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Just back away, slowly

October 19th, 2010 · 42 comments

You’d think, as Jen from St. Louis did, that this carefully typed message (from the public toilet at the Golden Gate Bridge), is indisputably good advice.

Please use a piece of toilet paper before flushing.

But as Kim observed while studying abroad on the Caribbean island of St. Maarten, there’s an exception (explosion?) to every rule.


related: Poseidon’s a pervert

FILED UNDER: bizarro spacing · CAPS LOCK · Clearly a non-native English speaker · toilet · toilet paper · unnecessary "quotation marks" · WTF?

42 responses so far ↓

  • #1   shwonline bang

    That second note makes fecal mist seem kind of insignificant…

    Oct 19, 2010 at 4:42 pm   rating: 5  small thumbs up

    • #1.1   amy d bang

      Fecal mist is never insignificant.

      Oct 19, 2010 at 6:05 pm   rating: 6  small thumbs up

    • #1.2   Wade bang

      And always explosive.

      Oct 19, 2010 at 6:23 pm   rating: 7  small thumbs up

    • #1.3   Ruth

      I think you mean expolsive.

      Oct 19, 2010 at 7:36 pm   rating: 8  small thumbs up

    • #1.4   Canthz_B bang

      Ah, fecal mist. The gift that keeps on giving.

      Oct 19, 2010 at 8:18 pm   rating: 8  small thumbs up

    • #1.5   Wade bang

      Ha! Piont taken. ;)

      Oct 20, 2010 at 5:45 am   rating: 1  small thumbs up

  • #2   shwonline bang

    No sleep till Brooklyn, and only one piece of toilet paper before Flushing.

    Oct 19, 2010 at 4:45 pm   rating: 9  small thumbs up

    • #2.1   Canthz_B bang

      If you only get one piece of toilet paper between the Golden Gate Bridge and Flushing, you’d better be driving awfully fast.

      Oct 19, 2010 at 8:21 pm   rating: 2  small thumbs up

  • #3   TippingCows

    Just one piece?! ONE SQUARE?!

    What if I can’t spare it?

    Oct 19, 2010 at 4:50 pm   rating: 16  small thumbs up

  • #4   berge bang

    If the toilet can’t handle toilet paper, it deserves to be exploded so they can get one that can.

    Oct 19, 2010 at 4:52 pm   rating: 7  small thumbs up

    • #4.1   Mark bang

      But the question is, does it deserve to be expolded?

      Oct 19, 2010 at 4:54 pm   rating: 7  small thumbs up

    • #4.2   matt

      toilet woes must be a uniquely American/canadian thing. I’ve lived in six different houses here in oz, not one has had a problem flushing anything – even ‘big jobs’.

      Same with public toilets too. You americans should stop pretending that you do small, delicate little craps that can fit through a golf ball sized hole, and just get a large-bore ozzy toilet that can flush turds the size of your biceps. Large, Loud, and Proud I say.

      Oct 20, 2010 at 7:28 pm   rating: 7  small thumbs up

    • #4.3   grevillea

      WTF are you on about, Matt? The sign for the problem toilet is from an island in the Caribbean, not America. Glad you are getting good flushing service, but.

      Oct 21, 2010 at 12:49 am   rating: 2  small thumbs up

  • #5   farcical aquatic ceremony

    But I’m wondering: what, exactly inspired note #1? Was Tinkle McPoopypants’ failure to wipe showing? Was someone going in and counting the sheets on the roll after each visitor to the stall? Is the label-typer an International Paper stockholder?

    Oct 19, 2010 at 6:17 pm   rating: 7  small thumbs up

    • #5.1   Limeliberator bang

      Golden Gate Bridge gets tourists from all over the world. Some don’t use toilet paper. Hell, some don’t even use the toilet… At my school (also in the SF Bay Area) we have a stall in the bathroom that just has an outline of feet on either side of a hole in the floor. The school had complaints of waste on the toilet seats because the Indian girls don’t sit on them, they step up on them and squat over the pot. As for toilet paper, it’s not used. They usually have a bucket of water or a faucet next to them. Care to guess what they wash with?

      The squat toilet:
      A common sign:

      Oct 20, 2010 at 9:50 am   rating: 1  small thumbs up

    • #5.2   grevillea

      Perhaps they have a lot of pedestrian accidents in that area and the paramedics are sick of handling skid-marked underwear?

      Oct 21, 2010 at 1:00 am   rating: 1  small thumbs up

  • #6   WMDKitty

    One square, in my experience, isn’t enough.

    On the other hand, one can certainly cause a toilet to back up (which isn’t quite “exploding”) if one uses too much toilet paper.

    I have to agree with berge, though, if the toilet can’t handle any amount of TP, it needs to be replaced with one that can.

    Oct 19, 2010 at 7:47 pm   rating: 2  small thumbs up

  • #7   Canthz_B bang

    During my first marriage our car broke down. Our son steered while I pushed and my expolded.

    Oct 19, 2010 at 8:25 pm   rating: 13  small thumbs up

  • #8   Canthz_B bang

    I don’t know what their problem is. I always use a piece of toilet paper when flushing a public toilet…ever since a kid at band camp got VD from the latrine.

    Oct 19, 2010 at 8:35 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

    • #8.1   Canthz_B bang

      VD is so much cooler than “an STD”, don’tcha think? ;-)

      Oct 19, 2010 at 8:36 pm   rating: 7  small thumbs up

  • #9   se

    I think that the aim of the first note was to get people to use toilet paper before they flush rather than after.

