Kim’s Korean BBQ House

39515513_2152275778374659_1174415299072491520_nWhen I was younger, Korean and Barbecue always seemed like oddly-paired words. Having little to no knowledge about East Asian cuisine or culture, I never really considered any connection between the mysterious far away nation and the steel thing hidden under a tarp beside my family’s garage. In my homogenized, westernized, television-influenced white-bread brain, I guess I just assumed that a barbecue was a North American invention by some woman named Barb. Probably created so she could drag the neighbours over to her boring backyard lawn-social events and show them her ugly flamingo napkins. Upon further research on the topic, it turns out I was a tad off-base.

taino-natives-cooking-fish_a-G-12127330-8880726Well-read historians who probably wear tweed-jackets claim that when the Spanish invaded settled in the Caribbean, they adopted the word barbacoa from the cooking technique used by the indigenous people living there. The process involved slow-cooking meats on a platform or sticks, allowing the smoke to rise and forge a certain flavour.  Since this was only about 1492, they still had to wait a bit before they could baste it up with some Bull’s Eye. I’m sure pig’s blood was just as tasty, though.

Anyway, as much as I’d love to talk about historical barbecue facts (and spend another 40 minutes trying to pick out the best Taino Indian name for a shitty photo caption), I have a restroom to review. To sum this educational segment up into a deeply considered thesis: barbecuing is awesome.

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Kim Jong Yum!

Regardless of where this technique originated, it turns out that the Koreans do a pretty kick-ass version of it. My absolute favourite place to eat such delicatessen is Kim’s Korean BBQ House. If you’re in the mood for some badass bulgogi, Kim’s is the place you need to be.

The restaurant, a quaint little building on Bowen Road, offers quite the elegant presentation considering its relatively contained space. Peaceful paintings and plants decorate the dining area. The service is usually speedy and unobtrusive. There is a noticeable absence of aggravating, chancy music. Across the board, It’s a pretty chill place to chow down on some teriyaki chicken.

I could safely say that this is one of my favourite Nanaimo restaurants; but before I go overboard with the gushingI’ll get to the grime – if I can find any.


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Can’s Labyrinth

Due to the modest square-footage, the restrooms at Kim’s aren’t a challenge to find. You might not think this is an issue, but I’ve done full tours of restaurants that landed me in their kitchen when I was only looking for the loo.

The small, sectioned off space reserved for the bathroom doubles as a spare-chair corridor. The extra furniture is neatly stacked though, and it isn’t in my way. Quite an economical use of space.

There’s also some sort of butterfly-cupboard apparatus hanging here–but before you get all “IN A GADDA DA VIDA” on me—it appears that this Butterfly isn’t an Iron one. It’s probably copper or something, but who really cares? It looks cool. Even if I’m not a big fan of orange. (PS: If you don’t get the reference, it’s okay. I’m sure ChapSnat and Drake are more interesting than this shit anyway).

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“Nope. Not our work.”
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A bathroom blend, with minimal cork taint.

Entering the men’s room, I am awash with a lovely floral scent. The kind of chemical cocktail designed to deter you from lingering foulness. This aroma is frequently paired with an unmistakable trace of faeces, but not here.

As I scope the room, the breezy bouquet of Air Wick’s Hawaiian Blossoms & Papaya coats my concerns with a faint fog of fruitiness. And even if the plugin looks a little sticky, it’s clear that freshness is of foremost importance at Kim’s. 

The presentation in here is fabulous. They’ve got a balmy potty-paradise vibe going on, and they pull it off almost perfectly. The only thing missing is an angelic nymph, guiding me toward the baptismal blue toilet to cleanse myself of impurities.

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Nymph appears courtesy of TimberWest Forest Corp.
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Tinkle tinkle, little star.

An impressive arrangement, all around. I would give them a red star to match the North Korean flag, but I’m pretty sure that North Korea is the scary, oppressive Korea. This restaurant is more deserving of the gold, anyway.

 

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Their toilet bowl blue me away. Eh? Eh?

Okay, enough about colours. Without fail, this toilet-water is bright blue every time I am here. It’s like having a miniature Lake-Louise to relieve myself into. Not that anyone should do that into the real Lake Louise, (but hey, sometimes you just gotta go).

They are also consistent with their restroom-appliances at Kim’s. Next to the toilet, their Tork T1 Jumbo Roll 10″ Dispenser System offers a bountiful supply of TP, offering 10 times the amount provided by conventional dispensers!

