel to Charlie And The Great Glass Elevator that no-one asked for."

Charlie and the Great Ass Elevator?
posted by chavenet at 11:17 AM on February 29, 2016 [11 favorites]


Not true. Mutianyu, Great Wall. Side street squatter. October 22, 2013. #neverforget
posted by jmccw at 11:18 AM on February 29, 2016 [2 favorites]


Transparency is not a virtue with toilets.
posted by Bee'sWing at 11:19 AM on February 29, 2016 [1 favorite]


No way I'm using that.

I know Bond villain wayward crony death trap when I see one.
posted by leotrotsky at 11:20 AM on February 29, 2016


These nervous nellies have clearly never been in my outhouse.
posted by sonascope at 11:20 AM on February 29, 2016 [1 favorite]


The scariest toilet in the world is the one you can't find when you feel that first rumble in your bowels.
posted by Splunge at 11:23 AM on February 29, 2016 [7 favorites]


The scariest toilet I've been to was two bricks surrounded by bamboo mats for walls, with an opening on the back wall big enough for the large, black swine to come in after you've done your business and eat with noisy gusto everything you've produced.

It is a very special feeling, squatting on those bricks, knowing that right behind you, the swine are waiting, watching, growing impatient.
posted by sively at 11:28 AM on February 29, 2016 [42 favorites]


The most alarming toilet I ever used was the first squat toilet I ever in my young innocent life beheld, drunk as a country vicar, age 16 in Paris, at some godawful restaurant that served bottomless wine served in baby bottles. I asked one of the servers where the restroom was in my apparently hilariously castellano-accented french and they sent me to a grimy shed in the filth-strewn alley where I opened the door to behold a fly-strafed pit of horrors with a poo-encrusted footrest on either side of its malodorous maw. Did anyone warn me that the nearby ancient rusted chain was not meant to be clung to for balance but would instead unleash a biblical flood upon all drunken unsuspecting fools within its path? No. No they did not.
posted by poffin boffin at 11:34 AM on February 29, 2016 [36 favorites]


At the risk of humblebragging, I would like to add our current toilet to the list for consideration
posted by Greg Nog at 11:37 AM on February 29, 2016 [60 favorites]


bondcliff: "That would be every toilet."

I'm not saying you need to clean your house, but clean your house.
posted by boo_radley at 11:38 AM on February 29, 2016 [1 favorite]


The sequel to Charlie And The Great Glass Elevator that no-one asked for.

Or another version of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
posted by urbanwhaleshark at 11:40 AM on February 29, 2016 [7 favorites]


When I was a kid my Gran still had an outdoors loo. It was made of corrugated iron and next to the coal bunker, and when you were using it her - ancient, terrifying, inscrutable - neighbour Mrs Northsworthy would occasionally come out and bang a steel pan on the side

I never knew it until just now, but it's Mrs. Northsworthy that I aspire to be in my grumpy old age.
posted by mudpuppie at 11:44 AM on February 29, 2016 [18 favorites]


I mean Trainspotting levels of scary.

The men's room next to the Amtrak Concourse in NY Penn Station used to be a contender for that title.
posted by schmod at 11:45 AM on February 29, 2016 [5 favorites]


Or another version of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

In which Augustus Gloop meets an unspeakably foul demise.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 11:46 AM on February 29, 2016 [1 favorite]


One of the clubs I went to had these bathroom suites off the main floor. The doors and walls were completely transparent. Total glass, but once you flipped the lock they clouded over and became opaque. Even knowing they were controlled form the inside I couldn't get myself to use one. What if it blipped over to transparent while in use?

Also, I don't have a shy bladder at all. I could piss off a cliff in full view of a hiking convent. Now taking a crap on the other hand. If I am home alone and in a locked bathroom and I think even the cat could hear me I can't go. Basic training was hell for me. The field was always a challenge. My latrine was usually miles away.
posted by cjorgensen at 11:54 AM on February 29, 2016


the worst thing is dating someone new and you discover to your immense horror that they have very different toilet habits from you. like the time i got home from work, exhausted, and decided to take a nice relaxing bath and read a book, and the guy i was dating came over and thought it was totally 100% commonplace and normal for him to come into the bathroom to talk about his day at work while sitting on the toilet and taking a massive shit.

why
posted by poffin boffin at 11:58 AM on February 29, 2016 [17 favorites]


why would you ever
posted by poffin boffin at 11:58 AM on February 29, 2016 [18 favorites]


Oh god why
posted by Night_owl at 11:59 AM on February 29, 2016 [3 favorites]


schmod: "I mean Trainspotting levels of scary.

The men's room next to the Amtrak Concourse in NY Penn Station used to be a contender for that title.
"

Used to be? Haven't been there in a long time, what happened to it? I used to travel to my then home in Carteret, NJ after work. That was at around 4:00AM. It was a wonderland back then. ;)
posted by Splunge at 12:01 PM on February 29, 2016


Having experienced some choice third-world squat toilets in my day, I was expecting something more along the lines of Slumdog Millionaire scary.
posted by drlith at 12:05 PM on February 29, 2016 [2 favorites]


why

I'm no psychiatric expert, but I'm pretty sure you're lucky he didn't kill you and wear you for clothing.
posted by middleclasstool at 12:16 PM on February 29, 2016 [4 favorites]


irONICALLY he did try to kill me later on so PSA FOLKS it's a good clue to whether or not you're dating a fucking maniac
posted by poffin boffin at 12:19 PM on February 29, 2016 [40 favorites]


OK, so, if this elevator shaft toilet was mine, I would place six or seven mannequins and skeletons with pants around their ankles at the bottom of the shaft. Maybe a couple would have toilet paper in their fake hands. I'd light them well enough that you could see that they were down there while sitting on the john.

