Once I had a highly embellished cup and saucer of larger than standard size. I brought it into Donnybrook, left it in the canteen for my own use and told my colleagues that an admiring female who saw me swimming, while on holidays, gave it to me. The truth was less romantic (and anyway I can't swim) but the crockery was indeed ornate. So much so that a waggish workmate asked, "Was there many injured at the construction of that?"
One day only the saucer remained. Through persistent enquiry, eavesdropping and other unorthodox means I eventually found out what happened. One of my supervisors had consigned my elaborate piece of table-ware to the skip, on the grounds that it (the cup not the skip) had not been washed. When I related the tale to an old, retired, Conductor he said, ".....isn't B-----getting very hygienic, considering his father used to mistake the cabs of buses for urinals."
I was reminded of the cup-in-the- skip episode recently when a British Company, Personal Waste Products Ltd, who learned of my existence from www.mattielennon.com, contacted me. The Corporation concerned distributes disposable loos (Personal Urinal Bags) for use in vehicles or anywhere else where one does not have easy access to a toilet. The "Go-Bag" as it is called, is made of two layers of toughened leak-proof plastic and contains a revolutionary "Liqsorb" crystal pouch that solidifies liquids instantly into an odourless, spill-proof gel that is non toxic and safe for disposal in a normal waste bin.
Oh, the Bard of Avon was ahead of his time once again: "When he makes water his urine is congealed ice."
Of course not all lavatorial inventions were a runaway success. Yes, I know the flush toilet washed with all hands. (By the way I've just discovered that the aptly named Thomas Crapper did not, after all, invent it. The patent was issued to Mr. Albert Giblin.)
One of the less successful developments was the "Watercolour Intelligent Nightlight" designed in 1994 by Bryan Patrie of Menlo Park, San Francisco. The idea was that it would remind men to lower the toilet seat. It was nicknamed "the marriage saver," would only work at night, and didn't catch on, but back to the bag.
A zipper on top of the GO-Bag means that each one can be used on average three times before it needs to be disposed of. (It has a capacity of 800ml).
Even in this liberal age it will be necessary, in the interest of modesty, to cover up the relevant part of the anatomy when using this new invention. The nature of that used to conceal the exercise will be determined by one's mode of transport.
An exotic tapestry will, no doubt, obscure the tanned knees of the Bentley occupant.
While the man with the ass and cart will do his business while his nether regions are concealed by the humble 10-10-20- bag.
What about the cyclist?......... Do you remember the Postman's cape??
If you are short taken and a limb of the Law, or anyone else quotes an archaic law about "...causing scandal or injury to the morals of the community," provided you have your Go-Bag you can tell them, in the words of Ernest Beven, that you will "...go anywhere I damn well like."
And if you are part of the mass exodus of Dubs to the sticks and the local authority is getting a bit strappy, about giving you planning permission for a Septic Tank, aren't you in business with the Go-Bag.
Think of the social improvements the Go Bag will bring. I believe that like the bicycle, the Late Late Show, and De Valera the Go-Bag will transform society, as we know it.
The aroma, which characterised Leopold Bloom's breakfast, will be absent from the hedgerows of Ireland. The post-Fleadh-Cheol type whiff will be missing from our urban alleyways and maybe (l along with a mobile phone) every bus driver will have a Go_Bag in the cab.
The Go-Bag will, no doubt, become fertile ground for the propagation of a crop of jokes to rival those of George W. Bush, Daniel O'Donnell and the Lada car combined.
On a serious level it will enhance and bring immeasurable improvement to the life of anyone with a disability, which necessitates rapid access to toilet facilities.
You can get more info on the "Go-Bag" at
PWP, the Disposable Loo - when you're on the move