John Metcalfe was CityLab’s Bay Area bureau chief, covering climate change and the science of cities.
Bathroom users warn of the boogers, blood and unbearable stench in the U.K's allegedly three foulest loos.
For this week's Toilet Tuesday, we check in with the folks at Toilet Inspector, a website devoted to ranking the public restrooms of the United Kingdom and beyond. Using a 100-point scale that takes into consideration a loo's cleanliness, smell and “state of toilet,” many of the site's unpaid reviewers describe innocuous or even glowing experiences on the john.
However, a few commode tales are told in such a nasty fashion you can practically feel the bacteria shooting out of the screen onto your skin. The following excerpts are from reviews of the three worst-rated British bathrooms; please note that these reviews are dependent on personal opinions/grossness thresholds, and that some establishments mentioned have gotten passing grades elsewhere.
No. 3: The Goose, in Aldershot, Hampshire
(9 out of 100 points)
"I could smell the toilets the very second I walked into the pub. All of the locks had been broken off of the cubicle doors and had not been replaced. There was no toilet paper in the holder, just a half soaked roll on the shelf. I could literally feel the uric acid burning the back of my throat as I breathed. Whilst I stood at the urinal, I noticed there was a tapestry of dried up bogeys stuck to the wall in front of my which actually mad me gag."
No. 2: The William Cobbett, in Farnham, Surrey
(3 out of 100 points)
"Toilet is small and cramped. Floor is grubby with toilet paper laying about, and the smell is highly unwelcoming."
No. 1: The Emporium Pub, in Fleet, Hampshire
(2 out of 100 points)
"What can we say ? Absolutely shocking toilet - As soon as you enter the toilets you cant move as its so cramped and small. The smell is overwelming due the block up toilets (see pictures) overflowing onto the toilet floor.
The urinals were very dirty and not pleasant. Not seen toilets like this for years. Was not sure wheater to pee on the floor as there seemed be more urine on the floor than going down the drains."
"Hmmm another recent visit to the pub ended in another look at the Crapper. I shall cut the story short and say what an utter fowl site it was. The first time I went in to toilets the bog was blocked up and overflowing (AGAIN). Then my friend went to relieve himself and found blood all over the shop (see latest pictures)." [Ed: The horror, the horror....]
"I had the misfortune to have to use this S---house once, firstly i was greeted with an unflushable floating around, 4 flushes later it went. Then when i sat down to have a bangin S--- someone burst in the cubicle and knocked 7 kinds of s--- out of me, leaving me laying on the Toilet floor. When i look back on my life the incident in the Emporium Bog is the worst of my life, i was only passing the pub when i realised i was dying for a crap, i wouldnt go in there otherwise. If thats how the locals treat strangers who use their bog then good luck to them."
Top photo of a nasty toilet (this one in Seattle) by Adam Cohn on Flickr.