Before each guest went into the bathroom I'd say "after you flush, get out fast," as a look of guilt and horror passed across my face.
posted by Joey Michaels at 12:24 PM on February 29, 2016 [31 favorites]


normal for him to come into the bathroom to talk about his day at work while sitting on the toilet and taking a massive shit.

I grew up in a family of five with a single tiny bathroom. This is the way I was raised. I'd be a kid, in the bath, and my dad would be taking a big steaming dump while smoking a cigarette, or I'd be crapping while my mom was in the bath tub. I was like 12 years old before I learned that you're supposed to close the door when you're in the bathroom.

Now I am in a family of three in a house with 2 1/2 baths. Nobody craps when i'm in the tub. Nobody.
posted by bondcliff at 12:28 PM on February 29, 2016 [3 favorites]


It's the one with a large spider fully hidden under the seat.

I once had a black widow descend slooooowly from up underneath the top lip of a urinal into which I was micturating down a freshly spinning web toward the source of a now undeniable maelstrom of relief. It was... memorable.
posted by Wherever you go, there you are at 12:30 PM on February 29, 2016 [1 favorite]


I'm going for number two.
posted by Segundus at 12:40 PM on February 29, 2016


poffin boffin: "why would you ever"

Is it hard to break up with a dude who's on the toilet while you're bathing?
posted by boo_radley at 12:47 PM on February 29, 2016 [2 favorites]


(oh hey, look at the update peebos made since I got back to my desk. This isn't more awkward at all now)
posted by boo_radley at 12:48 PM on February 29, 2016 [2 favorites]


Is it hard to break up with a dude who's on the toilet while you're bathing?

Not if the motherfucker dumped already.
posted by bondcliff at 12:48 PM on February 29, 2016 [6 favorites]


Do you put a cinder block on the lid at night so the rats can't climb out of the toilet and into the house? Then you're toilet's not that scary.
posted by Marky at 12:51 PM on February 29, 2016 [2 favorites]


Nobody craps when i'm in the tub. Nobody.

#dirtydancingfirstdraft
posted by zippy at 12:51 PM on February 29, 2016 [34 favorites]


Scariest toilet ever was not actually a literal toilet but rather an open stretch of Wyoming with zero tree or brush cover where we had already seen a variety of kill-you-dead fauna during a trip with 15 classmates who you just kind of had to hope were looking in the other direction when you went to squat.
posted by phunniemee at 12:55 PM on February 29, 2016 [2 favorites]


That was at around 4:00AM. It was a wonderland back then.

that's how i remember the toilets at Port Authority in the 80s. The gap at the bottom of the stall was small, but the hands still reached under, searching...
posted by ennui.bz at 12:56 PM on February 29, 2016 [3 favorites]


No I lied, scariest toilet ever was that time my family was driving through New York City at 9pm on our way to Poughkeepsie, where my parents didn't actually want to stop because of how dangerous and scary New York is, but I had to pee, so they had to. They decided the safest possible place to let me out to pee was a police station on an extremely poorly lit street, where I went in and had to wade through a sea of freshly arrested creeps to get to an extremely filthy public toilet. My first time in New York City and the only place I actually got to see without minivan glass hindering my view was intake at a rundown police station. Thanks, parents.
posted by phunniemee at 1:00 PM on February 29, 2016 [11 favorites]


I'll tell you what. The scarriest toilet I ever used was the outhouse at the Stanley Mitchel Hut in Canada. I did a mountaineering trip in 2007 there - great experience. Great experience - and also a horrible horrible HORRIBLE experience.

See, that is quite literally in the middle of nowhere. That means the outhouse waste doesn't stay there. It, unlike this fool, rides luxuriously suspended from a helicopter down the mountain. Anyways... so this hut - even as remote as it is - gets used, by mountaineers, by backpackers, and by all kinds of eco tourists wanting to get remote. there is no running water (just a spring and stream), and two very nice looking outhouses. So, between the 10 of us, our first task on arrival was somewhat forewarned to us: We were likely going to have to remedy a situation with the outhouse.

Below the outhouses is a wooden floored storage area. Its nice, its clean - well... it smells awful, but it isn't a splatter factory. But, remember people poop through the holes in your roof while you are in there (well not while you are "in" there, but I'm just saying that you wouldn't want to set up a cot in there unless push really came to shove.) So in the storage area are eight 55 Gallon blue drums for containment. Lets just do some math. One gallon of water weighs 8.34 pounds, or a drum filled with 'water' weighs 458.7 pounds, plus whatever that drum weighs. For the sake of truth, lets say they left an inch off the top (which would be generous from what I remember) and maybe we're down to 435 pounds of waste. Anyway there are 6 barrels full to the brim and two empty barrels sort of pushed as far away from where they need to be to be useful. It isn't like we needed to move them far, just drag them around the floor, but let's face it... it isn't a pleasant concept of a task.

Now the average person produces 4.3 pounds of waste a day, but since we're talking about outdoors, its likely people we're only producing about 3.3 since a portion of that would be relegated to back-country waste disposal. Ok, so one barrel represents 132 people days of waste for a 6 barrel total of 790 days of people waste, divided by oh lets say an overly-generous 10 people per day and we've got 79 days of outhouse fumes, decomp and growth (probably much much longer)

So imagine if you the prospect stripping down to bare minimum clothes - because who plans on packing a special set of clothes for poop moving when they are doing 7 days of mountaineering half a continent away from their home, and also who wants to defile any of their clothes that they are going to need over the next 7 days? I will say, it was a great pre-bonding experience for the next few days as it required about 4 of us to wrestle one barrel, and it was easy to say "at least X isn't moving another one of those barrels". And yes, there was a definite sponge bath and dip in antibacterial sanitizer after that...

