Friday 30 Aug 2013 6:00 am
I was in a public convenience recently. A sign on the door read: ‘Please leave these facilities as you would expect to find them.’
Although everything was clean and hygienic at this point, obviously I had no option but to urinate on the floor, fill the toilet with paper towels, shoot bum gravy all over the porcelain and leave a used nappy in the sink. Because, having used public toilets on many occasions, this is how I have come to expect to find them.
And I can only applaud you, the Great British public, for the sterling work that you have done in ensuring that the lavatorial euphemism ‘bog’ is so chillingly accurate. It takes real effort to be this slovenly and antisocial and it’s time that credit was given to you.
It isn’t difficult to use a toilet (they are even called conveniences), so you really have to go out of your way to turn them into the post-Apocalyptic wastelands that they invariably are.
My particular khazi-based heroes are those determined and brave individuals who pee on the toilet seat and then make no effort to clean up after themselves. And why should they? They are better and busier than the rest of us and should not be bothered with such mundane tasks. It is an honour to wipe up their brackish splatters and then know that I am sitting on the smears of the bladder juice of a stranger.
The fact that there is a possibility they may have had some contagious disease makes the experience all the more thrilling for me, like a game of Russian roulette, and I thank you for making my life so much more interesting. What kind of a world would it be if we all just cleaned up after ourselves?
Or, Heaven forbid, if we just made sure that we didn’t spray uric acid everywhere like our pee-shoot is a faulty hose operated by the Chuckle Brothers (as I like to call my testicles – though they’re not quite wrinkly enough)?Who are the people who are so self-absorbed (yet ironically don’t understand the absorbent properties of toilet paper) that they can leave a public bathroom in this state?
I presume some of you are reading this now, though if you’ve never learned as simple a task as mopping up your own micturition, I suppose that mastering the alphabet might have been a step too far.What’s stopping them? Is it possible to have a phobia about your own kidney-cola?
This is one of society’s greatest crimes. It affects more people than violent crime or burglary and is entirely avoidable. If the punishments for transgressors were harsh enough then nobody would do it any more.The brilliant Viz comic had a strip about The Bottom Inspectors, fascist-like officers who punished people for scatological misdemeanours. But why not have Toilet Inspectors with huge punitive powers.
Every time you left a cubicle you would know there was a good chance of an official waiting there to ascertain your ablutions. If you consistently fail to live up to decent human standards and are of sound mind and body, you get banned from public facilities and are forced to wear a giant nappy that bulges under your clothes for all to see (and a baby bonnet as well, let’s make these people suffer for their crimes).
If you can’t act like a responsible adult you don’t get treated like one. As it says in the Eleven Commandments (edited out of some versions of the Bible): ‘If you sprinkle whilst you tinkle, Be a sweetie, wipe the seatie.’
Richard Herring embarks on a UK tour with his brand new show We’re All Going To Die! on October 8. www.richardherring.com