Public toilets are not pleasant, I know. They are of course dirty and of course smelly, and you don’t want to touch them with your skin, but it’s fine, you just have to try to remember to pee before leaving anywhere nice.
But there are times when even the wisest people are forced to pay their dues in a McDonalds or worse, train station restrooms. McDonalds is usually the last resort when you’re slightly drunk and don’t want to dispose of your open wine bottle to relieve yourself in a nice establishment. You also probably look drunk, and are mortally afraid of asking directions to the nice toilet, and pushing past nice respectable people sitting at their tables and looking down at you. McDonalds don’t judge, and the toilets aren’t so bad. In fact, they are so regularly hosed down by staff, the only reason there is any pee on the seat at all is because children and vile humans go there to actually eat. If you have that little dignity in dining, I can’t picture you being too fancy about wiping down after you spray your indigestable preservative juice all over the shop.
The really nasty experience is of course, any bus or train related toilet. And everywhere you go, it’s a different, horrific experience. Each one seems to have been selected for an experimental new advance in shitter technology. Each advancement in the field is humiliating and fails in its weak attempt at hygiene. I don’t know why we can’t just have the normal dirty toilets we know to hover over. The worst culprits will be detailed below.
1. The automatic seat cover rotating nightmare.
This was tricky to understand at first. There was a toilet seat that looked a bit odd. As I was about to take my position levitating over the dripping oval of grey plastic, a whirring from under my buttocks startled me into touching this seat with my bare skin. I leapt up and watched as the seat rotated while being squirted with some liquid through some holes in the back of the seat. The seat rotated fully, catching a little on some questionable toilet paper that had been shoved into a hole in the back. After this pointless exercise, I was left with a soaking wet seat to sit on or not, and I chose not. Who would sit on the wet seat? What is that liquid even supposed to be? I can imagine a few people losing their jobs over green lighting this project. If that liquid is disinfectant, it’s pretty expensive to wash a whole seat with it every time someone uses the toilet. If it’s water, it’s totally pointless. Anything that just rinses off in cold water, I’m not afraid of catching anyway.
2. The cube
I’m a little claustrophobic, just like everybody else. So I was desperate to take a leak, in this tiny abandoned train station that was basically just a platform and a bar and some weeds growing on the tracks. I bought a drink in the bar to use their toilet, thinking it would be nicer, but after consuming more liquids and paying inordinately, I was informed that there was no toilet other than the station one. So I run down the platform and find what looks like a lift/elevator door, and it seems like this is it. I insert a coin into the slot, press the button and a solid metal door not unlike in a lift slides open to reveal a grey metal throne, sink and rubbish bin, all enclosed in a cube of metal. No windows. The door is electronic. It’s a bit creepy. So I get in, and the door automatically slides shut with no handle, just a button to get out again. I try to relax and hover over the seat. I read the sign while I wait for my suddenly hesitant pee to get a move on. The sign informed me that I had 3 minutes before the doors automatically opened. Fine, I just needed to pee. Also, this was a self-cleaning toilet, and would begin self-cleaning after I left. The walls would basically spray water and disinfectant all over the place. I started to feel a bit cramped and trapped. Suddenly, rumblings and hissing of water could be heard all around me. My pee was too scared to come out. A gurgling in the pipes, and some very uncomfortable metallic sounds surrounded me as I hovered, shaking but unable to pee. Could my time nearly be up? I contemplated leaving without peeing… I would go somewhere hidden.. behind a car. Then I started to pee. It wouldn’t stop. The silvery metal walls were vibrating. I threw myself towards the door, yanking up my underwear, more or less having finished, and relased myself from my prison without fully having satisfied my bladder’s desires.
3. The overflusher
I was in the airport, having just landed, about to get on a bus home. The bus ride is long so I went to take a slash. The toilet greeted me as I entered the cubicle with an enthusiastic flush. I arranged my luggage and belongings to touch as little of the floor and walls as possible, and used a good quantity of toilet paper to coat the seat completely. I sat down and the toilet flushed again, sprinkling my flight-weary bum with some nice refreshing toilet water. I started, then leaned down for a hover and tried again. The flushing had subsided. I begin to release all the in flight vodka and tonics, having been kept in my seat by turbulence for most of the flight. The toilet responds by meeting me half way with another flush. I’m getting wobbly so I sit down and continue to pee. The flushing stops. I lean gently forward to take some toilet paper, and another flush. I throw said toilet paper in the bowl, and get up. I gather my belongings. I am leaving, when I look into the toilet and see my toilet paper. The toilet flushed four times automatically just for me, but didn’t flush the one time I actually put anything in there. What is that supposed to do, save us from touching the germ-covered lever? Just wash your hands when you get out! You already touched the door and the toilet paper dispenser anyway, and those are just as dirty. Waste of water.
Ok. I’ll leave it there for now. It’s late, I’m ranting about toilets. It’s not healthy. And the pictures… I know. It’s late, but I wanted to add a bit of colour…