This bathroom also sports a matching Tork Intuition Hand Towel Roll Dispenser. The Tork catalogue boasts that this model has a long battery life—lasting up to 56,000 hand-dries! A great investment in hand-relief, which brings happiness to everyone.

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The Shining
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Ran out of Nymphs. This was the closest thing we could find.

38942538_230307077669699_1596450407758954496_n (1)In the left corner, there’s a dresser. Or a cabinet? Maybe it’s an armoire. Is it a chifforobe? I never really learned the difference.

Whatever it is, it’s pretty sleek. Since I’m a huge snoop, I absolutely must know what’s inside these mystery drawers and the cupboard at the bottom. Being nosy about people’s bathroom belongings isn’t limited to that chick you just met on Tinder who invited you over at 3am. Always do your research.

This should be fun! Ready, kids?

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38817879_276930039757139_8043606926518386688_nWhat doesn’t this place have? Well, for one, a dirty sink. This baby is polished up and looking so pretty, I was practically squinting from it’s glistening surface. Hell, the hand soap even smells like bubble-bath.

To top it all off, they give you the option of a fan, next to the light switch. There are technically two fans, if you include the one at the entrance to the restaurant.  That one is perfect if you prefer more traditional technological fanning systems. Unfortunately, neither of them will likely help you beat the heat.

Fans
“They told me I’d be so much cooler if I lived in Nanaimo. What a crock.”
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Don’t leave home without it.

Next to the lightstwitch, there’s a Foodsafe instructional sign on how to wash your hands. Apparently, I have been doing this incorrectly for years. I was never informed that I did not have the proper portable hygiene accessories required to prevent foodborne illness. Thanks to this sign, I will have to promptly order such a device. If you didn’t know this, I am letting you know now.  Spread the word to stop the spread of germs. Let’s make Canada’s fingernails great again, one scrub at a time.

In conclusion, I can definitely say this was a great experience. I learned. I laughed. I leaked. It’s nice to leave a restroom with dry hands and zero complaints. If you ever decide that you need more barbacoa in your life, be sure to stop in here for a bite and a bowel movement.

I’d like to thank everyone at Kim’s Korean BBQ House for providing such a tranquil restroom experience.

아름다운 욕실

Toilet Paper Rating: 5/5

TPR5:5

Mosey On Over to Montana’s

39043727_1028057890694768_3426091495009026048_nMontana’s loves meat. They smoke it, they grill it, they BBQ it. They’ll cook up any bloody slab of chuck for you to chew on and chase down with a frosty, ballsy brew. I can still feel my testosterone levels boiling as I write this. My mouth is still watering from residual rib-flavour in my greedy maw. Licking saliva and sauce from the side of my mouth, I am reminded of my primal, carnivorous origins. When you’re at Montana’s, you better be ready to sink those ravenous, predatory teeth of yours into some thick, juicy grass-fed farm animals. After having a hearty, heaping pile of pork at Montana’s, I feel like buying a Stetson hat, visiting a slaughterhouse, and biting into a leather belt or something. ARGHH.  

Ahem. Sorry about that.

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Cornbread is actually pronounced “Cawn-Brad”

I really do like Montana’s. Like I said, they’re a pretty good investment for your money if you’re in the mood for a meaty meal in a Western-themed cookhouse-style restaurant. Being from the dry, dusty prairies of Alberta, it’s also nice to stop into a place that brings me back to my beefy red-neck homestead. Alright, so maybe I spent most of my time indoors in front of a screen, and maybe frozen-ass Edmonton isn’t exactly the Wild-West, but it’s nice to see some cowboy crap from time to time. (Not that kind of cowboy crap).

Another thing I always loved about Montana’s is their paper table-spreads for you to colour on with crayons. I’m not sure how this began.

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The legend lives on.

Maybe I’m missing out on a crucial detail of western-watering-hole history, but I never really considered crayons to be very Buffalo-Bill. But what do I know? Bill may have been a Crayola fan. Or maybe that’s where Billy the Kid got his name. The guy may have just loved colouring or something, like a little kid.

During a recent visit, I was a little worried when I entered to see that their tables weren’t covered with these wonderful canvases of creative opportunity.

Had Montana’s gone Green? Had my favourite feature of this meat-slingin’ saloon gone the way of the musket?

Nah, I just had to ask. Thankfully our hostess accommodated my request, and even seemed delighted that someone had mentioned it. While we waited for our food, I had the opportunity to do some Latrine Scene scribbles! (I guess I’m not quite ready for designing T-shirts). 

