Shhhhhhh………………….it!

I won’t lie, I get overwhelmed with a massive sense of smugness whenever I have to poo at work.  I don’t know if it’s because it takes me away from work for a few minutes, or the fact that I’m on the clock when I sit down to pinch one off.

Either way, I’m getting paid to give a shit.

(groan)

So, today I took my smug self into the toilets [restrooms] on our floor, chose an empty cubicle (which was ANY of them…..result!) and dropped my kecks in readiness for the mass exodus.

Just as I relaxed to let my people go, someone walked in.  Now, this isn’t usually an issue for me, but the toilets at work are tiled floor to ceiling and appear to block out any sound beyond the door…so basically it’s a large, reverberating echo chamber.

Great.

To make matters worse, I knew this poo wasn’t a run-of-the mill affair.  No, this one felt like it had an air pocket the size of my head behind it.  That meant that any attempt to free the prisoners was going to result in a shotgun style blast that would startle the most war-torn veteran due to the amplification provided by the resonance chamber we were both inhabiting.  Also, I had eaten Mexican food the night before with plenty of beans, meaning the smell would likely bring literal tears to our eyes.

Well, it would bring tears to HIS eyes; we can all tolerate our own, right?

Right?

Anyway, my new friend entered the cubicle next to mine – naturally – and took a seat of his own.

Sigh….really?

Now we were two strangers, sat two feet apart in total silence with our pants around our ankles.  This was not at all uncomfortable as I sat there, legs quivering in the air, as I desperately held back a cataclysmic shit that would have emergency crews later looking for the epicenter of the blast that leveled the building.

After what felt like 3 hours, my new friend got up, flushed whatever he had pooped out with ninja-like stealth, washed his hands for an hour, and left.

At last!

I finally relaxed……and chipped the inside of the bowl.

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I’m a stand up guy when I sit down

I’ve written a lot of entries that have been toilet related.  In fact, if you type the word ‘toilet’ in my search bar you will get an almost endless list of posts.

I clearly need to get a lot of things out.

(smirks smugly to himself)

Today’s log (smirk) is no different, and yet it is; it’s about certain observations and forms of etiquette I’ve noticed when using a toilet cubicle [stall].

Firstly there’s the ‘call to attention’.  This is a customary noise you make to alert any new toilet visitor that you’re already there, sat down, mid performance.

This customary noise usually comes in the form of a cough, a clearing of the throat, a loud sniff or the dropping of a big, heavy turd.

Often, when I’m the new arrival to the toilets this ‘call to attention’ comes in the form of general grunting and groaning, like the cubicle occupant is attempting to shit out a small donkey.  Even after I’ve dropped my dignity and taken a seat, the grunting and groaning continues.

Is their turd coming out sideways?

Imagine your grandfather sitting in a big comfy chair after a huge meal; that’s the sound I can best liken it to.

So anyway, regardless of who came in first or last, the next thing I’d like to comment on is the deafening silence that follows when the coughing, grunting and sniffing has subsided.

I mean, you can literally hear a pin drop, let alone anything else.

This is a level of silence that actually hurts your ears.  It’s quieter than being in church, or so I’ve been told; I don’t tend to hear it over the sound of my burning flesh and the screams of a thousand tortured souls.

Or is that just me?

This silence is counterproductive to the task in hand when all you want to do is push out some bum rope, especially as it’s likely you’re in the most echo efficient room in the building.

It’s almost a battle of wills to see who will set free the first fart, or something decidedly more sinister.

This is exacerbated if you have a bad stomach and want to let loose the fizzy beast within.

Personally, I reach around (easy now) and flush the toilet in time with each contraction; evacuating my bowels in perfect time with the masking sounds of the flush.

And while I’m on the subject of masking sounds, it’s a huge frustration of mine when people don’t use the hand dryer KNOWING their fellow man is attempting to curl one out – with sweaty brow and trembling knees – a few feet away.  Instead they opt for a paper towel or trouser wipe.

Give me some cover noise mate, come on.

I’d do it for you.

cover me

Now, I don’t know about you, but I had an epiphany the other day whilst sat on the loo.  I was sitting there, spending a little too long on Facebook and creating those infamous red thigh marks…

red thigh

…when I heard the guy in the neighbouring cubicle stop grunting and groaning and reach for the toilet paper.

In the library-like silence I could heard the rumble of the roll as he pulled at the paper, followed by the soft but definable snap of the paper.

It then occurred to me that the rustling that followed wasn’t him practicing Origami, it was the actual act of wiping his arse.  I could literally hear him smearing poo from his balloon knot.  And what made it worse was that he kept going, returning to the loo roll two or three times for back up.

Now I think about it, the word ‘wipe’ should be replaced with ‘vigorously scrub’.

Now, whenever I hear the rumble of the toilet roll, I know I’m about to hear a guy cleaning out his chocolate tea-towel holder with wads of tissue paper a foot and a half away from me.

I want to hum or sing to drown out the noise, but I feel that would just make the hole[1] situation worse.

Once you’ve had this epiphany and heard that noise, you can’t un-hear it.

You’re welcome.

But all of this pales into comparison to my last observation and experience.

This one has resulted in three words of advice.  Three simple words that will ensure you are not mentally scarred for the rest of your days.

When you’re next sat on the toilet, pay close attention to the floor.

Is it shiny?

Has it been buffed to a mirror-like perfection?

If the answer is yes, and someone joins the cubicle next to you, remember these three little words.

Don’t look down.

my eyes

[1] Not a typo