Saturday, 3 October 2009

When you gotta go...

I recently concluded a poll asking the question: “Have you ever relieved yourself in a "public" place coming home from the pub?” There were 41 responses and the results were:

Often: 9 (22%)
From time to time: 9 (22%)
On rare occasions 19 (46%)
Never: 4 (10%)

Obviously the readership of this blog is somewhat self-selecting, but it’s significant that 9 out of 10 respondents had done this at least occasionally, and nearly a quarter see it as a routine part of their pubgoing life.

There was a time when councils provided numerous basic urinals around their streets precisely to deal with this issue – older Stockport residents may recall the one behind the Lord Nelson on Wellington Road South opposite the town hall. However, decades of cost-saving and concerns about sex equality have put paid to them, so nowadays people have no choice but to find a large bush or dark alleyway. Indeed, in town and city centres at weekends you will often see young blokes openly relieving themselves without any attempt at concealment.

And councillors and council bureaucrats should remember all the by-laws and enforcement in the world won’t stop people pissing in the open if they are not provided with any alternative. Closing all the public toilets doesn’t change the basic laws of human fluid dynamics.


  1. I was reading the estimable Viktor Suvorov's book, "The Liberators", discussing his time in the Soviet Army, and in particular his time in the Glasshouse, where he remarked:

    The constitution of the Soviet Union requires that everyone has a chance to work, so work is provided for them (the chance to perform back-breaking labour for no reward save not having their sentence extended). It also requires that everyone has a chance to rest (in the Glasshouse, twelve to a wooden bed with no coverings whatever except the clothes you stand up in).

    However, the constitution of the Soviet Union nowhere requires that you have a right to take a leak, and that is therefore forbidden. Since (of course) everyone must do so from time to time, this is a privilege that must be earned from the jailers.

    Some people thought that Socialism was defeated when the Berlin Wall fell...

    Brian, follower of Deornoth

  2. So Anonymous Brian, you think Stalin was a socialist, do you?

  3. So what your saying is that in order to enjoy streets free of piss and vomit, we have to wait until the last boozer shuts? Thats gonna be years at only 50 or so pubs shutting a week! What can the government do to speed it up?

  4. Well, it seems as though in the Norfolk town of Watton the police are going to give drunks free taxi rides home to stop them being a "nuisance".

    "Conrad Sellers, who runs Home James Taxis in the town, welcomed the move."

    Now you wouldn't have expected that, would you?


Comments, especially on older posts, may require prior approval. See here for details of my comment policy.