Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Portable Toilets

You know my issue with Port-a-potties? They are just too damn impersonal. Now a Port-a-potty with an attendant: That's more my style. Here is the solution:

Coming soon to a concert/festival near you.

Friday, December 24, 2010


Don't ask me how, but I came across this video on YouTube:

Keep in mind that you have to pay $2 for this app.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Gulliver's Travels

I don't know the details of this story, but at the same time I emphatize with Gulliver. You see, I went walking with my mom the other day and had a similar experience. Here is my proof:

This world was just like ours, only smaller, as you can see by the tiny toilet I am standing next to. Unfortunately, we had to leave, and fast. I may have accidentally stepped on one of my hosts.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Scared the Shit Out of Me

Someone in Japan found a way to make their customers use the restroom in a timely, efficient manner.

Pretty hysterical stuff.

[Thanks Rachele!]

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Jungle Jim's Restrooms

I thought this was pretty creative. Check out this store's bathrooms:

Pretty gross, eh?

Well here is what's inside those port-o-potties:

Thursday, December 9, 2010

The Worst Bathroom In New York City

New York Times article caught my eye today: It was written by a journalist that has been covering the worst of New York's housing. This is her description of the worst bathroom she came across.

When he opened the door to his apartment, I was hit with an overpowering smell of moisture. Justin said that a pipe had burst last January, gushing enough scalding water to turn the bathroom into a mold-filled, 24-hour steam room. Water damage had wrecked the floors. They were so rotted that you could dip your arm up to your elbow into the floorboard below the toilet. Meanwhile, huge chunks of the ceiling were missing, and you could see into the rafters above...

That bathroom was the worst I had ever seen in New York. It looked like a hurricane had hit it (I’m from Florida; I’ve seen a water-logged bathroom after a hurricane, and Lorillard was just as bad)...

A few days later, I pulled the building’s violation report. The landlord was supposed to have certified that the bathroom was fixed two days before, but hadn’t bothered. (It would take four more months, until April of this year — April! — for the city to complete the repairs.) I also took a look at its 311 records. Two hundred and sixty two calls had been made by Lorillard residents that year. Daniel, the new father, did in fact register 12 311 complaints on a single day in May; 11 on a single day in June. Justin and his mother, on the other hand, had made only one 311 call — back in January, to report the broken sink pipes and the collapsing ceiling in the bathroom.

I don't think I need a picture of this one.

Here is the full article

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Medieval Business

On my recent trip to Europe, my parents and I went to a medieval reenactment near where we were staying in southern France. Here are a few photos:

Ever wondered where a knight goes to the bathroom? Brooks found the answer in Lisbon:

Of course! They just pee on the side of the castle!


We've already seen how to camouflage a toilet. Just replace it with a metal hole in the ground! This, however, is an example of a camouflaged sink. If you look closely at the following photo you can see the camo-sink in its natural habitat (a Thai restaurant in New York):

Seguin writes, "5 out of 8 people using this bathroom could not find the sink...kind of defeats the purpose when no one in your restaurant can wash their hands."

Haha, gross.....

(The water comes out of one of the bamboo stalks that has a utility handle on top.)

PS: Look at the second photo, with seemingly two toilets. It took me about 10 seconds to realize that the background was simply a mirror and not a view into the neighboring stall.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Fortune Cookie

I am not familiar with the ways of feng shui, but I suspect that the author of this letter is on to something.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

No Photo :(

I have a funny story to relate, but unfortunately there is no photo to go along with it.

My parents were in Chula Vista checking out the proposed site of a new marina before they demolish everything. My mom goes to the (public) bathroom and finds a room full of stalls, and no doors. (I guess this is so that people don't do drugs in the stall? I don't know.) At the far end of the row of stalls there was a woman with her five year old son. He was going to the bathroom, and narrating the process to his mother.

"Mommy, I'm trying to go poop."
"Mommy, it burns!"

Upon hearing this, another woman asks, "Did he eat a spicy burrito? That's what happens when you eat a spicy burrito."

That is exactly what he had done.


