The fear of a public urinal


Have you ever had that feeling when you know something is kind of not quite right, but you press on regardless? Even though your entire being is screaming at you to reassess, think it through, look around, sniff, listen, whatever!!! Just make this mistake stop!

Granted, that could just be my subconscious. I tend to put it through a hell of a lot on a fairly regular basis. I think it has almost given up on trying to make me think things through, and now just entertains itself by learning new accents to shout warnings at me in. My favorite has been Gaelic, but the Russian one is starting to sound promising.

Anyway anyway, I digress.

I had business of a delicate nature to tend to earlier today, and I quickly found the place I needed:


Apparently the one in the cape represents me.

So I’m going about my business when I hear a deep voice. A male voice. Immediately, I came to the only plausible conclusion: I am in the wrong toilet, and someone wants to compare penis sizes with me.

Now, this is where I got clever.

I looked around the stall I was in. I knew that if there was one of those unmentionable bins of stench, terror and necessity, I was most definitely in the female toilet.

There was no such bin.

There was no such bin!

I was in the male toilet, I had just done a wee sitting down, and was now frozen to the seat. How the hell do I get out of this one? How??

My first solution was to pretend to be male.

I looked around for something to stuff into the front of my shorts, but decided this would not work. There was nothing easily accessible that would be big enough. After all, if I was going to pretend to be a male, I was going to be damn well hung.

This left only one solution.

Wait until it was relatively quiet, then run. Run like the wind, accept that I would not be able to wash my hands because this was clearly a matter of life and death. Speed would be of the essence.

I stood. Braced myself. Listened carefully. My heart started to beat faster. I texted my friend to let her know what had happened. I waited, jigging nervously. And then, I heard it.

The unmistakable sound of a tampon being opened.

Oh my god, another woman has it wrong! Clearly these toilets are not signposted clearly. Then I heard two more voices: school kids, female, bitching about still having two days of school left. Could it be? Are we all victims of the same useless signage? Or am I quite possibly in the correct toilet? But what about that male voice I heard? Should I still try and make myself a penis? Where is the unspeakable bin of terror and stench?

Carefully, I turned the lock. Stepped out, and washed my hands. There were girls in here! Females!

But the voice? My magnificent penis ideas?

I darted out of the room, and heard it.

The male voice. It was reading announcements about trains and delays and departures.

Bloody hell.


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