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Take the plunge.
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He’s a toilet. Never follow a toilet.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At any rate, our food was delicious, and our server was fantastic. She even scribbled her name onto our table with a crayon, just like how it was done in the old-country. When she placed that bone-bucket onto our table I felt like a true wrangler ready for a cup of six-shooter skink and some son-of-a-gun-stew. 

On my way to the restroom, I noticed they had some pretty cool art here, both contemporary and old-timey. A framed picture stating “I LIKE PIG BUTTS & I CANNOT LIE” hangs across from what looks like an original prototype for the Wheel of Fortune Game Show. 

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Kermit’s art career has really taken off.
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Sheriff Sajak.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Alright, before I get carried away, It’s time to talk about the restroom. 

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Giving BS a whole new meaning

First of all, I love the signage. What better silhouette to use for a shitter than that of an animal you may have just eaten. What, they don’t serve Bull here? What a load of.. nonsense.

I’ve been pretty hard on establishments for the condition of their restroom doors, but here I feel the rough-around-the-edges look seems to add to the presentation at Montana’s. To be honest, I can’t even tell if that faded paint is intentional or not.

My only criticism is that the M isn’t really that visible inside this busy contrast of colours. I had no problem reading it, but right before I got here I watched  a lil’ ol’ cowgirl almost walk into the wrong stable. 

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The Good, the Bad, and the Snuggly

Inside, my initial impression is good. Looks clean. Smells clean. The floors aren’t sticky or slippery. To my right, I see the urinals, hanging rather closely to the stall. 

I’m not really a huge fan of urinal-traps. You know the ones. Those cubby-holes where you’re stuck if another guy comes in. Unless you want to sneak past him awkwardly and maybe cop a feel on your way out.

But if he doesn’t look like he’s into the whole Brokeback Mountain thing, then please exercise your best Men’s-room etiquette, and avoid such interactions.

 

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“This doesn’t taste like salt lick.”

Inside the stall, we have a lot of space. Excellent for wheelchair access. You could probably even fit your horse in here, but he might not be happy about it.

One thing I notice about the stall-door is that it opens very wide. I’m not going to deduct points or call this a true design flaw, though. Even though it does open all the way toward the wall, blocking the urinal-prison, you’d have to be a complete jackass to swing it open that far.

However, it is a little interesting that you could conceivably trap someone in this space, if you were some sort of sick, mischievous pervert. Thankfully, I only know about a baker’s-dozen city-slickers who match that description, and they tend to make their own food.

 

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I don’t swing that way.
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“I think mine’s bigger.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The sinks are clean. Great job on keeping yer chew in check, partners! Looks like you kept the lid on until you left. As for the two ECOLAB Nexa Manual Soap Dispensers (1250ml each), one is a little worse for wear. Some cowboy was a little too eager for the finish.

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The good kind of spit-shine.
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No-pump chump

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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A Fistful of …paper towel.

There are also two paper towel dispensers to dry your dukes after losin’ yer lather down the poison well. As you know, I appreciate any place that has enough paper to go around, and this one’s fully stocked. Yeehaw.

The last thing that’s visibly noticeable about this restroom is the wallpaper. Or, tiles. Or.. whatever this is.

Up close, it looks like the graffiti is actually part of the design concept. After inspecting this “ink” for way longer than what most people would consider normal, I have to conclude that the latrinalia is intentional.

But why? I don’t really see how it goes with the rest of the restaurant. It’s some sort of weird, construction / industrial template. I guess they wanted to make sure that we are doing men’s business in a man’s world. In this here latrine, we leave our Lincoln skins at the door and get shit done the raght way.

One of them looks like someone was trying to do campaign work for Sarah Palin, but couldn’t quite get the spelling right. And the other one is a caution sign with a subtle yet appropriate warning. Very clever, guys. 

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I have no caption. Just look at her stupid face.
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Great place to drop a load.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The toilet paper in this place was at a healthy level, and the smell wasn’t what you’d expect for a restaurant that probably empties unhealthy colons on a consistent basis. Overall, I’m impressed.

If your saddle is feeling stiff or your wagon is feeling wobbly after the long-haul north in Nanaimo country, I reckon it be best for you to check into Montana’s and warm yer travellin’ heart with something that’ll stick to yer ribs (and probably the inside of their toilet bowl, too). Make sure you wash your muck forks.

You done right by us, Montana.

