After the generous feedback from Part 1, it seemed only right to continue The Gentlemen’s Guide to Toilet Etiquette. Womenfolk, look away now. This gets graphic!
When an aircraft unexpectedly smashes into the side of a Tibetan mountain range at 550mph, those with the foresight to keep their seatbelt on (even after the movie starts) often suffer from a serious psychological burden called survivor’s guilt. There is a similar condition that the men of our noble nation are afflicted with on a regular basis. It is the origin of the British stiff upper lip. It is the very roots of our infamous constitution. It is a veritable pain in the arse too.
There are two types of shitter’s guilt:
Woe! Man Interrupted
You’ve spent hours traversing the halls at work looking for that most holy of holies: an empty gents. There is something so sublime about finding your very own vestibule of serene purgation.
You dance (figuratively speaking, dancing is strictly forbidden in the magical chamber of purification) with unbridled glee as you flit from cubicle to cubicle finding the most well-proportioned and cleanest throne. After a dalliance with almost CSI-like forensic skill, you enter your chosen cube, drop trou, and settle in for the duration. A well practiced porcelain monarch can get comfortable in as few as four or five shuffles; for those less accustomed to precision buttock parking it can be considerably more. Remember: there is no greater sting than a bogseat-induced red ring.
You’re sat, comfortable, calm. And with the greatest of contentment you apply the most subtle of downward pressures to your innards awaiting the indescribable relief after a long and effortful search for toilet perfection.
Just as the moment arrives, the door flies open and a gaggle of anonymous colleagues flock into your sacred anteroom and you’re forced to nip the problem with your rosebud. But it is too late! Your hopes for an unhurried and dignified dump are dashed; and you’re too far gone. Instead of frictionless and blissful, your painfully uncontrollable eruptions cause your colleagues to fall mockingly silent, sharing amused stifled chortles and sniggers.
That’s shitter’s guilt right there.
There is only one way to recover the situation. And it relies on the kindness of strangers: your fellow workers can either finish up and sod off, leaving you an embarassed figment of your former self; or they can perform a selfless act of gentlemanly solidarity turning you into a hero. One swift staccato arse belch and you’re no longer the disgusting one locked away in the cubicle like a disenfranchised Phantom of the Opera, you’re the trend-setting King of the vestibules. You’re one-of-the-guys. It’s anonymous. It’s altruistic. Forget Jedis and the Force, this is so much better. It’s The Brotherhood!!!
Then there’s the other kind…
I Think We’re Alone Now
You’re desperate! You burst into the nearest gents to find it (amazingly) empty! Solitude just when you need it most! Your prayers have been answered. You’ve casually stood from your desk, casually walked out of the office, down the corridor and into the Gents without the slightest hint of a run. Nobody has a clue of the tempestuous turmoil devastating your lower alimentary canal.
No time for precision or forensics today. Drop trou, drop buttocks, drop lunch.
Volcanoes and tidal waves. Dogs barking for tens of miles around. Colleagues back in the office making puzzled eye contact. “Was that a little earthquake?”
You sigh. Having survived (guilt-free!). You take a few moments.
Just then, the toilet on the end of the row flushes. Somebody washes their hands. It takes an eternity. They heard everything! They dry their hands at tectonic speed, there’s a pause. An aeon passes. Then they leave.
You complete your task, tidy up and leave. On your way back to the desk you feel every eye in the room boring into your skull. In your mind you can hear all the conversations…
“That was no earthquake, Beryl.”
Next time on The Gentlemen’s Guide to Toilet Etiquette we dive, almost Labrador-like, into the taxonomy of corporate toilet paper. You’d be mad to miss it!