Going down the toilet once again


After the first twelve hours or so in the air, a certain sense of unreality descends on you. It begins to feel as though you’re forever traveling around Narita, leaving the plane for security checks, reboarding, eating the same meals you had a week ago, ad infinitum. Things begin to smear together into a mess.

Speaking of mess, I never fail to be disgusted by the state of the toilets on board planes. The only way to prevent that would be to reprogram your bladder to ensure you’re always (and only) the first person in, to avoid seeing what everyone else has done.

Part of the problem is overconfident males. Men who believe they have such great accuracy and control with their genitals that they can stand at one end of an admittedly cramped toilet facility and pee into the bowl with aplomb. And no dripping.

There’s always drips. And splashes, and actual misses, because, let’s face it, nobody has a laser guided penis or the ability to perfectly compensate for all the vibrations on a plane. Yet nobody tries sitting down, which would minimize all of this. Instead there’s pee on the floor, pee on the seat, dribbles probably across the mirror if you care to look. They can’t all feel the need to mark their territory. Can they?

Then there are the people who don’t understand that their excretions aren’t a joy to share with everyone else, and that they should flush them away. I went into the toilet to find the man who’d just vacated it hadn’t bothers to flush. I decried his filthiness, then thought, no, perhaps the flush was broken. We should be charitable to others.

The flush wasn’t broken. The same guy was still loitering around the loos when I came out again, tempting me to tell him off, but there could easily have been two overweight men in blue shirts on the flight – best not to attach a stranger without evidence, and there’s no security camera footage I can rely upon.

That’s probably for the best. Nobody wants CCTV coverage of the toilets. Well, nobody who isn’t a pervert.

Perhaps I should print instructions on correct toilet usage, laminate them and stick them up in every flying loo I encounter. Better to light a candle than curse the darkness.

Then again, candles would only set off the smoke detectors.


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