Monday, September 06, 2004

UCD Toilets and the Cult of Pat Patterson,

While fond of taking reading material to the bog myself, those of you who stare at the wall while emptying your anal tract must be delighted. Last year saw an unprecedented rise in the quality of toilet graffiti. From warning signs on toilet doors for limbo dancing midgets to the personality of Pat Paterson, who with the velocity of a whirlwind has grabbed UCD. Who the fuck he is, and more to the point what the fuck he actually does remains a mystery. Yet in toilets across UCD, his name appears beside philosophical and political insights. Incredulous claims to adventure leave you questioning your own waste of a life while wiping your arse.

He’s as likely to be ‘a cow boy and on a stolen horse he’ll ride, wanted dead or alive’ that ‘buggered the Salmon of Knowledge’ or ‘the kind of mate that would use the opportunity of you being outta Dublin to fuck your girlfriend.’ Someone always claims the inside track, but fling off ‘who the fuck is it?’ with all the competence in intrigue of the French resistance. If imitation is the highest form of flattery, then the Patterson prankster’s probably broken out all over in blushes, due to Tanzy 64’s attempt to usurp him on the Belfield toilet walls. As one scrawler said ‘Tanzy 64 – your grafiitii means nothing to no-one else, its your own sad little in joke – I’m embarrassed for you.’ Aren’t we all.

There is however a much more serious side to toilet graffiti in UCD. If you’re a guy reading this, strike up conversation with any of your female friends, and two wholly different worlds emerge. Back in the day when we all suffered under the yoke of Catholicism, female toilet walls provided a free forum for the discussion of issues of health and sexuality that only began to have an airing when auld uncle Gaybo fell from the moon to liberate us all. Rather than languish, the tradition continues in Belfield. Where random and anonymous female posters seek advice on relationships and matters of sexual health. As a questions asked, answers unfold below it. Those languishing on the toilet with a pen to spare in the female jacks seem to produce a more altruistic flavour of graffiti. One poster who availed of the agony aunt style advice one can get from the toilet wall, used the sexually ambiguous ‘partner’ in her question. People replied using ‘s/he’ and ‘partner. Skip over to the boys jacks, and we are left with a level of secondary school like immaturity that defies belief. The heterosexual reigns supreme, the only place the mute suggestion of an alternative choice has is as a term of abuse for whatever random punter’s unfortunate enough to hang around with such goons.

Politics transcends gender, with the class war raging in both loos. ‘Will all northsiders fuck off back to Tallafornia and found some shit hole college for their single mothers and 50° angle wearing knackers and stop polluting the Southside’ mutters one moron, who I won’t credit with the ability for metaphor in his neglecting the fact that Tallaght is on the Southside, and does have its own college. Over in the girls, the ‘oompa lumpa’s of UCD’ who ‘dip their face in a bucket of fake tan’ before parading themselves around the concourse like a luminous orange vest in heels come in for attack. They also seem capable of equally vicious retaliations. Over the past few years, the political climate in UCD has grown and so it finds reflection in the jacks. ‘Fuck socialism’ type slogans linger, alongside more robust retorts mimicking D4 stereotypes : ‘Yeah and fuck the Colombians and their families, let them all be murdered. Cos standing up for your beliefs, is loike, SO, not cool. Roysh?’

Still, the mystery of Pat Paterson remains, at this stage someone has set up a website to document his favourite quips. Oddly, the site seems to be done by a Trinity student warning ‘Puny Belfieldians! Your little minds cannot perceive that Pat Paterson is a Trinity concept, conceived upon by the gods themselves. His powers have been bestowed from Zeus himself, an all powerful and friendly god’. Get stoned get philosophical and some things make sense. Pat is both a male and female name. Pater is the latin for father. Seems very catholics doesn’t it? So it would seem Pat Paterson is an non gendered entity, that is both their own father and son. FACT. As God is made in our image, so Pat is the aspiration of all our individual desires scrawled on the bathroom wall, the existential crisis of a generation of students. I’m not hedging my bets on it. I’ still waiting to see a ‘Pat Paterson Only Wears Ambercrombie’ advertising campaign, like every body else that was taken in by the ‘Bernie’ ads that appeared in all major Irish magazines over the summer. A granny in a pink rain coat that stole our sympathy, spending her savings on full page ads to shame her family for squabbling over her savings, turned out to be a marketing ploy. That’s my theory. What’s yours?

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I googled Pat Patterson to see if that was still happening and your blog came up. Well... let me shed some light on the subject.

Pat Patterson lived in, I believe, Belgrove, while I was in first year (2002/03). He studied engineering and his actual first name shall remain anonymous. I met him, but didn't know him. Well the details of most of the rest of this are a bit fuzzy but he did something bad with one of the Roebuck lad's girlfriends and in retaliation the boys started writing mean, but inventive comments like the ones you mentioned. Presumably at some stage other people, who didn't know the man himself or the purpose behind the whole thing, started writing their own little comments and Pat Patterson became a kind of social phenemenon. It was *definitely* in UCD before Trinity.
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