Friday, September 9, 2011

Where the South Wind Blows...

Averse as I am to any manifestation of bodily functions in the workplace, I like most people, do occasionally have to do “things” in the Department’s toilets.

Last night’s triple strength chilli wasn’t going to be digested without putting up a fight. All day I had stomach rumblings and borborygmi of Fukushima proportions. Mostly tremors - an actual volcanic eruption wouldn’t occur until later, when I was in the smallest room in my own Ballyfuck home and accompanied by some apt reading material and cool, moist, Aloe Vera impregnated toilet paper.

The working day was spoilt by the constant pressure of digestive gases on the nether regions of my anatomy and, due to my impeccable manners and genteel disposition, the expulsion of said gases in the working environment is an absolute no-no. Also the office chair upholstery is of a type that may harbour said gases for an indeterminate period of time, occasionally releasing bursts of stale flatulence every time one sits down. Like one of those ridiculously overpriced motion sensor air fresheners. Only with stink. Or, like Reggie Perrin’s boss CJ’s chairs. Only with smell and not sound. Which is worse. It’s not as funny.

The downside of my politesse is that I periodically had to waddle to the bathrooms when the pressure became too great. Also there was a risk of loss of sphincter control in the event of my dropping – for example - a form on the floor and then bending to pick it up. The shame! I never drop forms.

The toilets were a minefield of potential embarrassment also. The dread of bumping into a HEO or a CO was palpable. Smells were OK here, they would merely mingle with the more noxious and long lasting smells emitted by the effluvium of thirty or forty civil servant arses post lunch break. The bathrooms were empty when I entered, however I heard the outer door opening and someone entering once I had locked my stall. I used the flush mechanism to disguise any nasty noises for the other occupant’s benefit.

Only, once the flush finished, my bum suddenly produced a “FLAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPP” worthy of Wynton Marsalis on speed, with a Vuvuzela up his backside. “Fuck” I thought. What now? Would I exit quickly and run the risk of the other person emerging from their stall as I washed my hands. I could see the headlines in the staff newsletter: “TOILET TERROR AS EO FARTS”. Or, worse, wait until the other person had finished their business, (Hopefully) washed their hands and exited. The danger there was that they could bump into a pal outside the entrance door and smirk knowingly as I came out. I decided to opt for the former course of action. I unlocked the door and made my way briskly to the sinks.

As I dried my hands, I heard a sound from the other person’s cubicle. “Phoooot” it went. And then: “plop plop plop plop plop”. I sighed with relief, for all I'd done was make a noise, and here was another toilet user unashamedly dropping the kids off at the pool. 
I bounded happily out the door. I bumped into another colleague right outside, and watched as the other occupant, a stuck-up AP emerged a few minutes later. I didn't smirk. I am the soul of discretion. Anyone's arse can let them down.