It all began because J. is ill. Fortunately, this illness of hers is no terminal disease which would be making it impossible for her to lead a (fairly) normal life. It’s called Crohn’s disease and manifests itself – at least in J’s case – by the fact that she needs to spend a lot of time on the toilet.
J. thus gained a profound expertise in the issue of toilet offer in her vicinity; she became a sort of a toilet connoisseur. When she was then telling T. about a new club or a restaurant she had visited lately, her recountals seldom focused on the atmosphere, food, drinks, company or music in the establishment under discussion. But the toilets! J.’s depictions of bathrooms were always very florid, detailed and full of emotion. J. and T. then tongue-in-cheekily started thinking about how amazingly amusing it would be to take the whole thing seriously and systematically and start a blog with toilet reviews.
And so it happened.
The formative moment for this important step was a visit to Rudolfinum after one of many Prague’s marathons finishing right in front of the home of Czech philharmony. J., as usual, set out to take a seat at the Rudolfinum toilet, which, according to her own words, was “simply covered in shit. It looked like a creation of Lord Hoven (those who remember will know). I am not going to go into too much detail… there was too much of it there and then and that will suffice.”
In the wake of this intense experience, J. and T. realized that an academic platform for scholarly bathroom culture discussion needs to come into existence with absolutely no further delay.
In order to achieve a gender balance of sorts, J.&T. summoned a man called O. to join them and after an official constituent assembly in Cafe Šlágr on (incidentally) Star Wars Day in 2014, they solemnly started to write the history of Toilet Observer. (In truth, actual writing started much later, but let us not focus on unimportant details right now. The main point to take from this is that the Force is with us.) After various junctures, O. left Toilet Observer and things started to look as though Observer was going to be forever short of serious analysis of men’s bathrooms…
…but, luckily, the editorial board was later enlarged by M. His interest in joining the project was evoked by his chronic lifelong need to take part in something fun. And let’s be honest – reviewing bathrooms sounds like a very fun thing. Aside from that, a number of men’s bathroom-related ailments have been annoying him on a long-term basis and he would thus like to contribute to their eradication through Toilet Observer. For example, the absence of soccer goals with those tiny little balls in most pissoirs, a systematically undersized number of pissoirs in most bathrooms and a downright incomprehensible recent trend – fruit in pissoirs. Peeing on food? Like really?
A grand toilet-reviewing whirlwind was set to start.
What do we aim to achieve?
- upgrade bathroom culture in the Czech Republic and abroad
- raise awareness about the fact that a bathroom is an important part of every institution and should therefore receive due attention
- be helpful to people suffering from various diseases (like J.) that force them to frequently use toilets
- praise good bathrooms
- reproach bad bathrooms (Captain Obvious is our middle name)
- achieve an increase in the number of pissoirs with soccer goals and those tiny little balls inside them
- secondly and probably in a more distant future point out the broader problems related to toilets (for example insufficient bathroom hygiene in third world countries and various pitfalls stemming therefrom)
- world peace
- forever end poverty, famine, infant mortality and toilet selfies