Friday, October 13, 2006

The Toilet Man Washeth

Went to a poncey meeja party the other night, which was good fun. Met Arabella Weir, who is lovely, and chatted to her for a while. Celeb-spotted Paul Whitehouse, two girls from Man Stroke Woman, Peter Capaldi, and that bloke from The Office who is always at these parties. Spent most of the evening drunkenly talking to Mat, who I'm working with on Curfew, and Paul, the writer of the upcoming movie Bad Meat, who is a fan of the blog. Hello Paul! Look, now you're on here, the whole thing has gone full circle in a bizarre and incestuous way. Doesn't it feel deliciously cheap and dirty?? Start a blog yourself, then you can post your own version, and we can comment back and forth outrageously.

Party was cool, saucy ladies in hotpants serving up free booze including some excellent cocktails, but the whole thing was slightly spoiled by Trendy Club deciding that a chatty get together would benefit from INCREDIBLY FUCKING LOUD MUSIC, so that we all had to shout into people's ears. Honestly, you're meeting new people and trying to get to know them, and every time you try to make a witty comment, it's ruined by having to scream a shorter, simpler version of it several times, directly into their ear canal. I'm only 34, I still like loud music, but not when everyone's trying to talk. Nobody was dancing, wasn't that sort of party. Sort it out, Trendy Club.

The other thing that caused awkwardness was the Toilet Man. You know exactly what I mean. Trendy Club thinks, hmm, how can we make the place look trendier? Saucy ladies in hotpants, check. Low lighting, check. And then, presumably, an Ideas Man appears.

Ideas Man: Hey! Why don't we put some black guy in the toilets!
Trendy Club: Why's that?
IM: So he can turn the tap on for you, and hand you a square of paper towel. And maybe spray you with aftershave.
TC: Can't people wash their hands unaided?
IM: We're going for celebs here, aren't we? They need EVERYTHING done for them.
TC: Good point. Won't it be horribly demeaning for him and us, though?
IM: No, no, it's cool and trendy.
TC: Right. Why does it have to be a black guy?
IM: Doesn't have to be. Could be an Eastern European. As long as they don't speak much English, and are new to the country, that way we can take advantage of them and pay them shit wages. Then we can put a tip tray next to them, and guilt-trip people into tipping.
TC: Paying? To have an exploited man help them wash their hands?
IM: Tipping, not paying. It's cool.
TC: Oh.
IM: Yeah, and make sure that he's got haunted eyes, and an air of quiet dignity, like he's been forced into doing something way, way beneath him. Which he will have been.
TC: Yeah! So we can feel superior! Career's not going well, but hey, at least I'm not the Toilet Man!
IM: Now you're getting it.
TC: Thanks, Ideas Man!
IM: You're welcome. That'll be twenty five thousand pounds, please.

It drives me fucking mad. It's awkward and demeaning for everyone, and feels like a weird throwback to the fucking colonial days or something. But anyway, back to the mildly amusing story. So I walk in, and think, shit, there's a Toilet Man. I stand at the urinal, and he's fussing around behind me, doing his Toilet Man stuff for the previous bloke. The sinks are just to my left, so him and the bloke are having their whole interaction, inches away from me, while I'm trying to piss. And then, obviously, I can't piss. Bladder shy. Because of the man standing right next to me. Another pisser comes in, goes, is helped wash his hands, clink clink in the tip tray, small talk small talk, goodbye. I stand there, silently screaming at my bladder. Eventually, I give up. But I'll only have to come back if I don't go - so I zip up, walk straight into the cubicle, shut the door, and am able to piss. Compounding the awkwardness, because I've been at both the urinal and the cubicle, making it look like I'm a poncey media cokehead or something. Anyway, I come out, he "helps" to wash my hands, and then I realise my bag is in the cloakroom, with my money. I explain this, and Toilet Man says, with quiet dignity, "it's okay". As if to say, I know you're lying, but I have come to accept my lot in life, at least you did not kill me as well, I must be thankful for that. And then I leave. And do not go to the toilet for the rest of the night. Seriously. When I left, I went outside to the public toilets in Leicester Square. Couldn't face the guy again.

