How To Unblock A Toilet

How To Unblock A Toilet

Editors’ Note: In this article, for the first time ever, Knight’s Atari have taken heed of our readers’ repeated complaints about our “f*cking asterisks”, and provided convenient links between the text and footnotes. Your feedback matters to us.

As the honeymoon period of living with new housemates gradually wears off, many of you will start to find that the blocked toilet becomes harder and harder to ignore. Since all the cool social justice warriors are poorly driving the feminism bandwagon these days, I’ll start this article with a nod to gender equality*, and even a footnote for the gays, before subtly segueing into some permutation of whatever other doubtlessly salient points I have to make on the subject of unblocking a toilet.

76% of blocked toilets on campus are caused by males. Males are bigger, therefore they eat more and make bigger poops. On top of that, literally, they add more toilet paper because they invariably have more hirsute arses which are more difficult to wipe clean and deshitnuggetify.** I’m sorry, gender quota advocates, but that’s just the way it is. 83% of people of who poo on the bathroom floor instead of in the toilet are female or Asian, if that helps. Another oft unaddressed issue is that a man’s eye can distinguish between fewer colours than a woman’s can, especially in dimly lit public bathrooms, so while a woman in her cubicle, squinting at the toilet paper, can see as the afterwipe colour changes through Intense Chestnut, Hazelnut Truffle,  Leather Satchel, Muted Mocha, Perfectly Taupe, Gentle Fawn, Elderflower Tea, and white,*** a man must (obviously) err on the side of caution as he sees brown, brown, light brown, orange, yellow, yellow, looks white, looks white, probably is white, is almost definitely white but best give another wipe just to be sure… resulting in squandered toilet paper. I was amazed at how much toilet paper I saved when I would have my girlfriend or mother assess the colour of my pieces of toilet paper post-wipe, and probably used an average of six sheets of paper less than I otherwise would have.

Furthermore, we all know girls only defecate fairies and rainbows, which, given their ethereal nature, are not likely to cause obstruction. Instead, females’ toilet blockages are caused by flushed tampons, dead cats, pubic hair, and the swaddlings of toilet paper she buries her suffocated fairies and shame in.

Regardless of whatever form your genitalia may take, sometimes you just come home to find a bison**** has made use of your facilities, as captured in this sketch by Dr. Kevin.

In the interests of finishing this article while we are still relatively young, Your Man on the Can will assume that the inevitable finger-pointing, accusations, denial, defamation, pillow-shitting and back-stabbing, have been expended, along with your neighbours’ patience in letting you use their facilities.

As with a lot of things in life, many of which may involve your nether regions, prevention is better than cure, so it is prudent to first include a few helpful pointers on how to not block your toilet.

1. Do not attempt to flush things which should not be flushed. The clue should be in the description. This sign, which I spotted in the loo on a train from Birmingham (don’t go) to possibly Edinburgh (definitely do go), is quite a useful one to bear in mind.


This image has been borrowed from somewhere on the internet. Would it have been ironic that I dropped my phone in the loo while attempting to take a photograph of this sign? Would it still have been ironic if phones had not been on the list? As do many other people, perhaps most notably Alanis Morrisette*****, I have difficulty understanding what is and is not ironic, but I’m willing to admit it, unlike some others. It seems there are many different types of irony, which is a major contributing factor to this shared difficulty. Taking all of the definitions on wikipedia into account, one could be forgiven for believing that the entirety of life is ironic. Perhaps next week, Knight’s Atari will run an exposé on irony. Perhaps not. Do not flush irony down the toilet.

2. You could poo somewhere other than the toilet. Sure, it’s unconventional, but hear me out. You could poo in the garden and grow your own tomatoes, you could enter the competition to win one of Knight’s Atari’s beautiful t-shirts, or you could use it as a memento à la Hayseed Dixie.

3. Baby cream. Honest to god. Visitors to my bathroom sometimes ask me why I have a bottle of Johnson and Johnson’s Baby Cream by the toilet, when they know I could not convince someone to let me even come close to impregnating them, and furthermore clearly do not use any sort of products to make myself appear more hygienic. I tell them what I’m about to tell you now. Obviously, it’s becauseJohnson and Johnson’s Baby Cream is vastly superior to other baby creams.

I have a big hairy arse and a poor diet, and I’m one of those people who don’t like shitnuggets. A quick wipe with a little baby cream, like Fairy liquid on your dishes, loosens the stubborn bits of food or faecal matter, and makes it easier to clean your arse or plates. Sometimes I carry around a bottle of baby cream in my rucksack, just in case. I know you ladies are probably dripping like broken washing machines right now, but my arse is lovely. I wouldn’t say you could eat your dinner off it or anything, but I can comb the hairs in the crack without any snags.

4. Flush the toilet again. Sometimes it works. Just stand there, wait for the cistern to fill up again (and the water in the bowl to go down – you don’t want a SITUATION on your hands… or feet… ), and give it a second flush. It only takes a couple of minutes out of your day and could make someone very happy, or at least, not make them less happy. If you think of it in time, and if you suspect you’re going to be doing a lot of wiping (eg. after a curry or feed of pints), it often helps to flush once between finishing pooing and starting wiping to reduce the chances of a blockage. I know, with the water charges coming in, etc, this may not seem like a good idea, but it may be less time-consuming and gross than the alternative.

