Month: June 2007

The Shit Bag, pt. ii

Living with the Shit Bag was trying at first, but eventually it became a silent force that bonded me to my roommate and the rest of the building’s occupants.

Each Unit had a method for dealing with the Bag. Albain and Christie, chanteuses from Lyons summering in London to score a few gigs at Soho supper clubs, lived on the 3rd floor and decorated their “sac de merde” with grease pencil sketches of fruit and flowers. Charlie Hoffman and Mole (mo-LAY) Coons, Harvard and Cornell water polo players using London as a base to play the European summer circuit for money and debauchery, lived on the 2nd floor. Their WC was separated from their kitchen by a sheer curtain and their Bag hung from a curiously low hook on the wall between the toilet & shower, no doubt installed by previous occupants to keep from having to hang the Bag off of the kitchen utensil drawer handle.

My roommate on the 1st floor was Craig Kiner, an East Meadow, LI, expat working as an associate for the firm of Cravath, Swain, Moore, et al. He was gastronomically regular and quite tidy, so our Shit Bag always seemed fresh, god bless him. I was somewhat fortunate as the manager’s WC at my bartender job in Shepherd’s Market was paper friendly and the manager, Paddie Like A Sausage, quite generous. Paddie took gracious allowance to my Shit Bag predicament and agreed to let me use the manager’s WC so long as I stocked it with the latest News Of The World (“News of the Screws,” as he called it).

“Those bastards at News of the Screws ain’t fair to Georgie Best, but it’s the only real paper,” Paddie would say. “Eye wouldn’t even wipe me arse with the Times.”


The Shit Bag, pt. i

When I lived in London for a throw in the early 90s on the border of Holloway and Islington, my roommates & I had an “electric” toilet. The toilet’s outflow pipe was so skinny that our landlord, Omar Everyday In The Same Green Sweatsuit, forbid us to throw paper in it and cautioned that certain fibrous meals, when finally passed, were guaranteed to require a real cranking wellie on the flusher. Sometimes, though, even with the welliest wellie, not everything made it through the pipe and the unassuming plastic bag next to the bowl brush became “that of which we could not speak.” The flat was not air conditioned. The spectre of the Shit Bag haunts me…