Tuesday, May 09, 2006

One or two?

Right. So I'm here in Scotland. I have eaten. I have drunk. I have been to various public and private bathrooms.

It's all the same: There are separate outlets for hot and cold water.

The two outlets are spaced a good ways from each other.

So what do the Scots (and the English) do?

I can come up with a number of suggestions:

1. They always wash their hands in very cold water.
2. They always wash their hands in very hot water.
3. They turn on both outlets and try to move their hands (complete with soap) fast between them.
4. They don't.

Which one is it?


Blogger Gary Myers said...

Normally, we put a plug in the hole at the bottom of the basin. Then use both the hot and cold taps to fill the basin with the required amout of water at our desired temperature, then wash our hands. Finally, we remove the plug and let the water flow out.
Someplaces don't have a plug. You can either carry your own (very strange), or try to aim for that split second of warm water that has cooled in the pipes running to the hot water tap.

Historically, a lot of houses in the UK had their cold water fed straight off the mains supply to the house and the hot water off a hot water tank in the roofspace. The cold water was therefore at a much higher pressure and mixer taps didn't cope very well.

9:14 PM  
Blogger Doug Burns said...

Are we supposed to wash our hands after we've been to the toilet?!

11:47 PM  
Blogger Peter Lewis said...

We do not use toilets.

1:51 AM  
Blogger Noons said...

we do not use hands

3:52 AM  
Blogger William Robertson said...

I agree with Gary - with years of practice we learn to time it so we can wash our hands very quickly before the water becomes scaldingly hot.

The tricky thing is turning off the tap without touching it.

What I really hated about my last office was the toilets had a heavy door handle you had to press firmly to open on the way out. More hygienically minded staff would take a paper towel with them and use that for the door handle.

Always judge a company by its toilets, that's my motto.

4:12 AM  
Blogger David Aldridge said...

In one of my earlier non-careers I worked at a well known retailer of "knowck-down" furniture which shall remain nameless, suffice it to say that a common interpretaion of its name was, "My Furniture's Incomplete".

Anyhoo, I once accepted a return on a kitchen faucet because the customer complained that the hot and cold water came out of the same hole! And the customer pointed out that the model on display in the showroom, while it superficially appeared to have but a single nozzle, had two separate ones for hot and cold water, but very close together.

I thought that was taking hygiene to a rather extreme level, personally.

Ref. mains supply, I think that it was a building regulation that forbade the supply of water to kitchen sinks from anything other than the water main -- viewers of Fawlty Towers will remember the last complaint on the Health Inspectors list, " ... and two dead pigeons in the water tank!"

2:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tangentially: I once heard a Danish doctor state, that the way most men treated their personal hygiene, it would be more appropriate for them to wash hands before "going to the bathroom" that afterwards...

4:19 AM  
Blogger Moans Nogood said...

Shame the British didn't also decide to have two separate shower heads. Would have created some fantastic shower scenes.

One thing that for sure makes men wash their hands less vigorously are the utterly useless air dryers that take so long, and still leaves your hands wet. Which is why so many men leave the toilet rubbing/drying their hands in their clothing.

Recently, I've come across some blow drying models that have what seems like a three-fold increase in air blowing power, and these machines actually dry your hands fast! They also sound like a B-2 heading for Uran - sorry - Iran.

4:13 PM  
Blogger Daniel Fink said...

Ah, yes...the 'Electric Hand Dryers'. I recall one in a restaurant here in the states that bore a large label

"Warning:Electrical Appliance. Do not operate with wet hands."

8:40 PM  
Blogger Thomas Presslie said...

What do you mean British? I do not wish to cause any offence to our very good friends in the South, but I was under the impression that you probably really mean Scotland, South Scotland, and South West Scotland.

12:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I guess that this might be the proper place to mention the fact, that every respectable home built in Denmark in the 70's, just had to have a bidet in the bathroom.

Problem was, nobody bothered to tell the danes, what was the purpose of this new gadget.

So, until the architects stopped burdening us with the thing after a decade or so, its usages were very diverse, spanning from practical flowerpots to cleaning fish, and especially washing yor feet, enjoying the luxury of a perfect mix of hot and cold water, regardless of the number of outlets...

1:48 AM  
Blogger Thomas Presslie said...

This was really an invention by the people of South Scotland. After over consumption of the water of life, you may find that you are quenching your drouth from the cold tap and washing the puke off yer hands from the hot. You see, but I would practice in a sober state first, as I technique has only been perfected by the people of South Scotland.

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