When women have to visit a public toilet, they usually find a line of women, so smile politely and take their place.
Once it's their turn, they check for feet under the cubicle doors.
Every cubicle is occupied.
Finally, a door opens and they dash in, nearly knocking down the woman leaving the cubicle.
They get in to find the door won't latch.
It doesn't matter, the wait has been so long they are about to wet their pants!
The dispenser for the modern 'seat covers' (invented by someones Mum, no
doubt) is handy, but empty.
They would hang their bag on the door hook, if there was one, so they carefully, but quickly drape it around their neck, (Their mum would turn over in her grave if they put it on the FLOOR!) its down with their pants and assume 'The Stance'.
In this position, their aging, toneless, thigh muscles begin to shake. They'd love to sit down, but having not taken time to wipe the seat or to lay toilet paper on it, they hold 'The Stance.'
To take their mind off their trembling thighs, they reach for what they discover to be the empty toilet paper dispenser.
In their mind, they can hear their mother's voice saying, 'Dear, if you had tried to clean the seat, you would have KNOWN there was no toilet paper!'
their thighs shake more.
They remember the tiny tissue that they blew their nose on yesterday - the one that's still in their bag (the bag around their neck, that they now have to hold up trying not to strangle themselves at the same time).
That would have to do, so they crumple it in the puffiest way possible. It's still smaller than a thumbnail.
Someone pushes the door open because the latch doesn't work.
The door hits the bag, which is hanging around their neck in front of their chest and they and their bag topple backward against the tank of the toilet.
'Occupied!' they scream, as they reach for the door, dropping their precious, tiny, crumpled tissue in a puddle on the floor, while losing their footing altogether and slid down directly onto the TOILET SEAT.
It is wet of course. They bolt up, knowing all too well that it's too late.
Their bare bottom has made contact with every imaginable germ and life form on the uncovered seat because they never laid down toilet paper - not that there was any, even if they had taken time to try.
They know that there mother would be utterly appalled if she knew, because they'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 their bum and runs down their legs and into their shoes.
The flush somehow sucks everything down with such force and they grab onto the empty toilet paper dispenser for fear of being dragged in too.
At this point, they give up. They're soaked by the spewing water and the wet toilet seat.
Exhausted, they try to wipe with a sweet wrapper they found in their pocket and then slink out inconspicuously to the sinks.
As they can't figure out how to operate the taps with the automatic sensors, they wipe their hands with spit and a dry paper towel and walk past the line of women still waiting, 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 their shoe. (Where was that when they NEEDED it?)
They yank the paper from their shoe, plunk it in the woman's hand and tell her warmly, 'Here, you just might need this.
As they exit, they spot their 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?'
This is dedicated to women everywhere who deal with any public rest rooms/toilets (rest??? you've GOT to be kidding!!).
It finally explains to the men what really does take women so long. It also answers that other commonly asked question about why women go to the toilets in pairs.
It's so the other gal can hold the door, hang onto the bags and hand Kleenex under the door.
I would love to credit the person who wrote this but as I don't know who it was, so I will pass the credit onto Mrs B for forwarding it to me. I think you will agree that this is brilliant, giving us men an insight as to why women take so long and also why you attend in gangs.
I can say that as a man I have on the odd occasion had to adopted the hover position and will be ever grateful that I don't have a handbag to deal with (my father occasionally would use a man-bag when we went on our almost annual trips to Portugal. As a young teenager I was so traumatised and embarrassed by this, there was never any chance that I would follow on the tradition. Besides with the amount of rubbish I carry around with me, nothing short of a large rucksack will do). I guess for men the equivalent problem, in a particularly rank toilet, is how do you stop your trousers from mopping up the content of the floor? As a final note it never fails to amaze me that whenever we go to V or any large event with Porto-loo's, Mrs B seems to have the magical ability to suspend her bodily functions for the duration. Much respect, I can tell you as a man, when you gotta go, there is very little in the world will prevent us.
putting things down on the floor in a public toilets
L2B -2006 Training on the Flitch Way,
Including news of fine dining in Essex
Continuing a nostalgic view of our 2006 London to Brighton bike ride
Having run out of excuses, Mrs. B and I hit the training schedule hard. Not only did I do 3 spinning classes in 7 days, Mrs B and I did a short ride along the river Stort, this was fairly uneventful although I could not get my pedal-ometer (bike trip computer) to work, so I can't report the actual distance. I did however notice that the damn thing started to work while I was putting the bikes away.
Monday morning we had earmarked as the "Ride the Flitch Way" day. The Flitch Way is an old abandoned railway, which has been turned into a cycle path between Bishops Stortford and Braintree. The forecast was wet and miserable, but as I often say to Mrs B, the weather office in this country would have difficulty predicting the result of a one horse race, even after the event. Typically as I got the bikes out, the trip computer stopped working, deep joy. After fiddling about with it for about 20 minutes and getting absolutely nowhere, I ripped the computer off the handlebars and hurdled it down the drive way.