Toilet Paper Rating: 4/5

TPR 4:5

I’ve Got Soul, but I’m Not a Solda

As it turns out, Port Alberni has a robust selection of restaurants. During a short visit, I had the opportunity to select from a variety of places to grab some grub. 

A quick google search yielded 3 pages of results, and it was almost impossible to find one that scored under 4 out of 5 stars. Pretty much every listing had great reviews. Not to mention a few with absolutely fantastic names.

Screen Shot 2018-08-09 at 3.07.08 PMAll Mex’d Up. The Clam Bucket. Bare Bones.  Bucksnort’s. New Wait You.

Uh.. New Wait You?

I admire their honesty. I guess these guys knew they were going to be successful before they even opened, so they decided to let the public know right off the bat that this place is gonna be bumpin’ with business. 

Their name essentially says:  We’re new, but just you wait. It’s an interesting marketing strategy to include the word “wait” in any restaurant name. Very ambitious.

Anyway, all these high-ranking food-establishments made me a little suspicious. For what it’s worth, Burger King scores a 4 out of 5, while Subway gets a 4.2. 

In order to avoid the Port Alberni local-pride conspiracy theory, my friends and I decided to opt for a roll of the dice. We decide on Solda’s, a family friendly place on Beaver Creek Road, with an exceptional back patio. They have a happy-bear bench, a cool fountain, and Winnie-the-Pooh artwork!

 

 

As the sun began to set in the background behind the beautiful view from our outdoor table, I concluded that this is a lovely place to relax and enjoy a nice wind-down to a busy day. If only we could get the next table of chirpy birds to shut up with their loud yammering and seemingly endless deliveries of desserts. Distracting to say the least.

The service was a little slow, and the food wasn’t fantastic enough to write home about. (But here I am writing about it anyway, HA). I also noticed that there was a decidedly “mature” aggregation of staff and patrons. I don’t know the age demographics of Port Alberni, and I don’t want to, but there were definitely a few old-timers kicking it old-school here

I had to know what sort of a restroom a place like this would have, so I finished up my Salmon and sped inside. 

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Celestial Ascension

As I’ve learned from previous experience, stairways can have quite an impact on the entire bathroom experience for your business.

Having your latrine located on a separate floor altogether can provide a pleasant change of atmosphere and energy. It can also potentially break your neck. 

At Solda’s the stairs are tall. As I climb this comfortable carpeted entryway, I feel at peace. Away from the noise and burgeoning activity of humanity. A heavenly hand rail is there for my safety. I feel weightless as I go toward the light.

 

Reaching the top, I am greeted by two pieces of artwork, displaying a fine juxtaposition of nature, and its destruction. 

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Monk-y business.
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If a tree falls in a forest…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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You feel me, bro?

The signage for Solda’s restroom is unassuming and direct. I’ve come across a lot of these, which have a braille inscription for the visually impaired. It’s also nice when you can actually reach something you need to touch in order to get around. 

These CDA compliant little guys never really provide any clue as to what you’ll find inside, but in this instance I have a feeling the conservative nature of the signage will match what’s behind it.

 

38828203_283749505566840_3540041985303773184_nI enter a well-lit, zero-stench restroom with a lot of space. It’s quite welcoming, and has a full-size mirror, adjacent to the sinks.

I am always appreciative of clean, large mirrors in a bathroom, since a percentage of my visits are solely to ensure that my hair doesn’t look dumb.

And as if I couldn’t be even more impressed with this presentation, I immediately notice something that makes my heart beat fast in anticipation.

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The ol’ switcharoo

I’m pretty wary of additional switches, because often they do absolutely nothing. I end up feeling like I’m in a video game where I have to search the rest of the dungeon to discover what effect they had after flipping them.

But not at Solda’s! I flip that second switch and I immediately hear the satisfying whir of a fan, filling the room with it’s healthy hum.

I’m pleasantly surprised and delighted at this feature. Not a lot of places really give you this option. Or at least one that doesn’t sound like a cat being tortured. 

The sinks are clean and the counter is dry. A little rust, but nothing serious. The soap is well-stocked, and looks a little like Trigger, the hawk from Disney’s Robin Hood. Yes, I love that movie.

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Inside the stall, I’m happy to see the toilet seat shining. Looks like the employees here have a standard for their customer’s comfort, including the type on the can.

I am also impressed to see the plunger sitting safely inside a small bucket, which is a great idea that probably makes mopping the floor much easier. 

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“The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination.”
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You’ve made daddy proud.

 

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Never trust a hippy

The urinal is also spotless, and provides so much space that you could likely fit two people in its surrounding area. Not that you’d want to, I guess.