Yesterday my agent took me to lunch, which either means I'm highly favoured, or about to be dumped by PFD. He keeps finding more embarrassing mentions of him on the blog, but it's all enhancing his vicious reputation, so he's okay with it. He needs suggestions for a name for his new dog, a golden retriever puppy, so any ideas, send them in, apparently there's a crisp five pound note for the winner. And yes, he's already nixed my "Cujo" suggestion, for some reason. If your suggestion wins, then I'll pretend I came up with it, and pocket the cash. That's Hollywood, baby.

Did a fun interview for Zone Horror, which used to be called the Horror Channel, and now sponsors the FrightFest. There's a great review for Severance over on Weebl and Bob's website, the animated egg people who have pie-related adventures - the review is great because it is the only one that gives the proper respect to Laura Harris' wonderful hair, or "textbook hair", as the review says. It's a testament to the sorry state of movie reviewing these days that no other reviews even mentioned her hair. The bastards. Anyway, it's a cool review, even if the reviewer is sadly incorrect in his dislike for Jason Statham - I love the Stathe, me. Go to the site and watch Weebl and Bob read out emails, and find out what the "e" stands for in email.

And finally, Severance is released in France this week, so all you French people, please go and see it. The full French poster is very cool:

And no, Laura didn't actually wear anything like that saucy outfit in the movie itself, but hey, the French are two things: (1) French, and (2) not stupid. The French website for the movie is great, (click here to see a roughly translated version), with lots more content than the UK one, and a clever, fake Palisade Defence front end that I'm amazed nobody thought of doing before. Obviously "nobody" includes me, I'm not saying "hey I thought of it but everyone ignored me". Because I didn't. Nobody did. Except for those crafty French.


soulmining said...

Pesky toilet man... yes, I ran into him at Madame Jo-Jo's last month. He handed me a towel, dabbed me with a little aftershave and expected a quid for doing so. Money well spent I feel.

Nice interview on the Zone Horror site and I like that French poster! Any news on a date for the DVD release yet - I'm guessing February in the UK?

Dom Carver said...

My wife says they have a female equivalent in their toilets, and they hand out tampons. Too much information.

But are girls more accepting of this as they like to be pampered? And does toilet woman help them with their make-up? Girls toilets are strange places. Who knows what weird rituals go on behind those doors.

Anonymous said...

Toilet people were all the rage in Dublin but have now competely disappeared. Thankfully. The range offered to us ladeez was chewing gum, perfume, hairspray, tampons, lollipops. I usually timed my moment when the toilet lady was tending to someone else, then I could run out the door.

James Moran said...

Phil: seem to think it's 8th January, which makes sense - 4 months is the standard "window" now, which would be 25th December, but it looks like they've pushed it back until January. Instead of pushing it forward to catch the Christmas market, which would make sense...

Chewing gum and lollipops?? Oh, yes, let me put this food item in my mouth, food that is kept in the toilets. Food - from the toilets. No. No. Wrong. Bad.

Frank said...

Call the dog "Boo!"

That way he can walk up behind people in the park and scream BOO!, scaring the crap out of them for legitimate purposes! Sweet!

If I win the fiver for this suggesion, please give it to the Toilet Man.

shtove said...

At my brother's wedding in Dublin 5 years ago they had a black dude standing in the rear in the hotel jacks. Uncomfortable. Avoid eye contact. But that's only because I'm tight with money - even though it was a free bar. But 13 pints aren't like your emotions - you have to let them out, so I ended up giving money on repeat journeys.

Mark C said...

I would like to suggest "Clive" and "P. Diddy" as potential dog names. These are good names for dogs.

I also have to agree with you about Toilet Men. You, me and Cheryl Tweedy should form a club.

Anonymous said...

Enjoyed the film but way too much time on Danny Dyer. You should have given more time to the love god that is Toby Stephens.

James Moran said...

Cheers Anon - if it's any consolation, there was a lot more Steve stuff originally, but it got snipped for pace and tone reasons. There's more of Toby on the DVD extra features, which - hey! - is out on 8th January, an excellent Christm- er, January sales present.

Henry said...

My mum wanted to call our dog Whisky... but we suggested that going around a park shouting whisky wasn't a good idea... ended up calling the dog brandy not much better.

What's next for Toilet guys... the full service... the shake and zip