Thursday, November 11, 2010

Toilet Signage

Many people ask me about what inspired me to start this blog. I tell them, "I kept running into crazy bathrooms in Europe and wanted to share." Now that I am back in the states, it is the internet that keeps sending me to absurd bathroom-related content. Here are some weird signs that I found on the internet.

Hey, at least they are upfront about their policies. I am not sure how much 100,000vnd is...would be sort of funny if that were like $1,000. Maybe the sign came from some super exclusive club in Vietnam with egyptian cotton toilet paper and they are just trying to recoup their costs.

This gem comes from Korea. Not sure what the message is..."You are now entering a Voyeur zone?"

Sunday, November 7, 2010

100 Year Old Urinals

A friend just linked me to an article about some 100 year old urinals in a Manhattan bar (thanks Seguin).

Here is a photo:

It is interesting to see that people 100 years ago in New York had nicer bathrooms than some of the gems I have found in present day Europe.

This is the link to the original article.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Dear Public Toilets

Found this on the interwebs:

Check out the rest of the blog post (and the solution) at The Oatmeal

Someone from the comments section on that site made a reference to a Mythbusters episode where they showed that the toilet seat is one of the cleanest surfaces in a bathroom. I think this kind of thinking missing the point. There may only be a few germs there, but if they came from someone else's butt, well that's pretty gross.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Election 2010

To get the full emotional effect of this post, hit play on the youtube video (just for the sound).

This election was very important to me. I was in Europe already when I realized that I needed to postmark my registration by October 18th in order to vote in this election. That's the day that I flew back from Paris, so I printed out my voter registration form ahead of time. When I got to Dallas (at about 3:45PM), I rushed through customs, found an envelope and stamp, and dropped it in a mailbox approximately 45 minutes before the last pickup time.

I am here now on November 3rd at 12:37AM with some solemn news. Proposition 19 (to legalize and tax marijuana) has been declared dead. This is the reason I was so motivated to register. And so, as I sit here typing through teary eyes, I leave you with this as a sort of memorial. Only 52% of precincts have reported their results. Perhaps some greater power will get my message and intervene.

Its kind of like when the Pope dies.

RIP Popeosition 19.

Monday, November 1, 2010


My flights back from Europe (Paris --> Dallas, Dallas-->San Diego) were really really long. On the second flight, however, having slept for maybe a total of 3 hours in the last 30 hours, I noticed something strange, and I captured it in this video:

Do you see how much blue water came out? Usually there is a lot of suction, but this one just flushed. That was one flush. Think of how many times the bathroom is used on a normal flight.* How many tons of blue water are being sent across the country?

*I recently read an article about how airport security and the resulting "chugging" that goes on as people down whatever water they brought with them, has increased the usage of inflight bathrooms at the beginning of flights. So remember kids, always use the restroom inside of security while waiting for your flight!

Sunday, October 31, 2010


Hey all, its Halloween today so I wanted to share with you some images from a shaky-hard-to-watch youtube video that I was linked to (thanks Evan).

Let me set the stage: You are at some sleezy club, and its Halloween. You go into the bathroom to go pee.

Hrmmm.....there aren't any dividers for the toilets or anything. Oh well....

Hey look, there's an available toilet.


Friday, October 29, 2010

Thursday, October 28, 2010


I'm a big fan of being direct, of getting right to the point, of not beating around the bush, etc. But sometimes it can go too far.

There's no mystery. Sometimes you want mystery.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Gender Equality, Continued

It's not that often that you get to follow an idea as it evolves. In my previous post, I showed you how the makers of a portable urinal have adapted it for female use. But their solution did nothing to address the core question: Why was the original version of the urinal easier for a man to use than it is for a woman? It is clearly because men can aim. Think of all the other places where this ability to aim comes in handy, like when you are standing up. Well, the people of SHENIS have developed the universal solution:

Here it is in action:

Thanks to Phil for the link.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Gender Equality

My dad is a private pilot and sometimes we take relatively long trips in a small little Cessna. By long, I mean ~5 hours, and by small little cessna, I mean it doesn't have any bathrooms. How can you take a 5 hour trip without a bathroom? Why, you purchase an HRE- Human Range Extender, like this one, the Little John*:

A brightly colored, portable urinal.

