The strangest things happen in toilets…

The strangest things happen in toilets… No, wait, this isn’t going to be that kind of story at all. Really. I promise. But, yes, as I was saying, the strangest things happen…like finding yourself chatting to one of the creators of Watchmen  or…um…okay, you’ve got me, that’s probably the extent of my toilet based anecdotes. Well, the extent of the ones that don’t involve me being violently sick, I suppose. But you don’t want to hear about that.

That said, my best “being violently sick” story happened in a kitchen and not a toilet. The entire family had come down with some kind of nasty bug and we all had it shooting out of both ends (enjoy that mental image). So the bathroom was occupied and I had no choice but heave my guts into the kitchen sink. It was early in the morning, I was sick as a dog and my puking was accompanied by some particularly loud vocalisations. My then very young son stood by my feet encouragingly saying, “Lion, daddy? Roar? Lion? ROAR! ROAR DADDY!”

You can always trust a small child to point out the utter absurdity of any given situation. Still, I regularly get my own back by pointing out to him that he said, “emergent seat” instead of “emergency” at that age. I also have the story of when he and his then baby brother had just got out of the bath and were both sat on the bed naked, stored up for his eventual wedding day. Simply for the point where he started shouting, “No, Aaron, don’t eat my willy!”

Anyway, as I was saying, the strangest things happen in toilets, but mostly it’s just a lot of pooing and weeing.  And reading. Lots of reading. I wonder what percentage of books, newspapers and magazines are read while sitting on the toilet? Don’t you hate it when you’re at someone else’s house and you have to use the loo and they don’t have anything in there to read? I can’t be the only one who resorts to reading the back of bottles of shampoo and bleach at those times. There’s just something oddly wrong about sitting there and doing nothing but concentrating on the matter at hand.

It’s odd how we come up with all these little euphemisms rather than talk about something we all do on a daily basis. I mean, seriously, if I’d ended that previous part by saying that there’s something oddly wrong about sitting there and doing nothing but concentrating on manipulating the muscles in one’s rectum to squeeze out faecal matter then most of you would be drawn to conclude that there’s actually something oddly wrong with me. After all, isn’t part of the point of reading on the loo that we find the whole experience so distasteful that we need something to distract ourselves from it?

As I said, the strangest things happen in toilets…like the time I opened the cubicle door in a public convenience only to find myself in the mythical land of Narnia.

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Ian Sharman
Ian is a freelance writer and artist. He founded Orang Utan Comics Studio with Peter Rogers in 2006, writes for their Eagle Award Nominated anthology Eleventh Hour and regularly inks for Panini’s Marvel Heroes comic.
Ian Sharman

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