So, yeah, the bathroom was pretty pristine after that - I mean, the smell wasn't great... but the plop was... rewarding.
posted by Nanukthedog at 1:02 PM on February 29, 2016 [8 favorites]


As someone who used to go camping as a kid and use deep, deep pit toilets late at night in the middle of the Australian bush... these toilets are for wimps!
posted by greenhornet at 1:07 PM on February 29, 2016


MetaFilter: the plop was... rewarding.
posted by Wherever you go, there you are at 1:08 PM on February 29, 2016 [2 favorites]


Glasto.

When the weather's hot, the smell of baking shite is incredible. When it's wet, the bogs just seamlessly merge with the ground around.

Just don't look down. Ever. Especially if your glasses are loose.

It was at Glasto that I learned the trick of shutting down bowel functions for three days through sheer force of will, something I believe Apollo astronauts also mastered.
posted by Devonian at 1:14 PM on February 29, 2016 [1 favorite]


"What I have to say next concerns the Omsk airport men's room. I regret this...

"The men's room at the Omsk airport was unbelievably disgusting. Stepping through the door, or even near the door, was like receiving a blow to the face with the flat of a hand. No surface inside the men's room, including the ceiling, was clean. There were troughs and stools but no partitions, stalls, or doors. Everything was done in full view. The floor was strewn with filth of a wide and eye-catching variety. At the urinal raised footprints offered the possibility of keeping your feet out of the flooding mire, but as the footprints themselves were hardly filth-free, the intention failed. Certain of this place's images that I won't describe remain inexpugnable from my mind. I got out of there as fast as was practical and reeled away into the terminal's dim lobby.

"Soon Katya appeared, also reeling, from her trip to the ladies'. The force of revulsion propelled us clear out of the terminal and into its cracked and weed-surrounded parking lot, where we finally risked taking deep breaths again. First we washed with packaged detergent hand wipes. Then on our hands and the soles of our shoes we poured rubbing alcohol that Katya had brought along...

"[A]s I would find out, though the Omsk men's room was especially awful, that kind of bathroom experience is more the rule than not in Siberia. Winter temperatures there often fall so low that in the outhouses, liquids freeze very quickly, and over the months a sort of stalagmite effect is created, growing up through the hole in the floor. As for the holes themselves, only in the nicer outhouses are they made with a jigsaw that cuts them into the conventional oval shape; more generally they are hacked with an ax into fractured parallelograms. In indoor bathrooms within the permafrost zone, the fragility of the plumbing means that toilet paper cannot be flushed away, and so it is disposed of separately, usually in its own plastic bucket beside the john...Again, I apologize."

- Ian Frazier, _Travels in Siberia_, pp. 32-33.
posted by PandaMomentum at 1:17 PM on February 29, 2016 [6 favorites]


I encountered this scenery in South Korea a few years ago.
posted by ardgedee at 1:18 PM on February 29, 2016 [5 favorites]


June 1994. Gorky Park. I suspect my experience paralleled that of Mr. Frazier. I think I threw those shoe away before boarding the plane back to the USA.
posted by JohnFromGR at 1:27 PM on February 29, 2016 [1 favorite]


Nanukthedog: "Now the average person produces 4.3 pounds of waste a day, "

Well. On a good day maybe.
posted by Splunge at 1:33 PM on February 29, 2016 [1 favorite]


On a hiking trim in the White Mountains in NH some 20 years ago I remember coming across a rather well-built hut/cabin. "Oh – there's a indoor toilet? How civilized!" I thought. Upon opening the washroom door however, you realized that it was really just a few planks cantilevered off the back of the the hut, with a roof, and a toilet sitting at the end. Looking down through the toilet, you could see the bottom of a steep ravine, several dozen feet below. Well actually, you could see that through the walls as well, since they were made of chicken wire.

Hard to poop when you're worrying about the structural integrity of a hanging toilet, and there's a brisk breeze up your behind.
posted by Kabanos at 1:38 PM on February 29, 2016 [1 favorite]


Peter Greenaway has this covered.
posted by The Bellman at 1:58 PM on February 29, 2016


The Seiryumon restaurant in Japan wants to play too.

As for videogaming toilets, a local baseball club has installed urine-based games, complete with top performers getting a shout-out on video board displays within the park.
posted by delfin at 2:40 PM on February 29, 2016 [2 favorites]


Though Baltimore will always be the one true (nsfw) HOME OF CHALLENGE PISSING.
posted by delfin at 2:42 PM on February 29, 2016 [3 favorites]


MetaFilter: a brisk breeze up your behind.
posted by Splunge at 3:13 PM on February 29, 2016 [1 favorite]


thought it was totally 100% commonplace and normal for him to come into the bathroom to talk about his day at work while sitting on the toilet and taking a massive shit.

This reminds me of a Mary Whitehouse Experience joke that I vaguely remember.

David Badiel - I like to find out if a relationship is going to work out in the long term as soon as possible. After I hit it off with a girl I ask her if she'd like to come over and take a shit while I am having a shower.

Anyway, I think a good contender is the toilet bowl's eye view toilet.
posted by asok at 3:41 PM on February 29, 2016 [2 favorites]


The women's bathroom in the nightclub where I used to work had huge windows that faced the street. The last stalls were right up against the windows.

Many women assumed that the windows surely must have had some sort of privacy coating to conceal activities occuring in those stalls from the people in the building across the street or curious passers-by who happened to look up*.

They did not. Those windows were absolutely transparent. Everything that one does in the bathroom at a nightclub was on full display, especially when it was dark.

