Tuesday, March 06, 2007


The toilets at my local* were famous for being the most gods-forsaken, awful, and sometimes terrifying loos in the area. They've now been razed in a recent make-over of the pub, which some have said was akin to destroying a national monument, and yes, now that the nail biting horror of what one could find in them has gone, a visit to the pub will never be quite the same again.
The gents toilets were the most awful; stained, stinky, dark, and with masonry falling down on unsuspecting heads, but the ladies ran a very close second.
Regulars knew that after the time a rogue lock caused a barmaid to be stuck in a cubicle for an hour, it was wise not to bolt the door, but to keep the door closed by holding out one leg and singing while doing one's business. That was if the bolt was there, and not underneath the sink by what was hopefully soap.
The seats on the loos were also precarious. Stained with cigarette butts, and Christ alone knows what else, and with about thirty years of use and abuse behind them, it took a brave person to actually sit on them.
Add to that the dodgy cisterns that used to be there, a recipe for disaster was brewing.
One night found the pub rather busy. Not only were most of the local villains regulars in there, a group of women that I had not seen before were celebrating a hen night.
I sat in my usual corner and watched as the group got rowdier as the drinks flowed and their antics became more swayed and slurry.
Eventually I felt nature calling, and grabbing a packet of tissues in case once again there was no toilet paper in the ladies, set off to brave the Toilets of Doom.
I went into the loos and found three of the women from the party in there, one in the dread cubicle with the very dodgy lock, and the others gossiping whilst doing their make-up.
I went into the next cubicle, and assumed the position of hovering over the bowl on one leg, and had nearly finished when I heard a crack, and a thump from the cubicle beside me.
"You all right in there?" asked one of the others, to which the reply came, "No I'm not, the bloody seat just broke! Ow!"
"Open the door then" replied the first woman.
"Oh fu*k, it's stuck!" came the reply.
Before I had a chance to say 'Don't touch anything, I'll go and get help', there woman stuck in the cubicle started crying that she hated enclosed spaces, and to get her out, now!
I'm not quite sure what she tried to do in there, but the horror began when she flushed the toilet.
For once, it actually flushed instead of just depositing a small amount of water onto the wads of paper and other stuff found in toilets. Normally this was considered a bonus as the landlord didn't have to get the plunger and gloves out, but this time the flushing wouldn't stop.
As the water began to seep into my cubicle, I finished what I was doing asap, and scampered out as quickly as I could.
The woman started to really scream at this point, and considering what was lapping round her feet, I couldn't blame her. The other two women were starting to panic also, and the screams attracted most of the folks in the top bar, who gathered around to find out what was going on.
I ran out just in the nick of time.
The stuck woman tried to get as far away from the stinking mess that was rising rapidly, and climbed onto the cistern.
Which broke under her weight.
The screaming reached a crescendo as finally they managed to break down the door amidst a deluge of toilet water, and a nights worth of whatever had been stuck in the bowl.
Ten minutes it took for the water to stop, and the mess reached three inches on the tiles.
Fortunately, the woman escaped unharmed. Sodden, and smelling like a tramp on a wet night, but unharmed.
I never saw them in my local again though.

*Still not open, gah!