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.
Would tears work, Steve? I can cry on demand (see, I should have been an actress). I'd never shout my way towards getting my own way.
Rude blighter deserved to have a full bladder.
FF: no need for tears, m'dear, you can use my facilities anytime. ;-)
Point Percy at porcelain?
I would have pissed myself laughing on the spot!
Gappy: I must admit, he didn't actually say that; it's one of my mother's favourite euphemisms for passing water but he definitely looked a Percy pointing kind of guy. ;-)
Now why is that when I saw 'Percy pointing at porcelain, I thought, "what's Robert Plant doing in the library loos in Leamington Spa?"?!
All I can say, if you piss at gnats, is - poor gnat!
Absurdoldbird: on a good day I can bring down a buzzard...
Hang on a minute, if he doesn't finish work till well after 5... what was he doing there in the first place. I smell liar.
Rol: I smelt retired. Very definitely.
At my age needing a wee early in the morning is a fabulous natural alarm clock......and (Leam girl here) where are the other loo's Steve? In the park?
Libby: they are indeed in the park or there's some near the police station... but I have to say you'd have to be desperate to use those. Apparently Native American Indians used to consume vast quantities of water if they wanted to be awake early to carry out raids or hunts...
I will make sure I void completely before I leave home to shop in Leamington. You sound scary.
Quite so. I don't respond to rudeness either.
Zinc tablets apparently prevent most male problems in later life (as it is the body's increasing inability to extract and retain sufficient zinc from its food which causes them). It also, ahem, helps maintain the 'lead' in a gentleman's pencil...
Your satisfaction would have been short-lived if he had peed in a corner somewhere for you to clean up. It is not O.K. for him to be so rude. Obviously stems from other deficiencies of character or physique.
"Thank you for sharing your thoughts with me, Sir!" followed by your perkiest smile to close the deal. I love doing that to people.
In total agreement, rudeness gets ya nothing! I'm concerned now that you are constantly on call, how can you relax at home if you can be called in at any time of the day or night? Terrible.
Fran: an empty bladder is a friendly face. Welcome to Leamington Spa.
Laura: I shall remember that sage advice. Purely to help out some of my less fortunate gentlemen friends, you understand...
English Rider: we have had people urinate up the locked doors of the toilets before. Caught on CCTV and they don't give a shit. (But I bet it's only a matter of time.)
MissBehaving: thankfully another colleague has expressed a willingness to take on the main part of the duty... so this should see the amount of call-outs I get dropping faster than an incontinent guy's zipper...
Thank god it wasn't me Steve, I'd probably have peed on your foot. Gave up trampolining a long time ago if you get my meaning!
Previously (Very) Lost In France: it's OK. I have steel toecaps. And my boots are waterproof.
I'm sorry, I have nothing pithy to add. I just had to tell you I thought I had wheezed hard with laughter (it's a slight asthma thing) at your post, until I read the comments.
Ahh. Thanks for the laugh ... I think.
I never understand why people go for the aggressive approach. The charming approach nearly always works more effectively.
Fortunately I have a cast iron bladder and pretty well NEVER use public toilets. I hold out til I get home. I'd rather go in the undergrowth I think!! Not that I suppose there is a lot of undergrowth in a library!
bladder straggler! Fantastic term and I plan to weave it into as many conversations as I can in the next week. So pleased you might bend to a pregnant or kiddie but the reality of cleaning up a kiddie puddle compared to an old man mess : euuuuuuw - I'm not sure I would be prepared to risk it. But yes I bow to you, now arise Lord Percy of Porcelain and survey you cross legged subjects :0)
Gosh, I didn't imagine you so evil!!! :( Would bribery work? Ciao. A.
Being Me: always glad to raise a smile. Hope you catch your breath again soon.
Gina: alas all the plant life in the library has been processed and turned into paper... but that might come in handy if you were really cut short (avoid the braille tomes). Personally I try to avoid public toilets as much as possible. They are invariably dank, dirty and undesirable.
Kellogsville: the thought that "Bladder straggler" might stretch far and wide like an ever expanding puddle fills me with glee (as opposed to pee). I look forward to it making a splash in the next edition of the concise Oxford.
Lunarossa: a chocolate bar or a Lego set and I'm anybody's. ;-)
'No please, no pees?' Funneee! However, I think I would have cried to. When you gotta go, you gotta go... Just saying : )
TheUndertaker: hand on heart, I would never lock you out of the toilets if you needed to go. Bloggers get free access to the bogs.
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