I’ve heard it told that the older you get the more you are at the mercy of your bladder. Your waterworks – either the need to pee or a distinct lack of pee action – start to rule your day, your thoughts and your, er, movements.
Now I am not at that stage yet myself. I’m all tickety-boo in the genitourinary stakes. I can withhold or blast forth ‘pon a whim and hit a gnat (should I be venting outside) at 50 paces. Unlike Severn Trent I am not plagued by burst water mains or seasons of drought that result in a full hosepipe ban.
But I am aware that for others, my seniors, taking a pee-pee is sometimes of a pressing nature.
Now this being said I still have a duty to lock up the toilets in the building where I work at 5pm. Even if the Library are open until 8. The reasons for this are twofold. 1) Once the café is shut (at 5pm) we no longer have a legal requirement to keep the toilets open to the public. We used to but 2) when the toilets were previously left open on our late night openings there were invariably trashed, smashed, vandalized, violated by horse-sized poos, spattered with blood / broken glass / toilet paper, used by druggies to smoke, shoot, imbibe, photosynthesize, osmose and partake of rum chemical cocktails or used by amorous couples with no sense of romance whatsoever to grind, spoon, get jiggy, have-it-off, bonk, shag, have-a-quickie, and otherwise fill their boots with each other’s wanton flesh in the ammonia stained cubicles that have made our building famous.
Our poor loos were, in short, being used in a manner that they were never intended to be used for. So we started closing them at 5pm. We’ve been doing this now for nearly 4 years. And there are signs everywhere informing people of the impending 5pm loo embargo. It’s not like we’re shutting the door on someone’s colostomy bag without prior warning.
So it was with distinct displeasure that while I was performing my duties last week I got a verbal mauling from some old geezer wanting to “point Percy at porcelain”. “I’m sorry,” I told him, keys jangling earnestly in my hand, “but the toilets are closed at 5.” I even pointed at the sign on the wall to prove that I was not making it up and nor was it anything personal.
The man growled at me. Growled. Well, I’m assuming it was a growl and not the sound of his bladder bursting. “God,” he said. “I wish I had a job where I could close up at 5.” And with that he stormed off before I could even attempt to apologize for his lack of convenience or point him in the direction of some other facilities not 2 minutes walk away.
I must admit my first thought was: you old cantankerous git. Finish at 5? Finish at 5? I finish at 5.15, ahem. But that’s not the point. I am on the emergency call-out list and frequently get called back to the building to deal with alarm problems in the evening, late at night and the small wee (ha!) hours of the morning. So in a sense I never finish at 5 because I’m never bloody well off duty. Hence I like to make my escape as quick as I can at close of business each day and get home to see my wife and kids while I can and not be hovering around the toilets until 5.30pm or later extending the toilet service to bladder stragglers.
Now on occasion when someone is nice to me or is pregnant or is under the age of 5 and with a desperate parent in tow I will sometimes allow post-5pm peeing. But courtesy and politeness are an essential ingredient to this transaction. Rudeness gets you nowt. No please, no pees.
So take a lesson from this folks; should you ever come to Leamington Spa and visit the building wherein I work, the only p you’ll ever be required to part with when you want to spend a penny is a please. I don’t care how angry or swollen your bladder is. I don’t care what plagues it threatens to send forth from your nether regions – locusts, frogs or fiery ammonia – your bladder is not my god and I shall never ever worship it.
Just to make it even more clear: remember, I’m the one holding the keys to the toilets.
Hail to the King, baby.