5. DO NOT, as seems to be a popular method of dealing with persistent lurkers, keep adding toilet paper to the bowl until your poop is no longer visible. You’re fooling no one, and just making the problem worse in the long run. If you accidentally sat on your friend’s goldfish, would you replace it with a piranha you’d painted orange? I thought so. If you can’t flush your poop, just own it. Say, “Yeah, I did that.” Then, ideally, leave the bathroom before anyone sees you in there.

When it’s already too late:

6. If the blockage is of your own making, or you have drawn a very short straw, purchase a pair of Marigolds****** and a couple of decent plastic bags and get stuck in. Please resist the temptation to chase your housemates/siblings/water meter installer around the house brandshing a stale poop. I’m sure some of you are probably wrinkling up your nose at just the thought of doing some physical labour, but don’t worry – it’s hardly the worst place you’ve ever put your hand. The average human vagina contains more bacteria than toilet bowls.

7. Find your toilet brush, if you have one, and throw it out. The invention’s only function seems to be as a convenient storage location for your and your friends’ faecal matter, and you don’t want to be encouraging anyone. “Hey, Jessica, me and the girls are collecting samples of all our poo on a bit of plastic in the bathroom, can we have some of yours? Yeah, it’s for an art project.”

8. You could, theoretically, use a stick of dynamite or other explosive to clear the blockage. Obviously, this will render your toilet unusable, but desperate times call for desperate measures so if, say, the police are at the door and you’ve just panicked and poured all your weed on top of the blockage and you don’t have time to fish it out, or if you’re trying to convince your girlfriend that she doesn’t actually need to pee at those inopportune times, or if the poo is trying to crawl out of the toilet, then a little trinitrotoluene may be the solution.

9. Your Man on the Can’s method of choice: Fill a bucket with water and pour it down the toilet just slowly enough so that it doesn’t splash out. Flush the toilet and repeat a couple of times. If this doesn’t work, you clearly haven’t been obeying point 1. I can only do so much.

10. Look on the bright side. Billions of people around the world don’t have toilets. Some people don’t have arms to flush a toilet with. Some people have so little to eat that their poos will never be big enough to block even a poorly-functioning toilet. November 19th is World Toilet Day. You can donate to the World Toilet Organization here******* to assuage some of your guilt.

As a last resort, you could call Piotr the plumber to come and clear your pipes. “A’ight guv”, he will whisper sensuously in your ear as you open the door and lead him upstairs and he gets straight down to business. First, he will attempt to sort you out with his industrial grade plunger, bending down, lips forming a tight seal against the toilet bowl as he thrusts hard and fast, darting small bursts of water forcefully against the blockage in your pipes, trying to release your pent-up ball of faecal matter, rage and dead cat. Some wet filth will inevitably slosh out onto the floor and you’ll regret not putting down newspaper. When this non-penetrative method fails, he will gently slip his fourteen-foot long toilet snake into the bowels of your plumbing. You moan as the rod rubs against the ceramic – your mother would not be pleased. After much jiggling and prodding, he grunts and seems satisfied. You bite your lower lip and thank him, your thighs pressed tight together, toes curled, bursting for a piss. With a nod, he wanders outside for a smoke and leaves you to relieve yourself.********


Now… all this toilet-unblocking has made me hungry. Who wants to join me for dinner? The Crazy Toilet Cafe opened in Moscow this week:
“It’s not everywhere you can eat good food from a toilet bowl and drink from a urinal at very reasonable prices” – Inga Yaroslavskaya, general manager of Moscow’s Crazy Toilet Cafe.

*It seems a surefire way to get any old shite published and ‘retweeted’ or ‘liked’ these days. The other day, a retweet from the divine Emma Watson********* appeared on our twitter feed linking to an article stating that if we raised women’s wages to match men’s, it would boost the world economy by 28 trillion dollars. I’ve not seen such a glaring misunderstanding of economics since a girl in one of our final year macroeconomics seminars asked why poor countries don’t just print more money. She’s now a successful economic advisor though, whereas I am a lowly toilet reviewer, so what do I know? To be fair, the first use I made of the half-dozen economics books I foolishly bought in first year (Economics Lesson number 1: Save money by never buying the recommended course books) was to stack them on a chair in the bathroom to rewire the switch for the electric shower.********** Similarly, the usually dependable Gwen Stefani had a recent hit with her “Rich Girl” song wherein she speculated on all the things she would do if she had all the money in the world. Priority number one seemed to be plunging the world into an economic crisis which would make the 1929 stock market crash look as consequential as a pound coin rolling down a drain.*********** For more reasonable fantasies about being wealthy, cf. Tevye’s “If I Were a Rich Man” from Fiddler on the Roof, wherein he aspires to eschew the traditional Jewish stereotpye and actually spend his money, or Abba’s “Money, Money, Money” where Anni-Frid drags the feminist movement back to the 1970s and admits that she’s looking for a wealthy man to keep her.

