Bogs

When did you last use a public loo? Today? Last week? Last month?

I think my last visit to a public loo was when I went to Tenbury Wells with Z.

 

Nice looUsually, when caught short, I’ll try to sneak into a pub, pretend that I’m looking for someone and do my business there. Well…not in the pub lounge…more like in the pub’s bog. But you get my meaning. This, I must explain, is only for number ones. NEVER for number twos. And only recently, number ones in urinals.

You see, I have this dislike of public bogs; Dirty, smelly and dingy cathedrals of cess and unease. Or at least that is my experience of them. Every man that enters a public loo is potentially a murderer, a druggie or a rapist. Every drop of water on the floor a potential plague bearer and every surface the path to dysentery.

Not very nice.

2928572045_2382f5a664I suppose this began at primary school. School for me was in a Victorian building. Ageing. Falling apart at the seams. Paint peeling from the high vaulted ceilings. Wooden floors. Creepy corridors. That kind of thing. The toilets reflected a similar age. Buffed greenish brown stone urinals. The trough caked with strange solid matter and verdigris encrusted plumbing. The stalls contained low porcelain thrones that wouldn’t look out of place in a retro-furbished bathroom with rising chain operated flushers. One of the thrones was permanently blocked with matter that I care not to describe and the whole room had an odorous miasma of cheap bleach, urinary infections and damp staleness.

X20387This was probably not the thing that kick-started my dislike of public toilets. I think it was the characters that tended to loiter in this palaces of piss stink. Mostly the bullies, the ne’er-do-wells and the feckless. You know the type, they probably grew up to be successful “business men” who peddle drugs and traffic women in their vast criminal empires or, they’re locked up in prison.

The toilets were always the last place I’d want to be. I had even been known to hold off from going to the toilet until I had returned home. Something I still kind of do. British public toilets nearly always remind me of those awful facilities at St Mary’s. Sometimes even the ones in the pubs do that too. It’s like people are not proud of toilets. They’re places that, left untended, seem to rapidly decline into dirty horrid holes.

glory-holeI’ve been in nightclub toilets where the floors were sodden with liquid. I’ve been to restaurants where I’ve refused to eat because of the condition of their toilet facilities. I’ve seen sights you would never believe in platform toilets on railway stations. Even abroad, I’ve used manned conveniences that I’ve paid to use where a swish of the mop wouldn’t have made the slightest difference in cleanliness.

Now, before anyone starts kicking off about how not all toilets are like that. Let me agree with you. Not all toilets that are for public usage are like that. I’ve been in pristine bogs. So clean they smell of roses. Clean enough to pass as a toilet in a private stately home. I’ve also been in adequate bogs that, though free to use, are manned by a maintenance person who spends time ensuring that any puddles of piss are swiftly mopped up.

 

dirtytoilet

 

Then today, there came the news that a number of councils in the UK are selling off or closing their public lavs because they are no longer used or they have fallen in to disrepair. A look on the internet will uncover no end of tribute sites dedicated to the grand old public lavs that once graced UK townships. These days they are few and far between as councils cut back on budgets and sanitary services suffer.

girl-toilet01If I had the money I’d buy one. I’d refurbish the place and charge £1 to use it. I’d ensure that the place was light, airy, clean and safe for people to use without fear of a penis being stuck through a hole in the partition. Users would not have to worry about stepping into anything unpleasant and maybe even buy themselves a freshly made coffee on their way out. The attendant would be proud of their work and rewarded for such. Maybe even make it a members only place for an annual fee of say £20. Each stall would be cleaned by the attendant after each use. No fear of druggies or buggery.

 

Sadly I doubt I could raise the funds.

Cross posted to stegzyblogspot

Escape from the Toilet of Doom

 

Universities_clip_image001_0000In the West Building of uni, there is a small gents toilet. It is, as I said, a small toilet. It is fitted only with two cubicles and, unusually, there are no urinals.

This morning on my arrival on campus I made my way to the loo to clear out my cup of tea from breakfast. The long  drive from Brierley to Huddersfield makes me want to wee more than a running tap so that loo is often my first port of call.

Anyway, as I entered I noticed that, as usual, the cubicle on the left was closed and engaged. It was at this point I realised that every time I’ve used that particular loo the cubicle on the left has always been engaged.

pro_sp36_1 Today was a different day from all the other times I have been to uni as I was using the editing suite a few doors down the corridor and I was expecting to be in there all day (the editing suite that is, not the toilet). So I thought to myself I’d check throughout the day and prove to myself that surely people must come and go to that toilet and I’ve obviously just been a victim of bad timing.

So by 12pm I was in need of the loo again. I popped in and sure enough the door was closed and the smells emanating from the locked cubicle indicated that there was either someone definitely in there or there was a problem with the drains.

By 2pm I’d finished faffing and it was time for my third visit of the day. Sure enough the door was closed. This time the smells were accompanied by rustlings of toilet paper and shuffling about. At this point I was thinking to myself “Hmmm this chap has been in there all day. I hope he is ok”.

toilet-paper-toiletBy 4:30pm, it was time to go home. Rather than face the entire journey from Huddersfield to Brierley with an increasingly filled bladder, I thought I’d nip into the gents and prepare myself for the journey.

As I approached the main door to the toilet, I thought about the day and the year and how everytime I’d been to that toilet someone, perhaps the same someone, had been engaged in the left cubicle.

Was it some sort of toilet monster? Was it just some errant academic of faecal studies? Could it be some weird gateway to Poo Narnia? Or maybe there was someone who lived in the cubicle…after all…there was a Chinese student in Liverpool Uni who lived in the 24hr computer centre (Troofax).

I opened the door gingerly and there….to my abject horror…and utter terror….the toilet cubicle door………was……..

OPEN!
**insert dramatic music here**

 

Toilet door

 

Rather than risk death by poo monster, asphyxiation by noxious gases or being sucked into some faecal version of Middle Earth I still opted for the right hand cubicle. I made my business fast and swift doing up my fly zipper as I left the room to save time.

Who knows what horrors might have befallen me had I lingered?