Weasel fails toilet training — AGAIN

Is it true that the water in Aussie toilets swirls counterclockwise upon flushing? I do not know. I can tell you that British toilets swirl in both directions around from the back and meet in the front in a glorious clap of waterspray. I know this because I have witnessed the phenomenon hundreds of times, staring triumphantly down into the bowl and screaming, “I got you, you evil bastard!!!”

I’m not very good at the British toilet.

You can’t twist the handle and walk away. Oh, no. If you don’t catch it just so, it sputters twice or thrice and goes still without actually flushing anything away. Like the first pull of the lawnmower in Spring.


A few abortive demi-flushes, and you’ve drained the tank below viable flushability. Then nothing for it but to sit disconsolately on the edge of the tub and wait for a refill.

It’s hard being a foreigner.

Part of the secret is revealed in the photo above. Spot the problem? No? Neither did I, not even after years of biting my lip, sending out a silent prayer to the Lavatory Gods and leaning on the handle. Behold! The flushy thing is on the right. In America, the flushy thing is on the left. That’s not an explanation, but it’s the beginning of one.

At last, the toilet in London died and the innards had to be replaced. Mirabile dictu! I can consistently flush the new one. Pwned!

So imagine my dismay when we got a flat on the South coast and I was confronted with this:


That’s right. It’s a bog with written instructions. There’s a pee flush and a poo flush. It’s a toilet and an IQ test. And I fail.

There has to be an easier country to drink yourself to death in.


  1. geoff
    Posted December 27, 2006 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

    I always scream “dive!, Dive!!, DIVE!!!” at the effluent in an attempt to encourage it. When that fails I remove the “v” and try again.

    Anyway, it makes me feel better.

  2. Posted December 28, 2006 at 11:23 am | Permalink

    hehe, I used to live in London and haven’t heard “bog” since then.

    Time to start using it again. You’re an inspiration!

  3. nbpundit
    Posted December 28, 2006 at 10:23 pm | Permalink

    Ah, memories of the olden days of water closets.
    When gravity solved all your flushing problems.
    Even the toilet paper has changed, no longer
    thin crunchy brown waxed paper. Positively
    encouraged one to conserve on said paper.
    Then again, somethings don’t ‘bare’ repeating.

  4. Posted December 30, 2006 at 10:29 am | Permalink

    Is it true that the water in Aussie toilets swirls counterclockwise upon flushing?

    It’s true in Brazil.

  5. shaye
    Posted December 30, 2006 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

    in Australia we have better things to do than watch the passage of poo and pee

    but i would say that it just comes down and then out without a second thought

  6. Posted December 31, 2006 at 1:07 am | Permalink

    In the states we’re terrorized by these execrable low volume toilets the ecofreaks foisted off on the public a while ago.

    To get a proper toilet that actually disposes of the poo in a more or less guaranteed manner, one has to become an international smuggling expert and sneek one back in from Canada where REAL toilets are still sold.

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