But it’s definitely better than cramping yourself up into a tiny cubicle area with a wet floor.

I guess my only complaint here is that it’s one of those dinky little models that makes me feel like Andre the Giant. But it’s well positioned, and flushes magnificently.

 

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No Handel Necessary

To finish it all up, they have a Complete Touchless Paper Towel Dispenser, right above the garbage bin.

This particular model was nearly impossible to find details on, which likely means that they updated their product line. And while that technically means “they don’t make ’em like this anymore,” that doesn’t render it archaic and obsolete. On the contrary, it works perfectly.

With a lot of touchless models, I find that I’m waving my arms around so much it looks like I’m conducting an orchestra. At Solda’s, my symphony is only one note. How gratifying.

On top of being clean, bright, functional, and spacious, I was also very happy with the minimal human interaction involved in this restroom. You could probably chalk it up to the general clientele being unable or un-wanting to make the journey upstairs. (I didn’t necessarily look to see if they had a wheelchair accessible option, so I can’t comment on whether or not they missed the mark). 

Either way, fantastic job on the Men’s Room, guys! I may not be returning for some time, but my spirit will always be with you. Godspeed, universal Solda’s! 

Toilet Paper Rating: 5/5

TPR5:5

Malahat Gas & Convenience Store

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Beacon of Hope.

Ah yes, highway gas stations. Sanctoriums of relief and refreshment. Fixtures for ephemeral endeavours. Overpriced beef jerky. 

The noble protectors who commit themselves to the thankless task of nurturing and preserving the assets of such an institution are a distinctive breed. Incomparable by vast degrees to the attendants of more localized ventures who provide the same services. Truly unique patronage. Admirable tenacity. And probably bored as fuck most of the time. 

An everlasting amassment of drifters, globetrotters, trekkers, tramps & tourists have forever been solaced and rejuvenated by these vital, dark horses of the convenience-store echelon. Their tired eyes fervidly awakening at the beam of salient and emblematic signs. Billboards of luminescence assuring one that —yes —there is a place for your trivial necessities. You may empty your bladder in our domain. Sometimes we even have lottery tickets. 

The Malahat Gas & Convenience Store is such a place. A pitstop emporium where the selection of healthy foods is as meager as your time spent inside.  

Although it doesn’t share quite the same dimension of isolation as some other gas stations, it was certainly nice to see their sign on my horizon after two bottles of Montclair and a Vente Starbucks beverage.

I hurriedly approached their stronghold of sundries, tucked neatly next to the beaten-concrete highway, where the only nature seemingly present was the call of my own. 

stair
Hose in different area codes

The attendant is friendly. He seems excited to see me until I brusquely make my bathroom intentions clear. As much as I would love to discuss current events and weather forecasts, I have little patience for such intercourse. Sorry man.

He instructs me outside, where I totter quickly to find the toilet. The bathroom is purportedly located down a flight of stairs, which someone has recently decided to water with a hose. This doesn’t bode well for my bladder, ready to burst.

The internal pressure is on as I maneuver myself down the wooden planks. I guess it isn’t too much of a hindrance, but for someone less able-bodied than myself, the stairs may have very well looked like this:

waldo
Stop and Stair.
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One load at a time, please.

The door to the supposed restroom is ajar, so I step inside and find a washer and dryer—the make and model of which I am unsure of. I’m a Restroom Critic, not the Maytag Man.

I remember that there is a motel here, so I am not entirely surprised. I am a little alarmed, however, at how easy it was for me to enter this little laundromat for lonely wanderers.

I didn’t need a key, and I didn’t even physically open a door. I guess there isn’t any detergent around though, so I won’t be capitalizing off of any free spin cycles today.

38753029_658207264554414_8945537659107803136_nWelp, it looks like someone’s leaving their underwear lying around. I guess since I’m now also trying my hand at laundry room reviews, I’ll go ahead and concede that this isn’t unusual.

It is gross though. It looks like a weird little slice of tighty wighty pizza or something. Now, I’m no prude, and have also been guilty of accidentally leaving garments behind in a rush—but this is a gas station motel. Please take care to collect your trucker ginch before departing. Come to think of it, I could use some new underwear. Finders keepers.

  • 38772056_1832896326797461_2096534263443750912_n
    With aged-pepperoni flavour.
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I’d love to turn you on.

From the outside, the bathroom looks typical enough. Time to let myself relax. As I’m about to close the door behind me, I search for a light switch to no avail. Annoyingly, the Malahat has yet to install one. Or maybe someone just really liked the wall plate.

