The Chav Gene

Again, an unoriginal post. However, one that I had to share. In our office we often talk about whether or not there is a chav gene and we’ve sort of come to the conclusion that there probably is. Obviously the conversation then tends to descend into how to remove this gene but that’s not what I’m on about here. It dawned on me that if there was a chav gene then it must include hearing deficiencies. I don’t think I’ve ever heard a chav whispering, I’ve only ever heard them shouting to each other. The best example was something I saw today. A chav lady was walking along the street when she stopped, reached into her Poundland bag, got out a 2 litre bottle of cider and started glugging away. Not a delicate and discrete swig but a good, hearty downing. Her chav gentleman friend bellowed out half way down the street “Not there, people might see you”. Really? People might see a lady slugging from a 2 litre bottle on the middle of a busy street at lunch time? Well, I guess anything is possible. In the words of Ron Burgundy, Stay Classy Middlesbrough!


Toilet Etiquitte

Nothing new to write about so I thought I would just have a quick chat to you about toilet etiquette. A well documented topic, I know, so feel free to go and do something more interesting instead. Obviously this is from a gentleman’s perspective as I have never been in a ladies toilet. Not quite true but I was innocent m’lord. Anyhoo, where I work there are three pots for weeing and two stalls for dumping. It would seem to me common decency if you want a wee to pick one of the outer pots and not plump for the middle one. A colleague said that he reckoned people went in the middle one with the assumption that no-one would want to squeeze in next to him, thus forcing them to wee in the cubicle and allowing him to wee in a kind of privacy. A good point, I thought. Bearing in mind English reserve and all that, it’s nice to have a bit of space – especially when bleeding the beast. So that’s all cleared up – always pick a pot with space. But don’t be selfish – others need to take a leak as well so be nice and think of others – pick an end pot if you can.

Next up is eye contact. Do you make eye contact with a fellow pisser? Or do you fix your eyes directly ahead of you? How about concentrating on the major down below? I personally favour the looking ahead until almost down and then glancing down at the chap for the final splashes. But then what about conversation? If the bloke next to you starts talking about something (hopefully the weather and not about how hard it is to pass water), do you then make eye contact or continue staring ahead? I still favour looking ahead with a few glances to my comrade. There is always a risk of glancing down (just out of curiosity) I’ve found – I would say this should be avoided.

How about breaking wind? It seems a lot of chaps go to the toilet for not just a slash but a jolly good fart. My only problem with this is I still have to fight the urge not to chuckle. Sad, I know, but there you go. Do you need to comment on the fart? What if it’s particularly impressive? I’ve found a wry smile works well. You could be admiring his tone or you could be remembering a past joke – best of both worlds.

Finally, the finish. There’s the old comment about more than 3 shakes is playing with it but I sometimes find that as I’m getting older I need to shake the old fella at least 3 times. There was an occasion when the bloke next to me shook his chap so hard my arm definitely felt the warmth of his urine. Not pleasant. The jury is out on this one. As long as there’s no stiffening or splashing, it’s all good. Zipping up should always be done with care and before you leave the safety of the pot. Otherwise you’re in danger of flashing people the good stuff and/or clipping the end of Big Ben with the fly before he goes back to sleep. Never a good thing.

I did read a review in the Times or somewhere that said you should apologise to your fellow occupants if you’ve been eating asparagus or some vegetable that comes through in the wee. I find that strange. If some stranger apologised to me for the smell of his piss I don’t think I would be grateful somehow. It’s never happened so I can’t comment on the experience. Maybe I’m the only one who read the article. A bit like this one – ba boom!

Dumping is a bit easier. You’re in the safety of the cubicle and it’s like your own little private world. I have found myself squeezing out a good crap with a fair amount of wind to accompany it with and then waiting until I hear that the outside is empty before making my escape. There was one time in a busy airport when I had to go into a cubicle recently occupied. I almost gagged but I guess there’s not much you can do about that. Spraying air freshener doesn’t really do it for me. It’s like the different layers of a cake. Air Freshener and then crap. The crap smell is still there, it’s just weighed down a bit by the air freshener. I didn’t begrudge the guy, but  I did almost lose my breakfast. I guess what I’m trying to say is there’s no point trying to mask the smell. Only a good open window or a powerful fan is going to help you out. Unless Va-poo-rise actually becomes a real product. One possible solution is to flush as soon as you’ve crapped – this gets rid of the offending turd and hopefully some of the smell. It’s worked for me in the past but remember to stand a little bit before the flush otherwise you run the risk of wet ball sack.

