Wednesday, October 01, 2008

My final post for tonight!

Not surprisingly this is about a subject close to my heart.

It was one of the first things I noticed after we landed in Vancouver. In public toilets the seats are low and the gaps under the door large. It was rather disconcerting, sitting down and being convinced that people must be able to see one's bottom.

On a similar subject, while walking round Lake Malign (pronounced Maleen) with Husband I suddenly tapped him on the shoulder and declared, 'I've got it! I've spotted a gap in the Canadian book market!'
'Oh yes.'
'What they need is a book on poo.'
'Oh yes.'
'I mean it's all very well being able to tell the difference between a grizzly and a black bear if you see one but wouldn't it be more useful to know if a bear of any sort is in the area and, even more importantly, if he's only just left?'
'Yes, dear.'
'I've seen lots of poo but I don't know who left it. It could be a bear's or a chipmunk's. If you could say that it was a bear's and, furthermore, that it was still warm, you'd know you should leave the area quickly. (Unless you're David McMahon who stops to take photos of charging bears.)'

I was still very excited by my idea when we got back to the cafe/gift shop and then what do you think I saw? Yes, a book of scats, which is apparently another name for poo. I was so disappointed. i had envisioned a publisher paying my expenses to stay in the Rockies for several months while investigating poo. Ah well, back to the drawing board.

And that reminds me of the story I was going to tell you about the cafe in Wells Grey Park. Remember I said the assistant there was the only miserable person we met? I asked her what was in butter tarts. (Okay, you may think it's a stupid question but it can't just be butter surely?) She looked at me, shrugged and said, 'Butter?' And when Daughter asked if she could have her felafel in a sandwich rather than a wrap the assistant just said, 'No.' Just like that.

But that wasn't the story I was going to tell you. This involved the toilets. You'd guessed that, hadn't you?

On the doors in the ladies' there were signs warning that the toilets had a low capacity and that a plunger could be found next to the seat in case needed. As Daughter said, 'No pressure there then.'

But if that was bad we were just glad we weren't boys. Their sign was far more explicit. It repeated the low capacity warning and went on to explain with a diagram showing the maximum acceptable length and width. I don't know what you were supposed to do if after you'd finished you realised you'd exceeded the size. Leave quickly maybe? (I did ask Son-in-law to go back in and take a photo of the sign for me but Daughter wouldn't let him.)

I can't write a post about toilets without mentioning the facilities in the national parks. I'll just say, 'Avoid them if at all possible.' Unless you're fond of smelly holes in the ground.


Dragonstar said...

I was just on my way to bed when I stopped to read this last post. I laughed! In fact, I laughed so much that I had to read it to Stephen! I'm afraid to ask about the state of the plungers!!!

Baker Watson said...

LOL - It brought a laugh to me also. Hilarious. I'll have to send you a link to a sign I saw recently on the web. I think you will get a laugh out of it.

Hmmm? Now where did I see that? I'll get back to you with it.


Baker Watson said...

OK - I finally found it, LOL.

I put it up on my PicasaWeb page since it was buried in an old post on the blog I found it on. You should be able to find it here.


Katney said...

Just back from a hike and missed seeing a bear again. Oh, well. We did see some--possibly bear--poo. Or could have been cat--as in large cat--as in cougar. Or maybe a fox.

But you wonder how to tell?

Let me tell you what folks in one of the parks are told about telling the bears apart.

The grizzlies are larger with a hump on the shoulder and always brown. They are primarily carnivores--eating fish and whatever else thy might catch.

Black bears are somewhat smaller and without the shoulder hump. Their color ranges from cinnamon to black. So there are black bears that are brown. Their diet, though occasionally going to fish and small animals, is primarily from foraging for plants and berries.

Hikers are advised to remain clam if they encounter a bear. Make noise while hiking so that the bears know youa re there and will avoid you. Special bells to wear while hiking are sold. We have encountered a number of hikers wearing "bear bells."

As for the poo, you can identify it fairly easily. The poo--or scat--of a black bear will contain bits of twigs and berries. The poo of the grizzly will contain little bells.


Anonymous said...

How nostalgic - deep trench latrines.

Lindsay said...

I had nasty experience in a canadian outback loo. I actually did produce too much - all around the seat - husband and I had a nasty clean-up job on our hands (so to speak).

James Higham said...

I just love this toilet talk and loo humour, Liz.

david mcmahon said...

Glad you weren't at a ``loo's end'', Liz.

Thank you for the very kind mention.

Did I tell you that Leslie came all the way to Vancouver airport to meet me on my way to Whitehorse?

Liz said...

I didn't look too closely, dragonstar!

Glad you liked it, baker. I loved your link too.

And there was me believing you, katney! Have a look at baker's link ...

aileni, I know there was no other option out in the wilds but I'd rather have peed in the woods!

Please don't tell me any more, lindsay!

Oh good, james. you get plenty of it on this blog.

Leslie told us about your meeting, David, when she and I and jmb met up in Vancouver.

leslie said...

Oh my gosh Liz, you're just too funny! I know what you mean about the public toilets - I hate them. While sitting, you can almost see the other ladies waiting in a lineup. It's a bit disconcerting if you "need" to sit a bit longer. I noticed the difference when I was in the UK and Europe and how much more "civilised" the toilet areas are - at least for privacy.

By the way, did you happen to see a book about how to "go" in the wilds? It's hilarious! Not that I'd "go" there!

Fat, frumpy and fifty... said...

this is the second post lve read in two days talking about scats..a word until now I had never heard of...l feel so fulfilled! LOL

Merisi said...

A pretty good dose of toilet humor, er, scatology. ;-)
I came over here thanks to David.

Ever visited an opera performance at the ancient Roman arena of Verona? Well, try not to wear a long formal dress. Toilets are very modest (probably Roman!)there: Two footprints show you were to put your feet. Then there's a hole right between them. Figure that one out! ;-)

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