I like old games like The Settlers. Part of the fascination about these is that you are still able to look at what happens on your screen and then tab out to MS Paint and might actually recreate the scene with an airbrush because it’s so… simple. A castle is a pile of 30 pixels and a settler is 8 pixels moving along what seems to be a line of sand bricks, whereas modern games use some kind of voodoo in their graphic engines as far as I can tell. You see, being one of those hundreds of tiny pixel persons must be very relaxing. They never need to eat or sleep and they are not married. They can’t be married because this game doesn’t have any women, only a bunch of sexless imps who while away their time carrying their wood along the roads. That’s wood logs, you pervert.
I imagine this sort of environment would also make a real gentleman quite cheerful, simply because he would never again feel the need to visit an establishment he naturally despises: the lavatory. A gentleman cannot possibly like going to the toilet. Taking a crap isn’t suitable to any shiny image that you have of yourself – imagine for instance the Queen; or don’t, if you value the innocence of your imagination – and should you be in the position of, say, being in university you will be trapped in a room for half a minute with no more to do than staring at a white wall. Wait, actually not a white wall. There is scribbling on that wall. Scribbling you have to read, you cannot escape. You are trapped, if I need to remind you, and should your eye try to look at something else it will be pulled back to that black on white nonsense like an adventurous puppy by his grim owner.
Now that I’ve basically told you where the idea for this article occurred to me there is only one question remaining that, I am sure, is dear to all of us. A university toilet must certainly contain the finest graffiti, emanating from the finest minds ever to have walked the white tiles. Unfortunately, as an English student I only knew the interior of one single toilet, i.e. the one on the first floor. What unimaginable knowledge might be hidden in the rest of the building, I could not even guess. Taking investigative journalism to its highest and purest form I started on the 14th floor and worked my way through every toilet (room…) and every staircase, just to reveal the treasures of the mind that were slumbering in its burrows. That excludes the women’s lavatories, but they’re probably boring anyway.
I found… very little. The wall of the staircase on the 14th floor suggests “stagediving from here” and someone changed the ever present slogan “go vegan” into “go eat steak, vegan. That’s about it. There is a cluster of floors where a bright mind simply put “Meins?” everywhere in all sizes and fonts and someone forgot a copy of a John Grisham book on the sill. I would not recommend the journey to these thirty-odd places in our tower to anyone.
I’m surprised that I am actually a tad disappointed by that, partly because I now remember the only clever thing that I ever did see on a toilet wall. It said “Toilet graffiti is done neither for financial reasons nor critical acclaim therefore it is the purest form of art”. Well, discuss.
Niklas was listening to “Atlas” by Battles while writing this article.