Unless you are so desperate there’s no stopping the tide, check for paper before undertaking anything. It’s happened to me before. I had to sit there until the place was empty and then dart to the next cubicle, trousers around my ankles – not a good look. There was another time when the same thing happened to me but the kind person in the cubicle next to me must have spotted the lack of paper. He kindly asked if I needed some TP (which I guess is the Canadian polite way of saying bum wipe paper or shit rag) and then passed a sizeable amount of paper under the wall.

Last thing, be kind to the next person in. Have a check that everything has gone before leaving the premise. I’m not as diligent in this, I have to admit, but I’ll be the first person to complain and be outraged when the toilet has a little present waiting for me.

So we’ve done the business and the last stage is washing up. Do you need to wash if you’ve just had a wee and not splashed? I mean, you’ve had a shower that morning and the wedding tackle is nice and clean – what’s the harm? It’s force of habit for me, but I always give the hands at least a dousing if nothing else. If there are other people present then it’s the full monty – water, soap, lather, rinse and maybe even repeat. Then there’s the drying. There are so many reports about global warming that this is a tricky one. Do you use paper and run the risk of a forest being felled just so you have dry hands? Or do you fire up the hand dryer, causing an unnecessary drain on the electric grid? I have to admit to a kick dry on the back of my trousers and it may sound odd but I quite like a bit of water left on so I can open the door with a shield of water. Think about it. Not everyone washes their hands, but everyone touches that door. So even if you do wash your hands you still run the risk of getting some faecal detritus on your hands after all. If it’s a push door you can always back out, bum first, but then you also run the risk of jamming your arse (as if Google Chrome doesn’t recognise the word ARSE…or Google for that matter)  into the next person coming in. In some toilets that might be appropriate behaviour but not where I go. Unless it’s a Saturday night of course.

Well, I think that about covers it. Print out this article and take it with you next time you go to the toilet. At the very least you’ll have something to wipe your bum with if there’s no paper…….

Pub Rock

A little while ago I responded to an advert for a pub rock band looking for a local drummer. I responded not because I love pub rock. I don’t. Sorry to all those hard working people out there but I just don’t. I responded because I wanted to play drums and for once get paid for it. Shallow, but I don’t care. To get paid for doing something I love (albeit in a genre I despise) sounds awesome. Bit of a paradox there I guess.

Anyhoo, I headed up for the rehearsal. It started badly. The band was practising in an old church hall and the sound was utter gash. I mean, the sound quality. It boomed and echoed across the land and all I could really hear was the leaden thump of the drums. The guy was good, don’t get me wrong, but so unbelievably pedestrian it was almost painful to watch. The singer sadly really should have known better. A sweet, good natured lady in her mid-40’s doesn’t look so good trying to bump and grind.

I swallowed my pride and stepped up to the game, delivering a belting drum solo throwing in some congolese soukous beats with a bit of surf thrown in. The bass player thoroughly grooved to my bombastic style (at the beginning he didn’t make eye contact and said not a word, at the end he wouldn’t shut up) and the rest of the band looked suitably impressed. Job well done, I left home feeling somehow dirty and ashamed with myself. Until I got a text the next day saying they weren’t interested. Fuckers!

I’m tagging this one drumming but not music. I’m not bitter.


My beautiful daughter is beginning to express herself more and more these days. This is not actually in words but it’s her own form of language. If I turn my back on her she’ll huff. If I continue to ignore her the huff becomes a puff. If I still persist in being annoying Dad she’ll blow me down with her exclamations. It’s very cute but it’s also worrying how quickly she is progressing. Not worrying in a bad way for her – this is an amazing process that happens before your eyes. Worrying for me as my life seems to have switched to fast forward and I can’t seem to stop it. But then again, do I want to? Watching my daughter develop and blossom like the peach tree she will be is quite simply the best thing ever. I’m gushing so I’ll stop.