Now, this may seem a little bit unfair. Obviously it is far easier for a man to essentially pee in a bottle than it is for a woman to do the same. Thankfully, the bathroom engineers responsible for this product spent some time tackling this entrenched inequity and developed the Lady J adapter:

They go together like this:

Problem solved.

Someone once told me that every great journey begins with a trip to the bathroom. Gender equality will prevail.

*Note: Apparently a competitor to the Little John was marketed under the name "The Wall Street Urinal"

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Toilet Themed Restaurant

I got linked to a blog post about a toilet themed restaurant in Taiwan. Seemingly everything about this place has to do with toilets...

From the seats...

To the decor....

Don't worry though, dear readers, for I have saved the best picture for last, like a little bit of dessert:


Saturday, October 23, 2010

Bad Mood

This guy is in a bad mood...

Do you think somebody took a shit in his cornflakes this morning? lol

Friday, October 22, 2010

Self Esteem

One of the best ways, in my opinion, to improve your self esteem, is to put yourself out there and get yourself into uncomfortable situations. That way, when you go through your normal life, a potentially awkward situation doesn't seem so bad. Lets say, for example, that you are a guy who is self conscious about the size of his, ahem, endowment. Perhaps he should use this restroom:

Especially the stall with the girl taking a picture, lol.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Urinal Fly

So the folks over at http://www.urinalfly.com have a company entirely devoted to making little decals that airports/restaurants/etc. can put on their urinals. Supposedly, their research has shown that having a target to aim for increases accuracy, making sure that the urine ends up in the urinal and not on the floor.

Here is a picture of their product in action:

Seems like a good idea to me, but perhaps a little bit too subtle. Here's another take on the same concept:

Much more my style :)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

A Toilet Fit For A King

From Lyon (via Brooks):

I just can't help but get the image of Borat sitting on this, saying "I'm the king in the castle, king in the castle."

Who said the French didn't have classy bathrooms?

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


This is another one from Emily: Photos from a bathroom in a discount store in North Carolina.

What is the target audience for these ads? People who came into the store exclusively to use the bathroom? They should try this at Dennys (my bathroom of choice!)

Caring About What Other People Think

Everyone cares about what other people think to some degree...that's just part of living in society. The amount, however, depends on each individual. I, for example, have a blog about toilets.

Where do you think this guy lies on the spectrum?

I mean what kind of balls does it take to talk to someone on the phone while you are on the shitter? Oh ya and the whole outside thing too.

Sunday, October 17, 2010


These pictures come from a coffeshop in Amsterdam, the 420 Cafe. Now, as you may very well know, when you drink alot of coffee, you will inevitably have to go to to the bathroom. This bathroom had a very specific message: "Do not use me to take a dump." How did I arrive at this conclusion?

Exhibit 1:

Notice the lack of a seat?

Exhibit 2:

These are the doors from the 'sink' area to the 'toilet' area. I don't know if you have a vivid memory of old westerns with their stereotypical swinging doors, but they don't exactly lock. These swinging doors are no exception. The door from the cafe into the 'sink' area also doesn't lock.

Now, what happens when a door to the bathroom doesn't lock? People walk in on other people. I hung out in this cafe a few times because it was really close to my hostel, and I saw someone walk in on another person 4 or 5 times (I did it once as well).

At least the walls had cool designs!

(Note: I am flying home to California tomorrow, so this might be the last post for a day or two :) )

Why Do Squatting Toilets Exist?

After coming across several squatting toilets, the obvious question that comes to mind is "WHY!" I have my theories, mainly that they are sort of an intermediary between an actual toilet and a straight up hole in the ground. To me, that explains why they are more common in the more rural southern France than in Paris. I wanted to double check, however, so I went to the wikipedia page for squat toilets.

There is a surprising amount of information here, including a section titled "Advantages of squat toilets." ADVANTAGES? As in squat toilets might be better than real toilets? I had to read on. Here is the content of that section with some comments:

Some benefits of using squat toilets are:
It is less expensive and easier to clean and maintain.[2]

OK....this makes sense and agrees with my intuition about squat toilets being a result of under-development.

