Tales from the Airport: Farts and Flats
I have only recently realised that when visiting public toilets, I always, without fail head directly for the last cubicle. You know, the one furthest away from the door. I don’t remember ever making a conscious decision to do this, but I believe it is probably due to a sub conscious belief that these are the toilets less frequented. Make sense right?
Who else (except me of course) could be bothered to walk passed 2, 3 or even 10 other cubicles when nature calls, right?
It suddenly struck me today whilst nipping into a toilet at Melbourne airport, that maybe we all think this way. Maybe, the first toilet is the freshest one. What if we are all making a dash for that last cubicle in our misguided belief that fewer people have parked their derriere on it.
What I definitely did discern on my most recent public toilet visit is that you are far more likely, it seems, to head for my favourite last cubicle if your needs are greater than having a quick whazz and being on your way.
I should have noticed that the last cubicle was taken before I reached it. I had walked passed 6 others to get there before I registered the closed door. That’ll teach me for looking at myself in the mirrors above the sink, won’t it?
I took the one beside it and readied myself for some sweet relief from the combined pressure of a cappacino and a bottle of water that I’d consumed whilst waiting to be able to check in my luggage.
That’s when I realised that the single most embarrassing thing that can happen to you, besides letting out an enormous bowl-echoing fart in a public toilet, is being in the cubicle next to the person who does. You just know that when you appear from your cubicle after your quiet, little minimal-splash-making wee, everyone is going to think that you are the culprit.
Short of making knowing hand gestures towards the offending cubicle in an attempt to let people know it was them and not you (and let’s face it, this will only make you look more guilty not less) the best that you can hope for is that their backside explodes again whilst you squirt soap innocently on your hands at the sink.
What I also discovered is that human curiousity is a very strange beast.
Whilst perched on the toilet, still trembling from the after effects of the phantom farters efforts, and clinging to the toilet roll holder for dear life, I found myself glancing under the cubicle at the feet of the offender.
Would they be sexy stilletos?
Would they be runners, or ballet flats, or ugg boots? And what would it tell me about that person?
Rightly or wrongly it is interesting how you can immediately conjure an image of a person in your head determined by their footwear…and the sounds they emit from their bowels.
As it happened this particular woman, I soon decided was the Mary-Poppins type. (Or should that be Mary Pop-off?). Her sensible (read ugly) black shoes told me that she was practical, and serious and possibly in her 50’s.
Was I right?
I don’t know. I thought I would spare the poor woman the embarrassment of a full sink and high-tailed it out of there, my cheeks still burning from imagining that everyone thought it was me.
But, I tell you something. I remember those shoes….and if that woman sits next to me on the plane, (with all that gas expanding stuff that happens at altitude) I will be thanking my lucky stars that I have the flu! Every cloud has a silver-lining and all that!
Are you a first, middle or last cubicle user? If someone was looking under a toilet cubicle at your shoes, what kind of picture do you think they would conjure up of you?