**Men are also more conscientious when it comes to giving a thorough clean, because they know how nasty it is to find a little faeces nestled on your glans after withdrawing it from your lover’s rectum.************ And even though most of us are straight most of the time, it’s better to be safe than sorry in case we get really drunk and Paul from Accounting is there and #PRIDE. Women don’t care. They keep their poop and sex holes right beside each other, for god’s sake. I have never once seen a lesbian wiping her arse.

***These names have been borrowed from Dulux Colour Palette. I couldn’t possibly have come up with those. Except for White – I knew that one, whereas it appears Dulux did not. The closest they could offer was probably a mix of Moon Shimmer and Frosted Dawn.

****Recall from our recent Plop Trumps piece that the dimensions and composition of bison dung makes this reference appropriate – this isn’t just some arbitrary large amusing animal chosen for cheap laughs.

*****Canadian singer whose success peaked shortly before many of our readers were born, with the release of her album Jagged Little Pill in 1995, featuring such classics as “Head Over Feet” and “You Oughta Know”, but perhaps most famously, “Ironic”, seemingly so called because it features fewer examples of irony than any of the other songs on the album.

******The rubber gloves, as opposed to the flowers. Those would not be much use for unblocking toilets, although apparently, my very brief and recent research has just revealed, they are useful for repelling mosquitoes! So now, after reading this article, you should be able to unblock a toilet, survive an economic crisis, and keep mosquitoes away from your garden. Knight’s Atari – loved by mothers everywhere.

*******Apparently they want monetary donations. Just to clarify.

********When I began writing this paragraph, I had been predicting some rough anal sex which would leave you temporarily constipated and offer an equally temporary solution to your inability to use the bathroom. However, Piotr surprised me by being a reasonably gentle and attentive plumber, and as he leaves you with a kiss upon your hand and a greasy residue trickling down your leg, you find yourself wondering what other small household objects you could shove into your U-bend until he has to call again.

*********The moral of the story, I think, is the old adage – “Never follow your heroes on Twitter; you will only be disappointed..”. You should still follow @KnightsAtari, of course, but maintain your low expectations. Or “like” us on that facebook thing.

**********Before you ladies start getting too aroused at my superior DIY skills and sending your used underwear to Knight’s Atari, I should point out that even though the shower worked thereafter, I shorted the circuit to the pilot light and the switch eventually melted and it was a miracle the fucking thing didn’t explode. Sexily, of course.

***********Quick economic lesson from Knight’s Atari: I have 500 billion yugoslav dinars from 1994, and while you won’t hear me singing about it, I am prepared to perform a brief septet of limericks as a back story for the sake of our readers’ erudition.

Yugoslavia’s hyperinflation
was caused by false money creation
after a war ’cause of which
Mr. Milosovich
Lost the support of the United Nations

And then without these partners for trade
The government debts couldn’t be paid
So they printed more funds
And then everyone
Was understandably afraid

For the laws of supply and demand
Foretold the value of money in hand
Would decrease as prices
Rose overnight as
People spent this extra money they had.

So people withdrew all their savings
To cope as the prices were raising
And when the bank vaults were empty
Milosovich said he’d
Print cash for the demand they were facing

And so on and on this process went
Money produced and more money spent
’til January ’94
When inflation was more
Than 300 billion percent.

So this impressive piece of paper
A month’s wages people queued to wait for
£6 upon receiving
Worth 5 by the evening
And completely worthless two weeks later.


So if there’s ever a run on the banks
Perhaps fuelled by consumer angst
To keep your funds stable
If you are able
Convert your Euros into Swiss Francs.

************Browsing Tinder the other day (Knight’s Atari – keeping up with current affairs), I came across (that joke is so cliched) one lass whose profile said something along the lines of “Sometimes a smile makes my whole day. Anal makes my hole weak.”************* I’ll bet her entry, saggy and distended though it may have been, would have been more interesting than most of the ones we received for our recent pun competition.

*************After much deliberation and consultation, I capitulated and included the first “whole” here. Obviously, you would say something like “He said it would take him a day, but it took him a whole week”, instead of “He said it would take him a whole day, but it took him a whole week”, because the former creates a greater emphasis on the discrepancy between the compared times and thus emphasises the point you are trying to make, and similarly, if no pun were intended, obviously you’d say “Sometimes, a smile makes my day, but reading Knight’s Atari makes my whole week”. However, some people don’t appreciate that subtlety is an important part of humour, and like to bludgeon the point home. If you agree with me, feel free to add your views in the comments section. To paraphrase E. B. White – dissecting a joke is like dissecting a frog, you understand it better, but the frog dies in the process, but it seems that while the pun should be understood and the sentence more syntactically correct without the “whole” in the first clause, the general consensus is that people, and evidently those on Tinder in particular, are morons. I can not recall the exact wording on the Tinder profile in question, so if the lady in question takes umbrage at my having suggested that she uses both “whole”‘s, then Knight’s Atari is prepared to offer her a coffee by way of apology.