What a relief - there is a public toilet nearby. As usual, when you need to visit a public loo there is invariably a line of women waiting, smiling politely you take your place in the line. Finally you're at the head of the queue, you check for feet under the cubicle doors. Every cubicle is occupied. Eventually a door opens and you dash in, nearly knocking down the woman leaving the cubicle. You get in to find the door won't lock. It doesn't matter, the wait has been so long and you are about to wet your pants! The dispenser for the modern 'seat covers' is empty. You would hang your bag on the door hook if there was one, but there isn't so you carefully drape it around your neck, yank down your pants and assume 'the position'.
In this position your ageing, toneless thigh muscles begin to shake. You would love to sit down, but you certainly hadn't taken time to wipe the seat or lay toilet paper on it, so you hold 'the position'. To take your mind off your trembling thighs for a moment you reach for the toilet paper dispenser and your worst nightmare it's empty, the toilet roll dispenser is empty. You hover looking around in the hope there's a new roll behind you no such luck. Your thighs start to shake more. Then you remember the tiny tissue that you blew your nose on yesterday the one that's still in your handbag, which is now burning your neck & shoulders with the weight. So you contort your arm into a very unnatural position and start to fumble around in the deep dark depths of your handbag for that small crumpled used tissue.
Someone pushes your door cubicle door and because the latch doesn't work the door hits your head, which is bent forward from you holding your bag around your neck while you are rummaging for that used tissue. Taken by surprise you start to lose your balance and topple backwards. 'Occupied!' you scream, as you reach to push the door shut and drop the precious, tiny, crumpled tissue you had only just managed to retrieve with your index finger into an 'unknown' puddle on the floor.
If that isn't enough you lose your balance altogether, or just give up and... sit down .. directly onto the TOILET SEAT. Ugh - yes - it's wet! You bolt up, knowing all too well that it's too late. Your thighs and bottom have made contact with every imaginable germ & life form that lives on the uncovered seat.
By this time, the automatic sensor on the back of the toilet is so confused that it flushes, propelling a stream of cold water like a fire hose into the bowl which causes a spray of fine mist that completely covers your bum and runs downs your legs along with all the various life forms and down into your dishevelled pants which have now dropped to your ankles with your hems soaking up that puddle from the floor.
The flush seems to suck everything down with such force that you grab onto the empty toilet paper dispenser for fear of being dragged down 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 your self with a piece of gum wrapper you found in your pocket and then slink out inconspicuously to the sinks. You cannot figure out how to operate the tap, so run your hands underneath it grateful for the two drops of water there and around the basin itself. You go to the towel dispenser past the line of women still waiting. But of course there are no paper towels so you move onto the hand blower, which doesn't work either!
You're no longer able to smile politely to the women, but there's an unspoken understanding between you all. A kind soul at the very end of the line of women points out that you have a piece of toilet paper trailing from your shoe. Where was that when you NEEDED IT?
As you leave your husband, who has long since entered, used and left the men's toilets asks, 'What took you so long, why is your handbag hanging around your neck?'
This is dedicated to women everywhere who deal with public loos. It also helps explain to the men why it really does take us women so long and it also answers that commonly asked question Why do women always go to the loos in pairs?
It's so your friend can hold the door, hang onto your bag and pass you tissue under the door!
I had adapted this from an email sent to me from an Aussie cousin. But on researching the links I found this blog - I assume this may well be the original form.