I laugh to myself about my earlier thoughts of being removed from nature. The only light I’ll have to do my business is the natural kind, coming from the window in the laundry room.

This also means I have to leave the door open. So much for relaxing. It’s pretty dark in here already, and while I pride myself in having excellent aim, I’m not sure how accurate it’ll be in an unfamiliar, pitch black enclosure.

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I don’t blame them for not flushing.
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You’re hard to love, but I love you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I can’t tell if the seat is clean on account of how shady it is in here. I feel strangely paranoid, (which is also on account of shadiness).

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Can I get a little pump action?

They do have a supplemental roll of toilet paper sitting on top of the pink toilet tank lid. which is comforting. Presumably, a lot of TP gets used here. For wiping. For seat-covering. For phlegm. For cleaning up afterbirth.  I guess the tedium of replacing toilet paper too frequently called for having an extra roll. Impressive foresightedness.

The sink is bone dry and probably as dusty as the paper towel dispenser. I wouldn’t even be so bothered if they at least had an empty pump, just to let us know they’re trying.

I guess someone needed some laundry detergent.

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Another one wipes the dust

I won’t be washing my hands, which is good because there isn’t any paper towel in this Georgia Pacific dispenser. I can’t read what model it is underneath the thick layer of dust, and to be honest, by this point I don’t feel the need to investigate any further.

It’s time to wash my hands clean of this restroom. Well, I guess not. But you get the idea.

This place is difficult to score. I wouldn’t feel right about saying it was a particularly lousy experience. Gas Station bathroom-breaks are hardly ever glamorous affairs.

Still, I must heed my call as a professional Restroom Critic, and say that this place wouldn’t be my preferred location of pots to piss in. I would advise using this facility only in times of emergency. Any emergency, I suppose, unless you need paper towel. Or soap. Or a lightswitch.

Okay, maybe just avoid this one.

Toilet Paper Rating: 1/5

TPR 1:5

And before you make any judgment on my personal hygiene decision to walk out without rinsing, here’s George Carlin on the importance of hand washing: 

Game Time!

See if you can find all the items in the “Stop and Stair” super-fun, completely unoriginal, I-spy-puzzle!  (The photo is closer to the top of this review, in case you somehow missed it, you blind fuck). 

  • Yo-yo
  • Thumbtack
  • Pogo Stick
  • Cracked egg
  • Barbie Doll
  • Plastic Army Men (5)
  • Banana Peel
  • Nunchucks
  • A crooked nail
  • Board with nail sticking out
  • Children’s telephone toy
  • Spilled Jar of Marbles
  • Monopoly dog
  • Bowling pin
  • Roller skate
  • Someone’s pet turtle
  • Batmobile
  • Dump truck
  • Smart Phone 
  • Slinky
  • Mouse Traps (3)
  • Coat Hanger
  • Purple Dildo
  • Waldo. Just kidding. He is there in spirit, though.

 

 

The sharing spirit of QFs

qf-275x275While I don’t have any loyalty toward any grocery store, I do have a pretty good idea of which ones to go to for particular items. For example, if I want to wrestle with a wobbly paper bag on my way back to my car, I’ll go to Thrifty’s. If I want wax-tasting fruit, I’ll go to Superstore. 

As for Quality Foods at University Village, they seem to be pretty decent in the meat department. Having good meat is important in any relationship, especially the one you have with your grocer. 

I’ve always enjoyed the “QF” logo for Quality Foods, because if you pronounce it phonetically, it sounds like a queef. Would their restroom fragrance live up to the logo’s promise? I stopped into Queef’s for a whiff. 

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Entering Brown-Town
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We hope you have long arms for the braille.

My journey begins with pushing myself through warehouse-style doors. The type that grocery stores typically don’t want you entering.

Right off the bat, I’m thinking Quality Foods should be commended for their transparency.

Customers get a chance to sneak a peak at the guts of the store, even if it’s just to empty their own.

 

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God dang company picnics, I tell you what.

I suddenly feel someones eyes on me. I guess it’s not every day that the staff here see someone snapping photos of their restroom signage. I smile at him. He avoids eye contact. Pfft.

After turning the corner, I am led to a lovely arrangement of barbecues and a post-modern, multi-level design concept! Very chic. The red chair would be fantastic for time-outs and general perching.

There is also an apron hanging haphazardly on the fire-escape door. And while I’m sure it’s for the grills, I can’t seem to get the image of Leatherface out of my mind.

