Well, there you go (no pun intended). In the UK I never need to remember whether I should ask for the bathroom or the restroom, as I do when transitioning between Canada and the USofA. Instead, I just ask for the toilet.

Or, p’raps, the loo.

Sign citing award for "Loo of the year"On the surface, it’s reassuring to think that the loo in question (in Aberdeen Airport) is an award-winning loo. But, as with the Stout Medal (the highest honor for day lilies, you know), this whole business of unsuspected awards raises suspicions. About the criteria for this award. About who makes the call. About whether “platinum” is good. I mean, what are the other options?

But worse is to come.

Heading to the loo at Sumburgh Airport, I glance up at the first graphic symbol and carry on. Only my fixed practice of checking the alternative before committing saves me and some unsuspecting guys from a lot of embarrassment.

Big-shouldered icon for female toilet leaves me wonderingAnd there I stand, caught between two symbols that both look wrong. Only on closer inspection do I realize that this exceedingly broad-shouldered, thick-appendaged humanoid pictogram also shows a flippy little skirt.

Thinking dark thoughts about the bad old days of suspicious East German entrants into women’s sporting competitions, I edge warily into the first loo. My reception is uneventful. Hurray.

The good news is that I have a suggestion for the Loo-Award Committee about a clear-signage criterion to add to their evaluation sheet.


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6 Responses to Toilets

  1. Marvin says:

    Sometimes when you gotta go, you gotta go, regardless of what the sign says.

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      Marvin – So true. Even regardless of what the sign might or might not be saying.

  2. Barry says:

    You should try and discern gender between the classic parka worn by male or female Inuit. To my uneducated eye they appear identical. The give-away was the urinal.

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      Barry – I haven’t made a study of it either. Somehow, though, when I’ve committed myself as far as being able to see the urinals, I feel it’s a bit late to be wrong.

  3. Tom Watson says:

    I don’t normally sign petitions but if you start one that calls for new, better identified, bathroom signs, I’m in. I’ve been trapped in that puzzle more times than you can imagine…and a couple of times have lost!

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