Tuesday, May 6, 2008

What it's really like in "The Ladies" loo ...

This is dedicated to women everywhere who have to deal with any public rest rooms/toilets (rest??? you've GOT to be kidding!!), and it finally explains to the men what really does take us so long.

When you have to visit a public toilet, you usually find a line of women, so you smile politely and take your place. Once it's your turn, you check for feet under the cubicle doors. Every cubicle is occupied.

Finally, a door opens and you dash in, nearly knocking down the woman leaving the cubicle. You get in to find the door won't latch. It doesn't matter, the wait has been so long you are about to wet your pants!

The dispenser for the modern 'seat covers' (invented by someone's Mum, no doubt) is handy, but empty. You would hang your bag on the door hook, if there was one, so you carefully, but quickly drape it around your neck, (Mum would turn over in her grave if you put it on the FLOOR!) down with your pants and assume ' The Stance.

In this position, your aging, toneless, thigh muscles begin to shake. You'd love to sit down, but having not taken time to wipe the seat or to lay toilet paper on it, you hold 'The Stance.'

To take your mind off your trembling thighs, you reach for what you discover to be the empty toilet paper dispenser.

In your mind, you can hear your mother's voice saying, 'Dear, if you had tried to clean the seat, you would have KNOWN there was no toilet paper!' Your thighs shake more.

You remember the tiny tissue that you blew your nose on yesterday - the one that's still in your bag (the bag around your neck, that now you have to hold up trying not to strangle yourself at the same time). That would have to do, so you crumple it in the puffiest way possible. It's still smaller than your thumbnail.

Someone pushes your door open because the latch doesn't work.

The door hits your bag, which is hanging around your neck in front of your chest and you and your bag topple backward against the tank of the toilet.

'Occupied!' you scream, as you reach for the door, dropping your precious, tiny, crumpled tissue in a puddle on the floor, while losing your footing altogether and sliding down directly onto the TOILET SEAT. It is wet of course. You bolt up, knowing all too well that it's too late. Your bare bottom has made contact with every imaginable germ and life form on the uncovered seat because YOU never laid down toilet paper - not that there was any, even if you had taken time to try.

You know that your mother would be utterly appalled if she knew, because you're certain her bare bottom never touched a public toilet seat because, frankly, dear, 'You just don't KNOW what kind of diseases you could get.

By this time, the automatic sensor on the back of the toilet is so confused that it flushes, propelling a stream of water like a fire hose against the inside of the bowl and spraying a fine mist of water that covers your bum and runs down your legs and into your shoes.

The flush somehow sucks everything down with such force and you grab onto the empty toilet paper dispenser for fear of being dragged in too.

At this point, you give up. You're soaked by the spewing water and the wet toilet seat. You're exhausted. You try to wipe with a sweet wrapper you found in your pocket and then slink out inconspicuously to the sinks.

You can't figure out how to operate the taps with the automatic sensors, so you wipe your hands with spit and a dry paper towel and walk past the line of women still waiting

You are no longer able to smile politely to them. A kind soul at the very end of the line points out a piece of toilet paper trailing from your shoe. (Where was that when you NEEDED it?)

You yank the paper from your shoe, plunk it in the woman's hand and tell her warmly, 'Here, you just might need this.

As you exit, you spot your hubby, who has long since entered, used and left the men's toilet. Annoyed, he asks, 'What took you so long and why is your bag hanging around your neck?


Primal Sneeze said...

... and why is your bag hanging around your neck?

Pure class!

mama shady said...

lol...ive really laughed!i do the bag hanging around the neck thing quite often.The best thing is to just avoid public loo's (if possible).

Anonymous said...

you forgot the rest of the story. How you are uncomfortable on the ride home imagining all the germs that you are sitting on and when you get home all you can think of is a long shower w/lots of soap...30 min later your hubby knocks on the door claiming you are taking too long in the shower...im glad to know that im not alone in my 'public toilet phobia'

Anonymous said...

Thank you. That story needed to be told.


Expatmum said...

Hah. One of my bete noires, as I've posted before. AND in the States, we get to do all that in full view of the waiting public as there is invariably a two inch gap at either side of the bloody loo door!

Gorilla Bananas said...

There must be a way for ladies to pee standing up.

Anonymous said...

Oh!... this is priceless. I might never look at ladies exiting the loos the same way again!

Billy said...

Really? Is this how it happens? Have a lovely story about a dear friend of mine who travelled to Mombasa with me and had a little incident at the public toilet... Will post this soon.

Nice blog, BTW.


Primal - The shame I tell you - it's awful!

Mama Shady - too right!

Anonymous - so not alone.

Chocolateeurydice - You're Welcome :)

Expatmum - Christ, I'm not ever going near a public loo in America then !

Mr Bananas - Now that would be a novelty and solve so many of our problems. Personally I'd always stick to trees - I do think trees were put on this earth to pee against. Yay for trees!

Wildeyearnings - Now you know why we come out of the loo - after such a long time - looking flustered!

Billy - It is soooo how it is - but actually worse. will look forward to your post!

seinlife said...

ROTFLMAO - it was just yesterday i was in a public loo @work and this lady was in one of the stalls with her kid(looked about 5yrs) and he was all over the floor...rolling on it and i was thinking did this lady miss the mum-toilet talk! Who lets their kid sit, draw imaginary art rolling around in a public floor...yuck....
Anyway thanks MC - this one had me in stitches!

Twiga said...

I have a final piece of advice for those of us women who get 'caught short' on the side of the road - far better you show your bottom than your face. Lets face it, a passing driver will never recognise you again by your backside but just may if its your face he/she sees! That really would be a bummer!!


Seinlife - Euuuuch!

Twiga - thanks for the advice. I like it a lot and think it is very valuable and should be heeded by all!!

BritGal' Sarah said...

OMG I almost wet myself laughing reading this, apart from the bag around the neck, this has been me a few times! LOL

Oh and over in the USA the damn auto flushing thing is often so sensitive, the tiniest movement to wipe will set it off! But in some wonder loo's they do have this auto paper seat dispenser, where it spins around the seat with a clean one, or at least it's supposed to be clean?!

Great blog, I'll be back as we are of a like mind it seems!

Gump said...

Love your blog but Liya mpaka utoke machozi ya damu.