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Hey guys, check it out! …Guys?

I’m kind of hoping that the staff occasionally gets into a few bottles of cooking wine and decides to re-enact The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. 

Now, I don’t usually review women’s restrooms, but in this instance, the door is left wide open. Just by taking a quick glance, I can see something is off. Literally. 

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I hope she didn’t lose her wedding ring.

Yes, as it turns out, a patron was apparently having some bad luck with the toilet, and decided to take matters into their own hands.

Some of my most suspenseful moments in life have been immediately after flushing a toilet. Watching the water swirl slowly downward, praying for it to thirstily gulp the entirety of my septic shame.

In a worst-case scenario, you either stand your ground or abandon shit ship.

Kudos to this woman. She probably went elbow-deep into that terrifying tank, making damn sure not to leave anything behind for the next person. (Aside from some mildly disgusting light-duty labor). 

Okay, time to check out the men’s room, located right next door. And as far as doors go—this one is pretty sliced up.

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That’s Eddy, he works in Produce.

The general appearance inside isn’t great: dents, scrapes, and stains. There’s also something that looks like ink on the soap dispenser. I’m not sure if they have a printing press back here, but this bathroom is giving me an oil slick vibe. They aren’t shy about letting you know that their restroom is shared with employees.

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Otto, who was just promoted from Seafood Associate to First Pressman.
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“Employees must completely destroy restroom before returning to work.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Yellow Fever

Piss is never pleasant. Reviewing restrooms, I’ve seen some pretty bad puddles. And while it makes sense to find some piddle-juice around the floor of a fixture, it’s pretty disgusting when it’s pooled outside of any conceivable radius of stream-to-bowl common-sense. 

In other words, this guy didn’t even fucking try. And his personal brand of Five Alive is starting to ferment. Get a mop, guys. 

The sink and faucet are relatively clean, which is always nice; but doesn’t take much concerted effort to accomplish.

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At least they have each other.

This toilet lid, though. Ugh. It sure does look sad. Thankfully, the grime isn’t sunny-side up. Still, knowing what would be caked so closely beneath my butt would deter me from making cheek contact.

In the corner of this restroom, there are also some empty shelves that seem to be ready for bathroom décor.

Since Quality Foods seems to be quite an advocate of sharing, I feel management should embrace this concept further.  Let it be known that what’s theirs—is also ours by encouraging staff to bring a few personal items from their own homes! (The didgeridoo is excellent for noise cancellation!)

 

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Mi Crappa, Su Crappa

 

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#Savetheplanet #Ican’tquityoubaby

In the toilet paper department, they’re running dangerously low; however, they do have a pretty new looking Kruger Mini-Titan² Touchless Roll Towel Dispenser! 

This  model is a personal favourite of mine. With its easy-pull system, it allows me to disrespect mother nature even more after just wasting 3.6 gallons of her clean water on my own feces.

Okay, so this washroom does attract a variety of visitors, so it’s probably a pain to keep it up to par. Fair enough.

However, if you are  going to invite your customers into the depths of your (well-oiled) capitalist machine, you should ensure that the muscle behind the machine isn’t putting holes in the walls.

Not great, but not terrible. Additionally, no remnants of bodily function fumes were detectable. Having said that, I’d like to personally thank Quality Foods for providing a safe space for all of our QFing needs.

Toilet Paper Rating: 2.5 / 5

TPR 2.5 - 5

Now here’s the 1993 music video for Jamiriquai’s “When You Gonna Learn” to compensate for my environmental recklessness.  This helps, right?

Mission Safeway.

Safeway-Logo (1)The first time I ever stole anything was at a Safeway. Well, I almost stole something.

I couldn’t have been any older than 5, and had never seen a bulk section. So this is where all the candy comes from! When my mom wasn’t looking, I pocketed one of those little gooey caramel square things. I loved those things.

caramel
They’re caramels, you gross fuck.

By the time we got to the checkout aisle, I remember having this uncomfortable burning sensation in my head that I never felt before. It turns out it was my conscience, but I’ve since rid myself of that inconvenient malady.

I put that hot little crap candy onto a magazine rack and never told anyone. Years later, I actually applied to work at that very Safeway and didn’t get the job. I always thought that some divine justice intervened, even though I didn’t steal anything.

It may have also been because I was hungover and smelled like bong water. Who knows? I don’t have the answers to the universe’s mysteries.

