The latrines of Nîmes

Gare de Nîmes public toilets

The No. 1 annoyance in the Gard

For the purpose of micturition, Dalrymple decides to make use of the public conveniences at Nîmes railway station.

But he is greatly upset by the lavatories’ public-address system, because of the stationmaster’s insistence that rock-music bilge be relayed through it while gentlemen pass water. He asks:

Is modern man really so lacking in what my teachers used to call inner resources that he must be entertained while he urinates?

Dalrymple admits to

an aversion to rock music at the best of times. It seeps into the public space in the Western world as martial music and political propaganda seep into the North Korean public space (and all space in North Korea is public).

To be able to point Percy at the porcelain IN PEACE AND QUIET is surely a basic human right

The enveloping sound of the pop drivel irritates Dalrymple intensely. Having paid his 80 cents, he really feels he has

a right to urinate in silence.

Rock music, he says, is

a distraction, being both a noise and a source of æsthetic discomfort.

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