Carry on at your public convenience

Aasma Day
Aasma Day
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When you’ve got to go, you’ve got to go – but sometimes the going gets tough.

I’ve resorted to toilet talk in this week’s column… and how tricky things get when you can’t find a toilet when you need one.

Public toilet

Public toilet

The subject arose during conversation at work when a colleague confessed she and her boyfriend had to make an emergency trip to the supermarket to use their loos f.

In the middle of a renovation project at their abode, the pair had stripped the boards off their staircase, painted them and were extremely proud of their handiwork.

Until they realised they needed the loo and that their only toilet was upstairs where they couldn’t get because of the wet paint.

So they quickly drove to Sainsbury’s and made use of the customer toilets instead.

However, because their purse and wallet were also upstairs they couldn’t even be paying customers and left the store without so much as a pint of milk.

Talk about not even spending a penny to spend a penny.

Conversation turned to those desperate crossed legs moments we have all experienced at some point in life.

The weak-bladdered one admitted she can’t even go on the shortest of car journeys without having to make a toilet stop and had been known to visit Forton Services after only getting on the motorway at Preston.

When you’re a parent, you get used to impromptu trips to the toilet with your offspring.

Although they have got a lot better since they’ve got older, we are still used to hearing: “Mummy, Daddy, I need the toilet”, usually when you’re stuck in a traffic jam on the motorway and have only just passed the services.

And we hardly manage a shopping trip without having to find some public toilets or a cafe to nip into with a desperate child in tow.

The problem comes when you visit some quaint little town where there isn’t a Costa or McDonalds in sight and every shop you pass has a notice in the window saying: “Polite notice: Our toilets are for customers only.”

On a trip to Scotland, we were wandering round the shops when our lad Cameron announced he needed a wee.

Unable to see the usual toilet-friendly department stores Hubby spotted some portable toilets – the kind you have to pay 20p to use.

As Hubby was fumbling through his change looking for a 20p piece, a kind Scottish woman came out of one of the toilets and held the door open saying: “Ooh, let the wee boy go in.”

A relieved Cameron went inside to relieve himself, but after coming out, he was quite indignant.

“Why did that lady call me a ‘Wee Man’?” he asked.

We had to explain that the woman wasn’t actually insulting him but that that was what they called little people in Scotland.

As for myself, unlike a lot of people I know, I don’t possess a tiny bladder – in fact judging by how infrequently I need the loo, it must be colossal.

Either that or I simply don’t drink enough.

It’s just as well I don’t need to constantly nip to the loo though, as I’m a bit fussy when it comes to toilet facilities and have an aversion to using public toilets.

I don’t mean the nice, clean toilets you get in shopping centres and department stores, but those horrible smelly proper public toilets.

But my absolute worst nightmare is the kind of toilets you get at music festivals – you know the portable type used by lots of drunk people which seem to run out of toilet paper hours into the event.

I have been to a few music festivals and love seeing so many music acts over one weekend in the outdoors.

However, festival toilets are my idea of hell.

I once refused to drink a drop of anything all weekend – even water – just so I wouldn’t have to use the loo.

Speaking of trying to avoid having to go to the toilet, the ladies of the LEP recently went to extraordinary lengths to evade going to the ladies.

The reason for this was nothing pure laziness brought about by some repair work being carried out in the women’s toilets nearest to us – just metres away from my own desk as a matter of fact.

The sign rendering the ladies out of action had every woman in the office huffing and puffing with frustration - even though there were two other sets of women’s loos available to us.

However, both of these meant a walk down to the other side of the office followed by a traipse down some stairs … a journey time of ...ooh, all of a minute.

But us lazy ladies weren’t prepared to go out of our way to go to the loo. Oh no, we sat there all day with our legs crossed risking cystitis rather than walking that tiny bit further.

Well folks, you must excuse me now… I need to pop to the loo!