    Oct 19, 2010 at 8:36 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

  • #10   Madrias

    The second note just begs me to see what would happen if I used an entire roll of toilet paper. If a little TP causes an explosion, does throwing an entire roll, cardboard tube and all, nuke the building? Good reason to flush and run…

    Oct 19, 2010 at 9:43 pm   rating: 4  small thumbs up

    • #10.1   park rose

      A flush always beats a run . . . or is it the other way around?

      Oct 19, 2010 at 11:11 pm   rating: 2  small thumbs up

    • #10.2   Clumber

      Well according to the side of the plumber’s van, a flush always beats a full house….

      Oct 20, 2010 at 7:24 am   rating: 5  small thumbs up

    • #10.3   Woman on the Verge bang

      But if you’re bluffin’ with your muffin… Oh. Wait. Never mind.

      Oct 20, 2010 at 2:46 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

  • #11   Walker, "Tex" (a stranger) bang

    I think that first note is more like a friendly offer of something gratis, like “Please, take one” on a bowl of mints.

    Oct 19, 2010 at 11:59 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

  • #12   Flaboy2425

    With one piece of paper, you may get by, but you don’t get dry.

    I hadn’t realized the paper shortage was that critical.

    Oct 20, 2010 at 2:34 am   rating: 3  small thumbs up

  • #13   orinoco womble

    In my city there are notices in the toilets of bars etc asking people not to throw TP into the bowl, but to use the (usually overflowing, disgusting) wastepaper bins provided. I always wonder why public toilets can’t handle TP, while those in the owner’s apartments certainly can! They would never dream of such a disgusting practice in their own homes, but in public, no matter how new the installation, you will be told not to flush TP. Honey, if it can handle a turd it can handle paper. If it can’t handle a turd, put up an “Out of Order” sign or get it fixed so it can.

    Oct 20, 2010 at 6:09 am   rating: 4  small thumbs up

    • #13.1   anglophile bang

      What city are you in, ow? Believe it or not, there are places in the world where the plumbing can’t handle toilet paper. This is an old argument on PAN.

      Oct 20, 2010 at 8:06 am   rating: 2  small thumbs up

    • #13.2   orinoco womble

      What I’m saying is, the plumbing in the apartments in the very same city can handle it, and the plumbing in the bars, restaurants, cafes etc supposedly *can’t*?? Even the brand-new buildings?? Even in the same building, with apartments upstairs that can handle TP and a cafe downstairs with the “please don’t flush TP” signs in it. Uh-huh. Right.

      Oct 20, 2010 at 9:23 am   rating: 1  small thumbs up

    • #13.3   Zorin

      I think the problem is people put way too much TP in the bowl, then try to flush and it clogs.

      Any toilet can handle a few sheets, but when you try to flush half a roll… things get clogged.

      I’ve seen those signs, and ignored them. Putting TP in the wastebasket is just gross. As long as you’re not flushing half a roll it’ll be fine.

      Oct 20, 2010 at 10:01 am   rating: 0  small thumbs up

  • #14   orinoco womble

    …and believe me, as a plumber’s progeny, I know my shit. And my TP.

    Oct 20, 2010 at 9:25 am   rating: 0  small thumbs up

    • #14.1   anglophile bang

      Really? Plumbing knowledge is hereditary now? Awesome!

      Oct 20, 2010 at 9:54 am   rating: 5  small thumbs up

    • #14.2   orinoco womble

      No, but children learn what they live. You hear enough discussions of plumbing, shit, TP and its effects, and it stays with you, even if you weren’t really listening at the time.
      You learn to recognise people who *talk* crap, too…

      Oct 21, 2010 at 5:51 am   rating: 1  small thumbs up

    • #14.3   anglophile

      When you spend enough time on PAN, you learn to recognize people who talk crap, too.

      Oct 21, 2010 at 5:58 am   rating: 4  small thumbs up

    • #14.4   Canthz_B bang

      When you spend enough time on PAN, you learn that there are a lot of places the world over that do not flush toilet paper at all. ;-)

      Oct 21, 2010 at 8:15 pm   rating: 3  small thumbs up

  • #15   Wordtinker doesnt smith bang

    Take the signs down. Don’t fix the toilets. Ignore the mess. Once the cholera outbreak wipes out the less than intelligent the rest of us can go back to living normally.

    Oct 20, 2010 at 10:32 am   rating: 4  small thumbs up

  • #16   Nightfire bang

    They only want you to use 1 piece so it doesn’t expolde on you.

    Oct 20, 2010 at 11:04 am   rating: 0  small thumbs up

  • #17   Savannah

    This toilet paper will self destruct.

    Oct 20, 2010 at 11:22 am   rating: 2  small thumbs up

  • #18   Woman on the Verge bang

    The second note is like a movie poster:

    Madame, please don’t throw toilet paper in


    “It WILL EXPOLD you.” -Entertainment Weekly
    “Thank you for this movie. Thank you so much.” – Roger Ebert

    Oct 20, 2010 at 2:52 pm   rating: 10  small thumbs up

    • #18.1   Clumber

      WotV, I just learned something rather interesting. Barqs (it has bite) burns when involuntarily forced into the sinus cavity.

      Bravo. And thank you. Thank you so much.

      Oct 21, 2010 at 7:48 am   rating: 0  small thumbs up

  • #19   Divvitar

    Caution: Toilet contains chemical treatment that when mixed with cellulose, especially paper or wood pulp, an explosive reaction may occur. We don’t recommend defecation in this toilet if you have eaten a large salad or other high-cellulose food products within the past 12 hours. Your safety is our primary concern!

    Oct 21, 2010 at 12:32 am   rating: 0  small thumbs up


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