"Make you feel better?" chirped in a less than impressed Mrs B.
"It does actually" I replied and stomped off to get some more therapy by jumping up and down on the cheap plastic pile of rubbish.
At the last moment I changed my mind and fitted the computer back onto the bike. To my amazement* it worked perfectly, although some mysterious scratches had appeared on the outer casing (I bet it was those bloody cats, I thought to myself).
* And just goes to prove that, sometimes, mindless violence is just what is needed**
** Despite the success of this experiment, I would not recommend hurling electrical or other products around in an attempt to fix them. Unless you really have been severely provoked by said electrical goods or you think you can live without your TV, expensive watch, Ipod, toaster, car etc
A quick check behind the cushions on the chesterfield, to make sure no cats had stowed on board, before Mrs B and I navigated our way across town to the start point of the Flitch Way (imaginatively called Start Hill). I was initially disappointed that most of the outward leg of the journey appeared to be against a slight rise, but this was soon replaced by the optimistic view that we would be able to roll back with hardly any effort on the return leg of the journey, marvellous! Apart from a few navigational problems - yes I know railway lines are relatively straight but when tunnels have been filled in and towns have been allowed to develop over parts of them, it makes for some interesting diversions*** - we reached Braintree with only a slight 'clicking' that Mrs B had developed. On further investigation I discovered it was not, in fact, Mrs B but her left pedal crankshaft (which did not bode well, as it was a similar type of clicking that my bike had developed during the bike ride from hell, a couple of weeks back - the one just before my pedal fell off).
I managed to find a bike shop, who were not able to service the bike, but they did sell me a new tool for taking the crank shaft off the bike****. Before I made my purchase of the shiny new gadget, the spotty little Herbert serving me promised to give me some advice on using it. I noticed he waited until completion of the sale before gleefully informing me "Be really careful with that, if you don't use it properly, you'll cross thread the bike frame and bugger up the bike completely". I must say that little bit of advice made me feel so much more confident about using the device. We then went off in search of a Tea room. Apparently Braintree doesn't do Tea rooms so we retired to a Weatherspoons pub. All I can say is it was not a pleasant experience, I shall expand no further, other than to say I will not be returning to a Weatherspoons pub in the foreseeable future.
***The Essex Rangers, custodians of the Flitch Way, while managing to do a fantastic job of maintaining the route itself, are absolute rubbish when it comes to the matter of directing you between sections that have become separated. It's a bit like when you are driving through London and you hit those diversion signs - the ones that take you into previously unexplored parts of the metropolis and then abandon you with no clues to your whereabouts. Fortunately we had come prepared with an Ordinance Survey map, you just can't trust those straight routes.
**** No I'm not sure what I am meant to do after I have removed the crank shaft, but that's not the point, it was a NEW Gadget.
I was looking forward to the return journey, all that lovely downhill coasting........ except it wasn't, once again it all appeared to be uphill. What was going on? We managed to make it back to Start Hill despite small kids who insisted on littering the way with their bikes, dogs on leads who would run across our path as soon as we got near and the headless body of a rat falling from the sky in front of Mrs B*****. As we rode down the slope that led back to the public highway, a police car drove up. I was about to report the theft of the downhill section of the Flitch Way, but I noted the officers were far too busy eating Fruit 'n Fibre breakfast cereal, to be bothered with such issues.
***** no word of a lie, but this was deepest Essex after all. It's probably the sort of thing you get on a local restaurant menu "Fricasseed headless rat, double tenderised by first being dropped delicately from 24 feet, by unseen assailant, onto the Flitch Way, before being further tenderised with fresh bicycle tread, served on a bed of saffron suffused****** rice and seasonal vegetables". Sounds almost tempting if it wasn't for those damned seasonal vegetables....
****** i.e. less than a pin heads worth
The final count was 50.7 bum-numbing miles, and I thank the lord for the chesterfield and padded cycling shorts, otherwise I don't think I would have been able to sit down for the rest of this week. I was also impressed that I had broken the 20 mile barrier previously imposed by my leg muscles. All I need do now is work out what got me through the extra 30 miles. Was it the banana I consumed before I set out, the Kool 'n Fit pain relieving spray, cycling in much lower gears, the Ribena drink in my Camel pack or the revenge of the Pedal-ometer under which we had probably only covered 18 miles rather then the more impressive 50.7 stated? I can't believe it is the latter, as neither of us could move once we got home. Climbing into bed became more of a full out expedition than a daily activity, involving ropes, crampons and short periods of rest. We were starting to regret the purchase of a new mattress a few weeks ago, which was approximately twice the depth of the old one, but once we reached the summit it was quickly off to ZZZZZZZZ.