This same bathroom is said to be haunted by the ghost of a hippie girl who supposedly hung herself in the fourth stall. I never saw this myself because ghosts are notoriously averse to people who do not believe in them, but several very drunk women assured me she was absolutely real.

I am not one to contradict a person in distress, since they need to be heard in that moment, but I did point out that the exhibitionist stalls at the end were far creepier.

*really, though, nobody looks up. Some friends and I were doing a nude photo shoot in an old and long abandoned fur showroom that once overlooked Hennepin and Lagoon. At one point, the male model and myself were jumping up and down in the window and pressing ourselves against the glass, fully booty-butt-ass-nekkid and not a single person looked up. The photographer took off his clothes and joined us because he couldn't believe that nobody at this fairly busy intersection could see us bouncing and wiggling and flopping around. It was grand.
posted by louche mustachio at 3:52 PM on February 29, 2016 [8 favorites]


I assure you that the above tale of joyous exhibitionism in no way contradicts my pee-shyness. I still want to believe that the nearest person is in another state when I am availing myself of the facilities.
posted by louche mustachio at 4:01 PM on February 29, 2016


In an fun lesson on the "color of money" that the government often has to deal with, it came to pass a few years ago that the base I work on ran out of funds for basic maintenance. They cut back whatever they could - stopped maintaining the grounds, eliminated building maintenance as much as possible. Wasn't enough. The powers that be finally decided to reduce bathroom cleanings to once a week.

This lasted... oh, a month, maybe two? before they reversed course. Because the bathrooms became literally unusable. Between the lack of sanitary products, broken fixtures, and the filth, it was like something out of a horror film. Grown-ass, college educated, middle class office workers producing the most vile environment I have ever witnessed.

They compromised after that; a thorough cleaning once a week and restocking of supplies and basic wipe-down a second time in the week. They had to eliminate cubicle trash pickup to support that. It's still not enough.

The worst thing I saw in recent memory was the toilet that somehow ended up with no water in it due to a combination of plumbing failures and who knows what else. It not only let all the sewer gases in to the bathroom (did I mention there was zero ventilation? no idea how they designed that in), it started breeding flies in the bowl. A dry socket of a toilet bowl, full of flies. It was horrible.
posted by backseatpilot at 4:05 PM on February 29, 2016 [1 favorite]


This did not happen to me, but a very good friend has talked about the time high school aged him took a bunch of 'shrooms while at a summertime car show near Sacramento, when it was approximately 110°F outside and the only place available to take a dump was a veryveryveryvery hot and disgustingly fragrant Port-A-Potty. He claims he lost five years of his life in the 15 minutes he was in there.
posted by mosk at 4:06 PM on February 29, 2016 [1 favorite]


Two spring to mind, the first was an long-drop (as we call a toilet over a pit) in the middle of nowhere where I did a mountain bike race. The pit was very full and the drop was not at all long.

The second was when I spent a semester in Canada during university. Early in my stay I went in to a gents on campus only to find a stainless steel group urinal (which are common in Australia) but instead of along a wall, it was round and everyone faced in. I considered it for a few seconds before ducking in to a cubical. When I came out someone was washing his hands in it. Not a urinal apparently.
posted by markr at 4:09 PM on February 29, 2016 [5 favorites]


These are beautiful toilets I would use with a sense of pride in human achievement. I guess nobody has used an old outhouse with a copperhead snake it in. That isn't fun at 2am with a waning buzz and nausea.
posted by Muncle at 4:11 PM on February 29, 2016 [4 favorites]


My worst peeing experience was probably the time I crouched, unbeknownst to me, in the path of a line of army ants, who climbed up pant legs and also up the tail of my shirt. I guess the peeing wasn't the problem, so much as the getting dressed again and then suddenly having to pull off the majority of my clothes so that my field assistant could help me pull the army ants out of my torso and thighs.
posted by ChuraChura at 4:12 PM on February 29, 2016 [5 favorites]


Although, in general I love working in the rainforest. Just say "Un moment!" and duck behind a tree or bush any time you need to pee! It's so hard to retrain myself not to do that in my day to day life when I get back to the US.
posted by ChuraChura at 4:13 PM on February 29, 2016 [1 favorite]


The bathroom in Navarro River Redwoods State Park in CA, last visited 2012, is my current winner. Not just the turd tableau of the floor and stalls and the harsh metal bowls with broken seats but the peculiar meanness of the cinder block walls and the stained skylight panel, combined with the fact of our having arrived and set up late at night after a stressful drive down the 1, and then the periodic visitations of strange trucks with yelling men in them over the course of the night and early morning (more ominous in Mendocino), have led me to believe that my now-periodic anxiety dreams about having to enter disgusting bathrooms bare-foot are a direct result of my visit to that literal shithole.
posted by invitapriore at 4:35 PM on February 29, 2016 [1 favorite]


thought it was totally 100% commonplace and normal for him to come into the bathroom to talk about his day at work while sitting on the toilet and taking a massive shit.

Father Ted + Michael Redmond
posted by forallmankind at 4:40 PM on February 29, 2016 [1 favorite]


I'm horrified for all of you! This thread is certainly going to produce some nightmare fuel. Long drops, giant pigs, copperhead snakes... You've got to be Indiana Jones just to do your business some places.
posted by Kevin Street at 4:45 PM on February 29, 2016


It is a very special feeling, squatting on those bricks, knowing that right behind you, the swine are waiting, watching, growing impatient.

About 11 years ago, when I was a dirtbag 21 year old English teacher in Beijing, I was taking a cheap overnight bus without an onboard bathroom home from Qingdao. It must have been late December, in any event it was freezing cold. The bus pulled over somewhere in the countryside near the border of Hebei and Shandong so people could do their business. Wanting to sleep on the bus, I had quickly downed a small bottle of erguotou before boarding. By now it had gut-rotted its way through me and wanted badly to be set free.