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The back alley is also great for Honeymoonz

Anyway, I’ve never been much of a Safeway shopper, but I needed to buy some supplies so I stopped in to check the place out.

On my way over, I discovered a wonderful little venue where I now plan to get married. 

As for the Grocery Store itself, it was practically a ghost town in there. Even the people who were walking around seemed lost, and I’m not exactly sure they were from the “land of the living.” Apparently this Safeway (and 9 others) are being closed. Yay market economy! Yay parent companies! Yay shitty replacement discount stores!

Without knowing any of this, I entered with zero expectations. Here’s my restroom review of the soon-to-be closed Safeway in Mission, BC. 

I guess they must have a shoplifting problem here. If it wasn’t already apparent from the 30 pound lipstick-wearing skeleton asking me for change in the parking lot, the restroom door sure gives me another clue. 34556310_1013524745483018_1856998551456841728_n

Entering this place is kind of like going on a date with someone you met online. His picture looks decent, he’s literate, and he seems to have a handle on things. Then he shows up like this:

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Wait ’til you see his knickerboxers.

I’m not going to judge Safeway for their retro-restroom design. But it is fascinating to imagine the endless scores of people using this bathroom over the years, generation after generation of bowel movements and bad habits.  It almost brings a sentimental tear to my eye.

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“Strobe light effect” will cost you extra.

This place hasn’t been touched up in a while, with the exception of the light switch, which looks like it’s been fingered a fair share. This switch has been pimped out so many times I actually advise pissing in the dark if it’s not already on.

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You missed.

Speaking of pissing in the dark, it looks like someone was way ahead of me. Not entirely unusual, except for the fact that the person who left the room before me was definitely a woman. I guess she was just doing rails off the sink freshening up.

All things considered, the toilet is in good condition. I’m as surprised as you are. The sink also looks pretty clean (and dry), which probably has to do something with my previously mentioned sink comment.

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You missed again.
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Hmm. Clean. Very clean.

The garbage can is of the tall, trusty, steel, swivel lid variety. The kind that will deafen you with its rusty screech whenever the lid is moved. It isn’t stuffed, though, and is situated in a practical location.

The next thing that’s pretty obvious is the “Weenus” marked on the wall. I  guess this person is quite fond of that particular body part.

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Ask him about The Wagina Monologues

I don’t know—of all the body parts to choose from, the weenus probably doesn’t show up at the top of my list to use as an alias. Interesting choice.

It’s like calling yourself frenum, or thorax. Actually, Thorax still sounds a lot cooler than Weenus.

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don’t want no scrubs

The last thing I’ll point out is the toilet scrubber. I really don’t have anything to say about this crusty, brave little brush, except that for some reason I had an immediate urge to brush and floss my teeth after I examined it. No idea why.

Considering this store is soon to be closed, the staff at Safeway have mostly kept on top of things. Well-stocked and suitable for number 2’s, it looks like they are taking their public-privy pride to the grave with them.

It’s safe to say I won’t be returning, but I wish all you Safeway Sentinels the best of luck with your future endeavours! 

Toilet Paper Rating: 3/5

TPR 3:5

Shaw’s Shiny Short on the Latrine Scene

34419199_1013384748830351_1174739393009680384_nI never expected to be doing this. What began as neurotic musings on men’s rooms has become..

Well, it’s still that. Only now, you have a chance to see my greasy unkempt hair.

Fiona Shedden, an incredible talent in photography, videography, and all-around storytelling, did a video with me about The Latrine Scene for Shaw TV.  

Check out her work at Static Shores Media where you’ll find a surplus of amazing work covering a variety of topics and genres. I am beyond grateful for the work she did here. Mad love and respect, Fiona. ❤

(Psst: I also hear she has a pretty slick Community Return Program that you might be interested in hearing about!)

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I swear this gets Windex’d daily.
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Company Perks

As for Shaw’s staff restroom: it was pristine. Even the men’s room sign was too shiny to easily get a photo without some glare. Maybe it’s time I get an actual camera instead of using this cell phone I found at a bus stop 3 years ago.

One other cool thing I noticed was actually located outside of the washroom, but appropriate nonetheless. Shaw’s very own Gojo LTX touchless Black and Chrome Foam Dispenser! Complete with a drip tray and custom logo! This bad boy has the extra large window for easy foam-level monitoring. Shaw’s got their soap situation under control.

The entire experience left me feeling like a Toilet Room Rockstar. I hope you enjoy the video as much as I loved being a part of it.

Toilet Paper Rating: 5/5 

TPR5:5