It does not involve any contact between the buttocks and thighs with a potentially unsanitary surface.[3]

This is also a legitimate reason. In fact, when faced with a public restroom, different people go through all sorts of rituals to avoid 'touching' the toilet, be it squatting over the toilet anyways, using one of those disposable toilet seat covers, or constructing one out of toilet paper.

The absence of water in the bowl avoids the problem of water splashing upwards.

Well....there better not be any water in there, because with the fall distance from squatting that would be really disgusting

Squatting might help to build the required exhaust pressure more comfortably and quickly.[4]

WHAT? Regardless of how crazy this claim may be, its ok because the wiki author cited a 1944 gastroenterology paper.

Squatting makes elimination faster, easier and more complete.[5]

Similar claim, similarly strange source. The source paper is titled "Impact of Ethnic Habits on Defecographic Measurements" and is from the Archives of Iranian Medicine. Defecographic...is apparently a word.

Elimination in squatting posture protects the nerves that control the prostate, bladder and uterus from becoming stretched and damaged.[6]

...From a paper about Prostate disorders

Squatting relaxes the puborectalis muscle which normally chokes the rectum in order to maintain continence.[7]
Squatting securely seals the ileocecal valve, between the colon and the small intestine. In the conventional sitting position, this valve is unsupported and often leaks during evacuation.[8]


So, in case you were still wondering, THAT's why they exist. If you have been converted, perhaps you might want to look into the following device:

It allows you to convert a regular toilet into a squatting toilet!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

"Squatty Potties"

This next picture comes all the way from India (Thanks Emily!).

Notice the flush-tank in the back. Pretty technological, and much better than the french-squirt-water-along-the-walls-and-floor method that we saw earlier. Actually, its a good thing too, because the brown floor is actually dirt. And would turn into mud. And that would suck.

Oh ya: You also have to bring your own toilet paper. LOL

And another thing: If you have any weird bathroom pictures, send me an email! alexandermyers at gmail.com

Toilets Without Any Seats

What is the deal with having a toilet that doesn't have a seat? I am fortunate enough to have a big butt, so its not really that big of a deal for me, but still...for the average person its like the owner of the toilet is saying "you still have to squat, but we thought this was a little bit classier than a hole in the floor."

I used to have a Spanish teacher in highschool that was from Spain. Every time somebody would leave the class to go to the restroom he would yell down the hall, in Spanish, "Don't fall in." Maybe he grew up without toilet seats in Spain as well....

This was a free restroom in Arles. Simple, functional-- I guess its better than nothing.

But this one...

I paid a whole euro to use this restroom (in the TGV station in Avignon)! And what the hell, it has those little metal posts that look like seat hinges. (I checked to see if maybe my stall was just missing its seat-- no, they are all like that).

It can't be a money issue. Here's the sink that goes with that toilet, and it has a bunch of extra doodads.

The center thing shoots out water. The other two things do....nothing? at all?

I also don't want to give the impression that the French don't know what a toilet should look like. This is the bathroom on the TGV:

Friday, October 15, 2010

Peeing in the Rainforest

I went to a Brazilian BBQ restaurant tonight, with my two hosts in Paris (A frenchman and a brazilian). We had brazilian food, while listening to brazilian music, watching brazilians dance, and drinking brazilian drinks (a caipirinha). It was to my surprise, however, that the establishment would also have a brazilian bathroom. Here are two pictures:

You see that little mini rainforest in the corner? That's how you know it's an authentic, brazilian peeing experience.

Shy Bladder Syndrome

There are some people that have shy bladder syndrome wherein they do not like to pee when other people can see them. I would assume that there are similarly shy poopers. These are serious psychological conditions folks...nothing funny about a person who really needs to use the restroom but is overcome by anxiety because there are other people around. (Actually what am I saying, that's hilarious.) Here are two bathrooms I found on the internet that must be the epitome of evil for people who suffer from either or these conditions.


From Snopes

This second set of pictures is an artist's installation that was in Basel, Switzerland for a while. The bathroom is surrounded by a two way mirror, if you didn't get that from the pictures :P