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Regarding "you're a toilet"

posted 27 Feb 2010, 05:36 by Andrew Conway   [ updated 27 Feb 2010, 05:46 ]
For those who can't understand why I think "you're a toilet" is funny (see preceding post) I offer this explanation of it.

: there is no guarantee you'll find it funny after this explanation, so please read on at your own risk.

John Paul is a form of sociopath: a young man who due to his social environment and upbringing has little or no regard for the feelings of his fellow humans other than as a potential source of amusement and pleasure to him. In Glasgow the colloquial term for such a person is a "ned", a cousin of the English "chav".

The man enters the chip shop obviously in dire need of evacuating his bladder or possibly voiding his bowels. Upon asking as to the availability of a toilet on the premises he is informed by John Paul that he is a toilet. The man simply ignores this bizarre remark and redirects his inquiry to the lady serving John Paul his fish and chips. The lady delivers the socially acceptable response that the toilet isn't functioning. This is highly likely to be a lie. If she told the truth then she'd risk having to admit the likes of John Paul deeper into the premises. This is the main irony of the piece, in that the polite woman is the liar and, as events unfold, we learn that John Paul can ensure that he's telling the truth.

The man exits the chip shop and then walks a short distance west down Lochburn road (Maryhill, Glasgow) to the pub at the corner of Maryhill Road. (We will ignore the fact that there is no chip shop on Lochburn road.) Unseen, the man enters the pub and enters one of the cubicles.

John Paul follows, no doubt frustrated that he received an insignificant reaction from the man. There is evidence that he is very frustrated: he has abandoned his fish supper. John Paul follows the man into the toilet but cannot gain direct access to him as he is now locked in a cubicle with very high side walls. We cannot tell at which point John Paul forms his ingenious idea, but it is by now apparent that he is looking for an object with which to achieve his objective. He grabs a pile of paper hand-towels and urinates onto them (his other hand is holding the camera, hence he cannot still be holding his fish supper). Note that John Paul chooses to urinate onto the paper towels over the urinal, indicating some residual level of social conscience.

Now comes the piece-de-resistance; the denouement of the sketch. John Paul hurls the soaked paper towels over the cubicle wall and retreats to the entrance of the toilet. This action indicates that John Paul is not very brave, or perhaps simply that he is not carrying his knife, which is the object from which his more usual bravado stems. The man, clearly distressed, emerges from the cubicle and John Paul again calls him a toilet. The words are spoken with renewed vigour as he has now transformed the man into a toilet thus giving his pointless and non-sequitur insult the substance of truth.

Copies of neural activity in my brain at the time of viewing the sketch are available on request.