Wednesday, 7 November 2007

Bog Standard

Digg this

There is a campaign for better standards of toilets in schools which I have been asked to support.

The fact that I have been offered absolutely no money to do so, or even a nice packet of Izal, is not going to stop me as I think this is a just cause.

As a young man I had a somewhat privileged schooling at first St Michael's Pre-prep, who asked me to leave, then at St Michael's Prep School, who expelled me just after my Common Entrance exam, and finally at Millfield, where I got my first and thirds rugger colours, before being expelled. During this period I had no problems with the facilities.

Admittedly I had a less than savoury house master at Millfield and my headmaster at St Michael's was put away for Gross Indecency, but we always had clean porcelain upon which to rest our laurelled bums. I was then, after being referred to a behavioural specialist in Exeter by the name of Anita Diamond, who made my mother cry and could frankly have done with some behavioural lessons herself, allowed, somewhat grudgingly, to attend Chulmleigh Community College, who kept me until I was 16.

We were never allowed toilet roll as boys. I understand that there were some who wet the paper and threw it around, but I really cannot, now that I am an adult, understand how the powers that were failed to grasp the concept that removing toilet roll for all pupils encouraged the rowdy few.

Either way, if, for example, I had a stomach ache or I was at a school disco (and thus attending the school during my normal allocated evening defecation time) and I wanted a poo, I had to ask Mrs 'Dolly' Reed (who was in no way affiliated with the school, but a kindly old lady, none the less) or Susan Smith, that bastion of anal depravity that is a school secretary, all of whom appear to be drawn from the same recruitment pool as the medical receptionist, for some paper.

Invariably this would be a request met with hostile suspicion. Clearly by their advanced years these ladies had forgotten that, as young women, they had to excrete. Presumably they believed it was something that only crept up on them in later life. As such they were certain we wished to make trouble with our lavatory roll.

We were, once it had been ascertained that we had no plans for resurrecting the horrors of Nagasaki in Andrex white, given our allotted single sheet. No amount of reasoning would increase this, so we always asked for a sheet of paper every time we visited the John. Accordingly there was a stockpile in the lavatories for those who needed it or, on occasion, those who wished to cause mischief.

I cannot help thinking that the novelty of throwing a piece of wet loo roll at the ceiling would have worn off much more rapidly, had we had full access to the ingredients in the first place.

As an adult I find that there is a tendency for companies to use cheap paper which, frankly, is a false economy. Firstly it is less effective (so one uses more of it) but secondly, when paper is so rough as to induce bleeding, morale is lowered and productivity suffers.

For all these reasons, I support the Bog Standard campaign, as requested, albeit from the huge weight of 198lbs.

I am having a poo in a poor-paper facility

196.6lbs, eh? One would have thought that all this reminiscing would have worked more weight off my frame.

No matter. Cheerio!

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