I didn't know it at the time, but this was clearly a pig toilet sans cochon. This was right around the time that the central government was pushing to eliminate the last of these symbols of rural backwardness in preparation for the coming Olympics. In the absence of pigs, it must have fallen to some poor soul to clean out the chutes that lead from the grey brick latrine to the pigsty. This person must have neglected their duty for too long, leaving a massive frozen pile of excrement bulging from the bottom of the building, now forming an immobile blockage. The cold winter air did not penetrate inside, however. There must have been enough heat from the metabolism of innumerable microbes to keep things well above freezing in this uninsulated brick shack. More evidence of decomposition came from the smell. Not exactly what I was expecting, the burn of ammonia was powerful enough to overwhelm everything else. The only thing I could compare it to was being in the dressing room of a skating rink when a coolant pipe burst. Inside, along the wall facing the former pigsty, was a series of trenches, now filled past floor level with excrement, in some places the sides spilling over the edges of the trench, coming perilously close to simply being a single large pile of waste.

After waiting my turn, I squatted over the pile and gave my contribution. Afterwards, I patted my back pocket, finding nothing. Did I forget? I had lived in China long enough that I shouldn't have made such a stupid mistake. Looking down in shame and defeat, there, leaning against the pile of filth, a neat stack of mini-kleenex. Did they fall out of my pocket? Were they here before? Did it matter? I picked a few gingerly from the top, finished up, and hurried back to the idling bus, found my seat, and promptly went back to sleep.
posted by [expletive deleted] at 4:47 PM on February 29, 2016 [4 favorites]


[CMD-F] cbgb

Phrase not found


Hmm. Weird.
posted by dersins at 5:24 PM on February 29, 2016 [3 favorites]


It's nothing compared to some of the horror stories above; but I gotta say, those Dyson urinals are THE WORST. Gets everywhere.
posted by bartleby at 5:24 PM on February 29, 2016 [4 favorites]


I was doing a project in Bangkok during the rainy season and the public bathrooms we had accessible were basically outhouses... with 3 inch waterbugs lining the walls and ceiling (and presumably elsewhere but notlookingnotlookingnotlooking...) I trained myself immediately to hold everything in until we could get back to the hotel. Lucky I didn't fall over from dehydration, but I still believe it was worth the tradeoff.
posted by Mchelly at 6:18 PM on February 29, 2016


I've seen the toilets in the Torugart Pass border station between China and Kyrgyzstan. And that's all I'm going to say about that.
posted by the duck by the oboe at 6:22 PM on February 29, 2016 [6 favorites]


irONICALLY he did try to kill me later on so PSA FOLKS it's a good clue to whether or not you're dating a fucking maniac

STORY TIME
posted by KathrynT at 6:37 PM on February 29, 2016 [1 favorite]


During a poorly-planned (SPONTANEOUS!) trip to Nepal that ended up with a few different bus trips in and out of Kathmandu, every tourist bus stopped as the first rest stop at a little snack shop who's toilet was a black plastic tent big enough for about 5 women at a time with a trough around the outer edge of the inside dug at such an angle and location that, especially while holding your breath and sweating because of the stench and 100 degree (F) heat, was impossible to piss in without getting it all over your shoes either by aim or splash, or stepping in the puddles from the other amateurs who also failed. I think I finally succeeded the third time or so. It was worst because we had ALSO taken a local bus on a different trip and THAT ONE went about half a kilometer down the road to a lovely little cafe with a perfectly normal squat toilet. So it was worse knowing that other options were so close, yet so far away.

Also the toilet in the train station in some random city in India. Diapers and maxi pads stuffed everywhere, and also a flock of pigeons. And I had to pay to use it.

Until then the worst was a dive bar my parents took me to as a child, because they had decent Tex-Mex and dollar beers. My sister and I hated it because the door to the basement with the beer supply was only reachable through the women's bathroom, so we were each surprised at least once by an employee walking in through the basement door. Not a big deal to me now, but as a 10 year old I did not think dollar beers were an acceptable trade off. I think I get it now.
posted by jeweled accumulation at 7:24 PM on February 29, 2016 [1 favorite]


Just say "Un moment!" and duck behind a tree or bush any time you need to pee! It's so hard to retrain myself not to do that in my day to day life when I get back to the US.

/ducks behind office plant
posted by Existential Dread at 7:27 PM on February 29, 2016 [4 favorites]


At the risk of humblebragging, I would like to add our current toilet to the list for consideration

Watch out, that first step's a deuce-y.
posted by resurrexit at 7:32 PM on February 29, 2016 [2 favorites]


I've seen amazing things for a hygiene perspective, but the worst socially was the trough urinal that was two sided.

Peeing next to people? No problem. Peeing at people? For me, that was not easy.
posted by Dip Flash at 8:57 PM on February 29, 2016 [2 favorites]


Deadly spiders on toilet seats are so common in Australia that it has entered the annals (I'm sorry) of our arts and literature. This one is by Slim Newton.

There was a red-back on the toilet seat
When I was there last night,
I didn't see him in the dark,
But boy! I felt his bite!
I jumped high up into the air,
And when I hit the ground,
That crafty red-back spider
Wasn't nowhere to be found.

There was a red-back on the toilet seat
When I was there last night,
I didn't see him in the dark,
But boy! I felt his bite!
And now I'm ere in hospital,
A sad and sorry plight,
And I curse the red-back spider
On the toilet seat last night.

Rushed in to the missus,
Told her just where I'd been bit,
She grabbed the cut-throat razor blade,
And I nearly took a fit.
I said "Just forget what's on your mind,
And call a doctor please,
'Cause I've got a feeling that your cure
Is worse than the disease."

