I feel obligated to report on the toilets in Ireland after I make a big stink (HA! I MADE A FUNNY!) about travel writers not writing about bathrooms enough. I also hope that I am the first writer to take notes about the bathroom experience. So here is a little Irish Bathroom Experience in 3D! Poop flying at you from… The editors would apologize as we have discovered the Irish Bathroom Experience in 3D is on the list of banned 3D experiences. We’d like to continue this in regular D and possibly even blurry D or even no D.
Let’s start with the logistics and history. I thought that it was going to be like Germany because in the Dublin airport, they were labeled WC which stands for “Water Conda”. They are called “Water Condas” because back in the olden days, giant anaconda’s used to rise out of the toilets and muscle burgeoning men like Arnold from Conan the Barbarian had to wrestle them into submission. The muscle burgeons would then allude to the snake being the actual size of their penis and the chicks fell for the bullshit. They made babies and we had musclemen pretty much ruling the world in the middle ages.
Nerdy skinny guys now rule society today because they invented toilets with holes too small for the anaconda’s to fit through. The musclemen didn’t want to compare their penis size with anything small even though the steroid abuse the eighties reduced their penis to size of something you’d study in a biology class.
Student: Mr. Finklestien! Conan the Barbarian is sticking his penis in my microscope slide again!
However, when we got out of the Dublin airport, the bathrooms were labeled toilets for the most part. Most places marked the men’s room as Gents and the women’s were labeled “those other people without rights such as abortion.” While I can’t verify the women’s, the men’s bathrooms were really clean in Ireland. There was the occasional pub here and there that could use a cleaning but nothing like in America where men pee on the walls as if they were a sprinkler system.
But I think that brings me to the big cultural difference of Ireland versus the US – the urinals. In the US, men have barriers between themselves when they pee. There is also the code. You never pee next to someone else unless you can avoid it. Never look towards someone else while you pee-especially in the eyes. And never, ever try to talk to them.
American One begins to pee. American Two comes in and starts to pee two urinals down.
American Two: Tiger is at -6.
American One turns into Cthulhu.
Cthulhu: You have unleashed the powers of darkness! I will engulf the world. The raw power of evil unleashed-
American Two: Whoa! I’m going to need some expository dialogue. How did I do that?
Cthulhu: The magic that bound me to my mortal imprisonment said that if a man speak to a another stranger during the sacred time of pee, Evil shall rise up and destroy the Earth.
American Two: That’s stupid.
Cthulhu: Tell me about it. My cousin is slumbering from a magic that will be broken if a woman uses the men’s room even if there is a long line to the women’s and the men’s bathroom is a single person one anyway.
American Two: Wow. That’s weird.
Cthulhu: Ancient slumbering evil has a lot of rules and regulations. I remember when you could just slaughter indiscriminately.
American Two: Those where the days.
Cthulhu: For sure! So true.
In my experience of Ireland, men had no problem with a little bathroom conversation. It’s probably because there were really no privacy barriers between urinals and in some cases no urinals-just a pissing wall with a time release water flow to rinse off the wall. With my American sensibilities of privacy, I found myself hiding out in the stall and avoiding the urinals-which made for over hearing interesting conversation.
Irish One: Tiger is up by two.
Irish Two: There should be rain tomorrow.
Irish Three: Does anyone know how to get to the Ferry?
Irish Four: Strait up the road to Galway keep the ocean on your left.
The Irish are the best small talkers on the planet. Everyone is super friendly and willing chat. Maybe it’s the shared sense of urinal space that encourages small talk. Maybe other men’s wangs flopping freely in the bathroom makes people from any culture uncomfortable. What better way to dispel discomfort than small talk?
As an American traveling in a country that strongly influenced the culture of the US, maybe Americans are just like rebellious teenagers. “They don’t have dividers in the urinals, we’ll show them! We’ll put dividers! How are you going to small talk now! I’ll listen to my music as loud as I want too!” Or maybe I’m reading too much into it and I’m putting more thought into the bathroom than the inventor of the toilet.
Sir Edgar Toilet I: I am Sir Edgar Toilet the first and I am severely offended by this. I think a lot about the toilet. My offspring now have a pretty shitty dynastic connection… no pun intended. Either way, I demand the immediate cessation of this article. Why are you looking at me like that? Because I said cess? Cess is a normal function of everyday life. Why can’t we talk about it? I swim in cesspools at least twice a week. It connects me to nature.
The editors would like to apologize for the interruption and would like to return to the Oscar winning movie Argo (already in progress).
Iranian Solider: You expect me to believe that you are really making a movie.
Solider turns around and Ben Affleck has his clothes off.
Iranian Solider: Oh… it’s that kind of movie.
Queue music… Solider unzips…