Wednesday, 4 July 2012
'Knock Knock! Poo's There?'
Pete Devine, Strabane
It was the sunday following the friday of my last semestor 1 exam - more importantly the sunday following the friday that saw my bank balance reep the sows of student finance and tower out of post-xmas overdraft. The collision of these events on friday made way for a hedonistic collision of alcohol, fast food and lack of sleep until late the following saturday night. Upon being woken at around 9am sunday by tsunamic vibrations in my lower intestine I leaped out of my beer sweat-soaked covers and navigated my way through the fog that tended to rudely say hello to us every winter morning in that squalid Kensington terrace house. After one very blackened toe nail against a radiator I finally got to the seat and let nature take its toll. Crisis averted.
Except no, its important to begin here with my history of performing frequent and abnormally large stools for someone of pretty average size and diet - whether i've been eating unhealthily or not.
Routine instances such as always having to keep it in when visiting the houses of strangers or relatives means a sense of social "not blocking their toilets" awareness is needed. Hell, even in my parents' home I've only ever been allowed to use the upstairs toilets on the pretense I'll block the fancier bottom one when an unexpected guest arrives at the house. On a few occasions my poor dad has even had to go out to the backyard in the fog and snow and unscrew a drainage lid then physically err "make it start flowing with a shovel", all upon my backside's belligerence. Indeed my over-productive digestive system has always proved a tricky, sticky and rather fucking smelly job for toilets around the world. I'll not even mention the sold-out over night train journey from Novi Sad to Budapest after Exit Festival.
Anyways when I was sitting upon my Kensington throne (still a bit drunk and bleary eyed) I reckoned this would be the case again. And although it wasn't exactly what I needed with my oncoming hangover it was nothing I haven't handled with a bit of coat-hanger (always kept a few spare strategically placed) and solid wrist action before. Crisis averted.
Except no, whilst i was thinking this I heard the downstairs door open and a few adult voices come in. I'd completely forgotten - my housemates' parents were due to arrive sunday morning for a day of seeing Liverpool and within seconds I'd heard the mother in the hallway ask where the toilet was as, in her own hushed words, she was "in serious need of one since she'd got off the plane". Feck. Feck. Feck I thought. Just Fucking Feck.
Alls I feel I can say now in an effort to not put you off your lunch for life is; toilet refusing to flush - coat hanger trying to fragment - toilet still refusing to flush - spare lidl bag for the bin put over hand - bag in toilet - bag and shit and coat hanger out of toilet - bag turned outside in - bag with a juggernaut shit and a coat hanger safely tucked in it on toilet floor - hands washed. Crisis averted.
Except no, the mother had now been waiting at the door of the toilet for the last few minutes and now she was knocking. I was dealt the task of casually strolling past her whilst clutching a bag of poo on a sunday morning in nothing but my boxers. I thought there was nothing for it but to Usain Bolt it past her with a polite "hello" then somehow wing it past the father and room mate in the hallway downstairs but then I thought, "no, i'm going to fling it out of the window and hope it doesn't spill when it lands", and that is exactly what happened on that bitterly cold sunday morning at the tail end of january 2010 - I catapulted my shit from a second storey bathroom in Kenny.
At the time I was quite proud of myself for showing such initiative under such pressure and thought job done and even awarded myself a few more hours sleep before the hangover and the guilt (oh god, the over-powering guilt of turd flinging) kicked in. Because our backyard wasn't used in months before or after that incident due to the weather, it eventually took me 3 days to summon the moral compass past the demonic hangover and actually dispose of that life-saving lidl bag. In many ways doing so was like saying goodbye to an old friend. An old friend that may have smelt really bad but none the less an old, life-saving friend - almost like Forrest Gump to my Lieutenant Dan. I've told this story to a few over the years with a sense of embarassing pride. Mostly to mixed results. I can't say I'm proud but I can't say I'm ashamed. As I finally leave my student years I think back to this very scenario. At the time my parents probably thought i was only throwing my degree out the window. To me it showed intuition, on-the-spot confidence and the ability to think clearly under pressure. I see those qualities on lots of job descriptions today and constantly despair at how I seemed to have learnt them from a drunken toilet adventure and not my degree. Perhaps I'll keep that graduation scroll close by should we ever run out of toilet roll....