There was a red-back on the toilet seat
When I was there last night,
I didn't see him in the dark,
But boy! I felt his bite!
And now I'm ere in hospital,
A sad and sorry plight,
And I curse the red-back spider
On the toilet seat last night.

I can't lay down, I can't sit up,
And I don't know what to do,
And all the nurses think it's funny,
But that's not my point of view.
I tell you it's embarrassing,
(And that's to say the least)
That I'm too sick to eat a bite,
While that spider had a feast!

There was a red-back on the toilet seat
When I was there last night,
I didn't see him in the dark,
But boy! I felt his bite!
And now I'm ere in hospital,
A sad and sorry plight,
And I curse the red-back spider
On the toilet seat last night.

And when I get back home again,
I tell you what I'll do,
I'll make that red-back suffer
For the pain I'm going through.
I've had so many needles
That I'm looking like a sieve,
And I promise you that spider
Hasn't very long to live!

There was a red-back on the toilet seat
When I was there last night,
I didn't see him in the dark,
But boy! I felt his bite!
And now I'm ere in hospital,
A sad and sorry plight,
And I curse the red-back spider
On the toilet seat last night.
posted by b33j at 9:30 PM on February 29, 2016 [2 favorites]


two most memorable pees-

1. peeing on the CIA after a going away party in Rockville Maryland. They kept feeding me shots of tequila, and I was driving home down the GW parkway. Nature didn't just call- bitch demanded OUT. So the first turn off turned out to be the front parking lot of the CIA- only noticed it after relief. Thankfully, I was not in the habit of panties back then. And I am 99% sure that they didn't have cameras there.

2. Peeing at the Monster in NYC in the mid 90's There was no ladies room, since no ladies went there. I was wearing a body con dress that I probably couldn't get over my toe now- and 4 inch heels, which I was instantly grateful for since the pee level in a gay bar in the village at the time was at 3 inches. It was also the night that an incredibly handsome gay man bought me a shot with the admonition " I don't want to fuck you, I just want to salute your fierce. "
posted by LuckyMonkey21 at 9:33 PM on February 29, 2016 [7 favorites]


Metafilter does elimination threads so wonderfully. I laughed so hard partway through this that I had to run crosslegged to my (relatively) pristine bathroom.

fully booty-butt-ass-nekkid ...bouncing and wiggling and flopping around. It was grand.
posted by louche mustachio

So completely epony-dissolute
posted by BlueHorse at 10:17 PM on February 29, 2016 [1 favorite]


> It's the one with a large spider fully hidden under the seat.

That would be every toilet.


That's not true; or rather not knowable. Much like the famous cat, the spider is in a superposition of being there/not being there states, and it's only when you (the observer) sit down on the seat that the wavefunction collapses and the spider manifests/does not manifest.

Do you put a cinder block on the lid at night so the rats can't climb out of the toilet and into the house? Then you're toilet's not that scary.


Well, ok. If rats are making it into the house that's also an observation. In this case you either don't have a spider or she's not lethal enough to bring down a rat.
posted by sebastienbailard at 10:39 PM on February 29, 2016


Metafilter: I don't want to fuck you, I just want to salute your fierce.
posted by Joey Michaels at 11:44 PM on February 29, 2016 [4 favorites]


shakespeherian: "Not at all true. Some of the spiders have been eaten by the snakes."

That have yet to be eaten by the sewer gators.
posted by Samizdata at 11:59 PM on February 29, 2016


poffin boffin: "why would you ever"

Ummm, because you have to, and shitting on random floors can be worse for a new relationship?
posted by Samizdata at 12:06 AM on March 1, 2016


The WORST bathroom I ever saw was at a railway station in southern France, and it was like - you know how abandoned buildings have, like, plants growing inside them, and big holes in the wall with plaster everywhere? It was like that, but with the smell of decades of steady use. And they were squat toilets.

The SCARIEST bathroom I can think of offhand is the one that used to be my go-to when I was on campus. It's got a single toilet stall and a single urinal, and it was only recently that I discovered how much worse it is when there's just the two of you in such an intimate setting.
posted by teponaztli at 1:51 AM on March 1, 2016 [1 favorite]


Or, now that I think about it, maybe the scariest was the one on the beach somewhere in way northern California that just opened directly onto the sand 20 feet below. I remember cautiously peering through the toilet and seeing big piles just sitting on the sand underneath each stall, and they were just kind of on the beach - I mean, you could see sunlight through the toilets.

Oh God, and they weren't actually stalls. The partitions came up to like waist-height.

I think I just walked back to my car and drove far, far away.

I was there about 10 years ago, and I've always wondered if it's still there, or if some merciful public health and safety officials have shut it down.
posted by teponaztli at 1:55 AM on March 1, 2016


Okay, it's not scary per se, but there's this Chinese restaurant on a corner near the Victoria and Albert Museum. Like so many London restaurants, the bathrooms are in the basement, and this one is down a particularly narrow twisty flight of stairs and about the size of a broom closet.

All that's fine. I can deal with that. What's not fine is that I'm right around six feet tall, and the ceiling in there is maybe five-foot-six at most. I had to conduct my entire business with my head tilted over like the world's most confused dog.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 2:51 AM on March 1, 2016


Camp site on polish mountains. Water to flush the toilet block was available for one hour a day.

Clean toilet on a camp site in Serbia, but inhabited by large spiders. The light was on a 1 minute timer.
posted by thegirlwiththehat at 3:12 AM on March 1, 2016 [4 favorites]


Throughout my childhood, I held a crippling fear of spiders hiding on the underside of the toilet seat. No matter how much of a rush I was in, I would always take a moment to check. In my mind, there was nothing spiders loved more than to crawl on boys' butts and terrorize them, ideally getting a bite or two in.

