Sunday, January 14, 2007

Merde, She Wrote

I cannot, by any method of psychological profiling, be classed as anally retentive. Admittedly, I choose not to use the Official Ladies' Loo at work, mainly as it is directly opposite the boss' office and he has a permanent open door policy ( his office, not the toilets). I prefer the privacy of the Gents', tucked away on its own landing. There's always some back copies of the Gazette although if I go in after one of my taller colleagues, I sometimes have to climb up on a stack of toilet rolls to reach it from the top of the cupboard. I can then sit back merrily whilst the running tap cunningly ensures the true motive for my occasional visits are discreetly masked, flicking through the Discplinary Tribunal Reports to see if I recognise anyone.

It's not so easy to exercise such techniques when staying as a house guest in a large home with air vents in every door. First of all, it takes a few attempts to work out the optimum position to ensure a noiseless trickle down the porcelain, rather than a full, echoing gush into the centre of the bowl, no matter how much control one might have over the appropriate musculature. I believe there are some that prefer to place paper on the surface before commencing such activities but I'm not one of them, nor do I whistle - it has something to do with whistling women and crowing hens but I can't for the life of me remember exactly what Grandma said should happen to them.

I tend to just try and time it whilst the host is in the shower or otherwise occupied to slip in and be quick.

More problematic is the question of "Number Twos". I know it may come as a shock to some, but I, like the Queen, do occasionally have to go. I worry about leaving behind any tell-tale aromas. It's not everyone who appreciates the scent of lavender and violets ( which is, of course, how my s**t smells). If the stay is a short one, less than 2 weeks for example, I find it is easier just to clench and bear it, avoiding all invitations to Indian restaurants or prune juice.

This topic has pressed heavily and uncomfortably upon me as I negotiated the 3 hour drive back 'Oop North this evening. Can anyone else offer suggestions as to how one can overcome such etiquette issues? ( mathematicians amongst you may try to work it out with a pencil).


Blogger Ivy said...

Great picture! Does he use the jumbo size loo rolls??

10:18 pm  
Blogger Frontier Editor said...

I'll write you a program . . .

10:43 pm  
Blogger Ces said...

Oh Cherry Pie, leave it to you to make a literary prose about basic human functions. I sing according to my co-workers. They have heard me sing Brenda Lee's "I'm Sorry" and "Emotion" in the ladies restroom. But that was last week. Maybe I'll sing Pink Floyd's "The Wall" this week. :-)

I wonder if KJ will stay to read this post and comment. She detests discussion of any bodily functions.

11:01 pm  
Blogger Menchie said...

I was in this dilemma during the first few months of my marriage. God forbid that I show a trace of my humanity by any hint of bodily functions (esp. No. 2). It took MONTHS before we were finally comfortable with each other enough to even say what we needed to do in the loo.

1:14 am  
Blogger kj said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

1:20 am  
Blogger kj said...

my sensitivity to discussion of bodily functions remains intact. i am therefore telling you what a fine piece of writing this is without actually reading it. nobody's perfect, afterall.

i appreciate that you, cherrypie, unlike a couple of my other "friends" on the blogs, do not feel the need to rub my nose, ah, rub my face, in this unsightly topic.

1:22 am  
Blogger Dave said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

8:14 am  
Blogger Dave said...

Keep the spacehopper firmly between your legs, and everything will be OK.

8:15 am  
Blogger gautami tripathy said...

Hmm. And I thought I was the only one who behaves like this.

11:03 am  
Blogger St Jude said...

I try at all costs to avoid using 'public' facilities. I still remember when the automated toilets were installed on trains. The absolute panic and embarrassment etched on that poor womans face when the door opened automatically when her 'time' was up.

(Fortunately I was travelling alone and didn't know anyone) ;0{

1:31 pm  
Blogger Dave said...

Borrow a radish from Vicus.

2:09 pm  
Blogger Kate said...

Sorry, I have no suggestions. I have to be absolutely desperate before I will even consider using unfamiliar loos, and even then I make sure I avoid any part of me coming into contact with the 'facility'.

3:25 pm  
Blogger Joyce said...

oh my. what a hardship. I actually have the opposite problem, which is that I am so impolite that each and every time I leave my house, I HAVE TO GO. so I know the locations of all loos in all thrift shops, grocery stores, churches, parks, gas stations.....
And my second born also inherited this trait.

as for the home toilet, I think I'll probably be a 50-something empty-nester before I notice that the room actually HAS a door!

3:26 pm  
Blogger ziggi said...

how d'you feel about visitors using the loo in your house?
Do you give them a 2nd thought?
I have never thought of listening out for my guests to see what noise they make - is this a northern thing?
I would hate to think anyone left here uncomfortable because they were too embarrassed to use the loo!
Anyway, I quite like the smell of violets and it makes a change from the rose petal aroma that is the usual round here.
Visit any time CP and the loo is all yours - no-one will listen or sniff and I promise I won't post the resultant video (security you know, it is a NEW loo) on here. Until you're off the premises anyway.

5:53 pm  
Blogger Homo Escapeons said...

