Sanitaire

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Sanitaire is the French word for a draughty, leaky building with 1970s brown tiles on a French campsite that typically houses toilets, showers, washing-up and laundry facilities, as well as a spider-spawner.

The word sanitaire is a concatenation of the French words sans meaning without, and Itaire meaning toilet-seat.

A French 'Sanitaire'

During the Second World War, the invading Germans confiscated all of the toilet seats in France, primarily to melt-down to make gear-knobs for Panzer Tanks, but also to humiliate the French every time they went for a number two, (or spent a penny if they were a girl, or their missus made them sit down to pee because they sprinkled everywhere especially after they'd had a couple or three Pastises). After the Liberation, the French president, E.Leclerc passed a retaliatory law that anywhere a German holidaymaker might need the toilet, the facilities must be converted to Sanitaires; all toilet seats where to be removed, and any cobwebs must remain untouched in the corners for decades. As part of the agreement that lead to the formation of the EU, this was negotiated down to apply only to camp-sites by the post-war German Premier, Dr Oetker.

The famous French scientist Lois Pasteurised developed the science of long division, and began applying it to medical data. Whilst trying to make the word 'BOOBIES' (8008135) as an answer to a long-division calculation, he inadvertently noticed that people using French camp-sites had a 20% lower incidence of Terminal Bottom Cooties than people using proper comfortable toilets, because the worst germs hide under the toilet seat, leaping on to and infecting any dangly-bits. So the seatless Sanitaire toilets were retained for their health benefits. Plus the amortised savings on Toilet Duck country-wide since the war now total $220.32. Spurred on by this success, the French Government began a long-term project to randomly remove or modify other essential equipment from Sanitaires and study the long-term health effects. This is why typically a French Camp-site will have;

  • No hooks in the shower cubicle
  • Water that randomly changes between lukewarm and icy-cold, with scorching-hot peaks
  • No toilet paper
  • A single minuscule hand-basin with a rusty cold water tap that mysteriously dispenses passably hot water
  • Lights that plunge you into the pitch-dark two minutes before you finish your urgent 3AM poo after giving-in and trying the moules-frites as an act of bravado.
  • Shower buttons with the timer set to cut-off faster than it takes to press the bloody button.