Around college I began to let my guard slip. I still checked about almost all of the time--almost. But it was no longer the imperative it once was. The foolhardiness of youth! Within a month, I sat on a toilet seat without checking, AND A SPIDER CRAWLED ONTO MY BUTT. IT DIDN'T BITE ME BUT IT WAS DEFINITELY HORRIBLE.

To the people who concern themselves with toilet butt-spiders: your paranoia is real. There are spiders lurking around every toilet. Watching. Waiting. Once you've let your guard down, they'll crawl onto your butt. It's real.
posted by duffell at 4:17 AM on March 1, 2016 [7 favorites]


Things I learned this year while responsible for a public toilet: if you don't give people access to paper towels the level of toilet disaster decreases from 8-10 on a daily basis to 8-10 on a monthly basis.

After a season of no paper towels we installed hand driers.

So if you ever are in a public toilet and notice a lack of paper towels ... that's why.
posted by sciencegeek at 4:17 AM on March 1, 2016 [2 favorites]


The single most haunting thing I've seen in a public toilet:

Rest stop off I-5 in Washington state, near Tumwater I think. The restroom itself was garden-variety awful for a highway rest stop: doors hanging off hinges, diarrhea blasts on the wall, a clogged toilet overflowing with murky water, the stench of a thousand mayonnaise farts, you know, NORMAL but also VERY VERY BAD.

But what haunts me to this day is the guy who was sitting on a toilet seat (the one with the stall door hanging off the hinges), pants on, calmly and methodically eating a burrito.
posted by duffell at 4:26 AM on March 1, 2016 [10 favorites]


Ah, found it. My toilet horror story from another thread:

Let's talk about NYC. Way back around 1985-6? Not sure. I was on my way to work at the Empire State Building. This is after a night of tacos and margaritas. I was surprised that in my hungover state that I seemed to have no intestinal issues.

This would change. The rumbly in the tumbly began around 7th Ave, on the F train. By Jay Street it was so bad that I got off the train SURE that I would crap my pants in the worst way possible. I went up to the mezzanine between the 6th Ave lines on the lower level and 8th Ave trains on the upper level. I was actually looking for a secluded spot to take a dump. In public. On the floor. I did not care.

And of course a police officer saw me.

Cop: Whatever you're looking to do. Don't.
Me: If I don't get to a bathroom in ten seconds you're going to have a big mess to deal with.
Cop: Go to the main turnstile. There's a bathroom.

And then he laughed.

So I did. And now I understand the laugh.

My surprise at a public restroom in a NYC subway was tempered by the... interesting characters that were in it.

It was a small bathroom. Two stalls. No doors and a unrinal full of crap.

The stall near the door had a homeless guy sleeping on the toilet. The one in the back was unoccupied. No toilet seat. No paper. Gross and stained. Full as well. I flushed it. (It flushed!) I took off the bandana I was wearing. I used it to wipe the porcelain rim. Not much help there. But by then it was too late. Pants down and let it rip.

While a few bathroom folks watched and smiled. I shit you not (so to speak). I had an audience.

Me: (sweatty and cramped) Do you mind?

They walked away.

Once finished, I went into my pocket for another bandana/hankie and wiped. At this point I considered flushing them but realised that they would probably clog the toilet and flood the station. So I just threw them on the floor next to the toilet. Probably absorbing a small amount of the biological hazard on the floor.

There was no sink.

But one very sympathetic fellow went into his pocket and offered me some balled up tissues to clean up with. I politely declined.

My next stop was a payphone. I called my boss and basically said, "I have just been through hell. I will not be coming to work today." And I hung up. My voice must have been shaky and strained. He never asked me for an explaination.

I took the next train home. The whole time I wanted to crawl out of my skin and die. Once home I threw all of my clothes into a garbage bag. I took a long hot shower until the water went cold. And then took a long cold shower. I put the bag at the curb as trash.

TL;DR

I would have loved a squat toilet. And never take balled up tissue from a stranger that hangs out in a restroom.
posted by Splunge at 5:01 AM on March 1, 2016 [8 favorites]


My friend is Australian and during a conversation about the Diversity and Prevalence of Wildlife in Australian Suburban Settings, he told us this one story about how he was at a hotel once and he had to go to the toilet in the middle of the night.

He sat down because he was tired and soon felt a very cold, very small, slightly moist... hand, every so gently touch his bum. He got up and and saw that what he experienced was a frog's way of telling him "woah there buddy, occupied".

I am never going to Australia.
posted by like_neon at 5:19 AM on March 1, 2016 [19 favorites]


I was going to ask where the plumbing goes on that Mexican one, but then I decided I would just let the matter drop...
posted by Snowflake at 6:57 AM on March 1, 2016


Metafilter: My toilet horror story from another thread.

Sorta related: Margaret Cho on her all-persimmon diet.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 7:16 AM on March 1, 2016 [2 favorites]


Bolivia.

An overnight bus through the highlands, no windows, chickens, big cubic parcels pushing up against your head.

You stop a few stops past the middle of nowhere, at like 5000m above sea level, a few degrees below zero, in the highlands. Stone buildings. Maybe an alpaca somewhere.

It's something like 4am, and for some reason they want you to eat dinner in this rundown, stone + mud shack, with spindly tables and mystery chicken meat (the scariest mystery meat of all) floating in a semi-congealed soup of you-don't-want-to-know and these potatoes they leave out for a month in the bitter cold of the Alitiplano until they get hard, black and completely unedible.

The bus barely has seats, much less a functioning toilet, so you go out back, to a mudwall outhouse.