What a great story.
Like kj I am thoroughly squeamish about such matters and yet you somehow managed to 'go' without leaving any disturbing images in my brain that need to be scrubbed clean
...maybe I am getting braver.
This is a very delicate matter and one that certainly needs to be addressed. The routine of running the water in the sink at full throttle, open window, crinkle newspaper, hum, tap feet, close your eyes and think of England were drilled into my head from as far back as I can remember by my Mother who stoically refused to tax the European sewer sytem on a three week I come by it honestly and never stood a chance of having a healthy attitude

Begin shame spiral in 3...2...1..

6:04 pm  
Blogger Gorilla Bananas said...

NEVER be ashamed of shitting. This post explains how to get the most pleasure from your defecation.

8:29 pm  
Blogger Joyce said...

I remember chastising my mother for farting as we picked strawberries in the garden. She looked at me like I was nuts, and said (in german)-- We're OUTDOORS!

And when my 261 year old grandmother was over watching us when our parents were away, she farted at the table.

I have NO issues about pooing.

3:05 pm  
Blogger delcatto said...

You can sing...opera is a pretty good accompaniment. We have a wind up radio in our downstairs toilet with one rule: It must be wound before or during the shitting experience and most definitely not afterwards for obvious reasons of hygiene.
Otherwise, just go for it and accept it is the most natural experience in the world. I'm a nurse and I have seen no end of shit as well as cleaning it up. So I am to say SHIT loud and proud, despite the asbo.

5:27 pm  
Blogger delcatto said...

What happened to my grammar in that last comment?

5:28 pm  
Blogger Within Without said...

CP, you did not say what happens when a man going into the Gents sees you coming out, or vice-versa.

And I wonder if the boss purposely keeps his open door policy so he can ogle all the women heading to the OLL.

I agree, going to the loo at someone else's place -- when you know they can hear you -- is somewhat a strain, shall we say.

At home, I just blast away and sound like a horse for No. 1.

At someone else's, of course, I try to do the polite thing...hit the porcelain walls and not make so much as a sound, but obviously not pee all over the floor or anywhere else, either.

No. 2...I do everything in my power to hold it. What can I say?

I salute your openness on this rather ghastly (to most people) subject. Many have very fragile psyches. You, on the other hand, have "appropriate musculature."

And I commend you on your admittance that you, like the Queen, do expel solids.

But better that yours smell like lavender and violets than mine.

You asked for suggestions. I don't think you need any. I think you've got it all very regular.

1:14 am  
Blogger tom909 said...

Cherry, I consider myself relatively open minded, but discussing my own shit online is almost embarrassing me. You have actually made me realise that I do have some fairly big issues here. My number one preference is to shit in outside toilets - I'm not sure we should be shitting indoors at all. I absolutely can't have a decent shit in someone else's khazi - I need to relax and take my time and not worry. See, even if I went to Ziggi's, and she promises she thinks not at all about her guests excreting, she's bound to start wondering where the hell I dissappeared to, and boy that must be one hell of a cable that guy is laying.

10:10 am  
Blogger Mise said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

11:27 am  
Blogger Mise said...

lol.... lovely and delicately written Cherry :D

Now, I'm not advocating exhibitionism - but, I've always been amazed at how sensitive we are about performing our normal bodily functions in public places -

The only place I've found where where function truly replaces form is in Croke Park (Gaelic games stadium in Dublin) at half-time when pre-match pints of Guinness are gratefully and noisily jettisoned in steaming streams! :D

11:29 am  
Blogger Cherry Rolfe said...

Oh my - what a horrible memory you brought back. Many moons ago I met a boyfriend's parents for the first time and had to 'excuse myself' amidst a deafening silence to go upstairs to the loo. Working out how NOT to fill that silence with my Mozart-like tinkle was worthy of a PhD in Anthropology.

9:08 pm  
Blogger Seany said...

There is a pub in Grimsby that (I'm assured) boasts a twin cubicle in the "little girls room". Guys pee next to each other so why shouldn't girls?

As for the more time-consuming function, it's one of the times I really appreciate living on my own!

9:26 pm  
Blogger With Hammer And Tong...The LetterShaper said...

Very much enjoyed my time spent strolling through your a poet and an avid reader, I found it both enlightening and enriching. I thank you...

11:51 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


12:30 pm  
Blogger kj said...

i cannot read these comments. ww is the worse. it's my only character flaw, lest i been viewed as stoddy.

that said, cherrypie is still a doll.

12:10 am  
Blogger Frontier Editor said...

It's wonderful to see all the 'regulars' here again.

Sorry, I couldn't resist.

But while we're relating excretory lore here, here's a couple of pieces, so to speak.

Astronauts don't get a steak-and-egg meal before launches because it's a suitable last meal. Actually, the body absorbs most of the mass from steak and eggs, leaving little solid residue to fill up the nether regions.

Also, from my younger contemporaries at my new posting, I've overheard an interesting piece of slang for defecation - 'dropping the kids off at the pool.'

Go figure.

3:10 am  

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