Holding your breath, you open the wooden boards that are a sort of proxy for a door.

There is a dirt floor. There is a hole in the dirt. There are 2 or 3 planks somewhere near the hole.

There is shit, vomit, and other things best left undescribed in and around the hole. There's a rope with a knot you're supposed to hang on to so you don't fall into the hole. The rope is unravelling and wet.

You can't do it, you're not that hardcore. You head back to bus and tell your bladder and stomach to suck it up, it's just 8 hours to the next stop.
posted by signal at 7:20 AM on March 1, 2016 [3 favorites]


One of the things touring with a punk band will teach you is that when you really have to go, you'll go in anything.
posted by lumpenprole at 11:05 AM on March 1, 2016 [1 favorite]


Cop: Go to the main turnstile. There's a bathroom.

oh man that fucking bathroom

actually the story i was going to tell about that bathroom is a little too much even for me
posted by poffin boffin at 3:23 PM on March 1, 2016 [1 favorite]


these potatoes they leave out for a month in the bitter cold of the Alitiplano until they get hard, black and completely unedible

hdu cast aspersions on the terrible preserved foods of my people

also you forgot the key preparation step where you have to stomp on them to get the water out
posted by poffin boffin at 3:26 PM on March 1, 2016 [2 favorites]


and soon felt a very cold, very small, slightly moist... hand, every so gently touch his bum

FTW
posted by vignettist at 5:15 PM on March 1, 2016


poffin boffin: "Cop: Go to the main turnstile. There's a bathroom.

oh man that fucking bathroom

actually the story i was going to tell about that bathroom is a little too much even for me
"

You know it? I'm so very sorry. Please do tell though. We've all been through hell here.
posted by Splunge at 6:11 PM on March 1, 2016


no it was a potentially triggery thing about heroin abuse and it's hard to summarize the situation any further without excessively intricate shooting up details.
posted by poffin boffin at 6:30 PM on March 1, 2016


poffin boffin: "no it was a potentially triggery thing about heroin abuse and it's hard to summarize the situation any further without excessively intricate shooting up details."

Completely understood. Sorry if my comment upset you.
posted by Splunge at 6:35 PM on March 1, 2016


nah i just felt bad maybe making anyone feel weirdly nostalgic for terrible things with my previewed but unposted comment.
posted by poffin boffin at 6:38 PM on March 1, 2016


Actually it's a been there done that thing for me. If you want to PM me the story I'd be interested. Otherwise, water under the stall. ;-)
posted by Splunge at 6:42 PM on March 1, 2016


The toilet was bad, but worse for the neighbors.
The owner of the toilet was one of the sweetest, coolest people I've ever met. He and his partner had an interior design company and the amount of cool stuff they did was significant. But, as cool as they were, they were neither of them plumbers. So, he installed the toilet in his loft himself. This was on the Bowery in NYC, in the early 90's - that is, before everything went haywire. Because the pipe he wanted to attach to was 'too high', he built a kind of pedestal thing out of 2x4s. And then with some silicone and gravity, he attached waste pipe to toilet. Normally there's a flange that the toilet screws onto, and a wax ring between the two provides the seal. He skipped that part. The other thing is that, normally, the pipe from the toilet is never less than 3inches in diameter. Never. Often it's bigger. He skipped over that also, because, not wholly unreasonably but yes, unreasonably - he 'doesn't poop that much' and 'look at me, I'm just not big.' Which he wasn't, he was distinctly fly-weight.
Still, poop and toilet paper can not reliably get through a two-inch pipe. So they back up. Somehow, after he first noticed the problem, well, I think what was happening was that the toilet was over-filling and then leaking out around the improvised silicone joint. And then spilling through his 2x4 support lattice and onto the floor (this was all enclosed, no smell), and then into the apartment below.
Which is where the complaint came from, why I was there in the first place, not because of his slow, slightly clogged toilet, but because the neighbors had water coming through their ceiling. I went into their apartment and there were a couple buckets and sauce-pans around. The guy there was not sure how much to think about it. "It's kind of, like, brown, don't you think?" he'd asked. I debated but decided the truth would only bring misery. "Oh, dude, no. It's just building tea - you know? from the wood and stuff as it seeps through?" He took it at face value. Thankfully. I admonished the client and he promised not to do any more plumbing by himself.

The greatest toilet was an outhouse on Block Island. High on a hill, you looked out of the half-door to the water a couple miles away.
posted by From Bklyn at 1:35 AM on March 2, 2016 [3 favorites]


WHY would someone choose to use a smaller pipe? That makes no sense. It's not like it saves any money. That guy is not only not a plumber, he's like the anti-plumber.
posted by teponaztli at 2:35 AM on March 2, 2016 [2 favorites]


WHY would someone choose to use a smaller pipe?

Minimalism!
posted by sebastienbailard at 2:46 AM on March 2, 2016 [4 favorites]


I've been to Cambodia, Vietnam, England, Wales and Mexico. The worst bathroom experience in my life remains Fenway Park.
posted by Sphinx at 8:11 AM on March 2, 2016


I've used everything from frog toilets all the way to a toilet like the one signal described.

For a while, we had someone using our alley as their toilet. That's when I first realized that there are literally no 24-hour toilets in this part of our city. None. In an urban environment, the worst toilet of all is no toilet at all.
posted by aniola at 10:46 PM on March 2, 2016 [3 favorites]


This is not that. This is a glorious toilet! It was out in the Wallowa mountains of Eastern Oregon. A teepee over a pit toilet with sawdust to throw down after you throw down. With the canvas door flapped closed, it was a little grim but throw open that door and behold the glorious snow capped vista! A stellar seat to contemplate nature's majesty.
posted by amanda at 6:20 PM on March 12, 2016


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