Monthly Archives: December 2012

Public Poos

Since I moved to a new office with a significantly higher number of female employees, I have become a little bit obsessed with public poos.  There are people who don’t give a shit and literally do a shit, unhindered by the presence of someone else in the ladies’ toilet.  Then there are people like me, the shy-bottoms, who will scope the area before going in to a cubicle, and then wait for the head count to diminish with each flush-wash-dryer-door.  Sometimes, of course, the head count goes up, with new people coming in, and then things turn into one of those Mind Gym games where you struggle to keep a running tally.  The latter group of people might find themselves waiting for a good ten minutes or so before the area is safe to release the faeces.  Woe betide two shy-bottoms who go to the loo at the same time – a war of attrition can arise in this situation and both will sit there, hoping that the other will flush and leave, perhaps occasionally making distraction noises so that it doesn’t seem weird to be sitting there in silence.  I like to slam the door on the sanitary towel bin, so that it looks like I’m up to something vaguely menstrual.

Then there’s the halfway house, doing a poo when the adjacent toilet is loudly flushing or when the hand-dryer is blaring.  This is a high-risk strategy – kind of like a game of musical statues without the prize at the end (although a good shit can be reward in itself – as Al Pacino asked in Glengarry Glen Ross, “You ever take a dump made you feel like you’d just slept for twelve hours?”).  There’s nothing worse than the hand-dryer stopping abruptly and finding that you cannot stop the poo from splishing loudly.  The dream quickly becomes a nightmare.

Of course you can think that you’ve done everything you can to poo in peace, and then then you are disturbed right in the middle of it all.  This is when the second strategy has to come in to play – stealth – you must complete your shit, wash your hands, and leave before the other person emerges from their cubicle.  As long as you don’t cough, or leave some personal possessions in the bathroom, they will never know that it was you who just did that machine-gun fart.  If multiple people come and go, there’s always the option of deflecting attention and blaming the stink on someone else “Well I don’t know what Cheryl had for tea last night, but I don’t think it agreed with her!”.

The Japanese are people after my own repressed heart, and have invested significant technology in  solving this problem – Christ, if we just had a radio playing in there, things would be easier, I’m not even asking for Mendelssohn.  The hip fuckers out there will at this point say to me ‘Hey Vicki, why don’t you just relax – it’s only taking a shit, you fruitloop!”.  To those free-shitters I would respond by pointing out that if I ever heard them taking a shit I would forever view them slightly differently, so it is therefore not unreasonable to suppose that others might do the same to me.  Indeed a lady in Finance did a big poo while I was in the next cubicle, then came out and had the audacity to tell me that she liked my new hair colour like nothing had happened.  I have not been able to sort out finances with her since without a voice in my head shouting ‘YOU DID A POO!”.

I am curious how other people feel about this topic; I refuse to believe that I am alone on this one.  Are you a shy-bottom or a free-shitter? Spill!


Pavement Etiquette

This is a really quick post, while my veggie shepherd’s pie cooks, about something that really annoys me – poor pavement etiquette.  Here’s a diagram:



So, you’re walking down the street and there’s limited room; a couple or family are walking the opposite way and they cannot possibly bear to be parted from each other for three seconds, so they would rather you walk on the road rather than disrupt their evidently important togetherness.  I hate these people.  I would like to say to these people ‘Aahh, you want to be together, please, allow me to step in to the path of this crazy taxi because I really really don’t want to stop you from standing side by side’.  The worst ones are parents of multiple children, they can’t contemplate allowing the children to step in front of them for a few seconds, they would rather use them as crotch level hammer and kind of swing them in to you.

Perhaps I spend too much time thinking about this kind of thing – I look at what’s coming towards me and try to move in such a way that is equitable and unlikely to piss anyone off. If my shepherd’s pie wasn’t approaching that fine line between toasty brown and burnt I would add that this kind of etiquette also needs to be applied in the swimming pool too.  My solution to both pool- and street-based idiocy is the same – violence.  Think you can take up the WHOLE pavement?  Wrong punk – you’re about to feel the wrath of my shoulder.  Think you can start ignoring the CLEARLY INDICATED DIRECTION OF TRAVEL in the swimming lanes?  You are about to get a kick!




How to Make Friends and Not Terrify People

I’ve been in my new job for 6 months now, I’m not sure when it will stop being classified as a ‘new’ job – but until someone newer arrives, I certainly feel like a new girl (girl – hah – get me!).  I had a lot of friends in my old job, who formed an orderly queue to give me a big hug when I left and lots of whom I’m still in touch with.  Starting over feels a bit strange, and it’s made me question how you actually go about making friends.  Let’s start with some statistical analysis.

I have 160 Facebook friends.  Although, that’s just gone down slightly, as while I was looking at it, I unfriended a few people on the basis that we have nothing to say to each other and/or they keep posting pictures involving the words ‘Keep Calm and…’.  Those people need to go.

Of the 160ish:

3 are people I used to be neighbours with – note the words ‘used to’.  I should never be Facebook friends with people that I am currently living next door to, since they tend not to like it when you start a discussion about what they could possibly be blending at 10pm, or writing out samples of dialogue from the time that they used the word ‘darkie’ to describe their doctor or whatever.

1 person is from college – I can’t believe that I was at Blackburn College for 3 years and I only have one FB friend from that time.  Perhaps I was a bit annoying while I was ‘finding myself’ or something?

1 friend is the company who catsits for us (always good to check that they don’t post statuses like ‘I love killing cats’ or ‘Man, this cat fur coat is super warm’.)

13 people are from my time at Burnley Youth Theatre.  Always good to see how all that acting experience is coming in handy in the office.

14 people are family – either mine or Chris’.  To be honest I prefer a lot of Chris’ cousins to my own – I have been trying to swap, but he’s not having it.

15 people are from uni – initially doesn’t look bad, but then bear in mind that I was at uni pretty much solidly from 1994 to 2011 and it doesn’t look so good.

18 people are from school – I’m hoping this means that we won’t bother having an actual reunion, because I cannot face the sort of diet regime that I would have to go on.  I suspect however that about 90% of the people from Towneley would be attending in KKK robes, given the quality of casual racism that peppers their status updates.  Whilst KKK robes don’t naturally suggest partay, they are incredibly flattering to a large tum.

27 people are purely from the internet, otherwise known as teh internetz.  Mostly from the Benrik blogging site, with a few renegades from my old FB group I Live in Bramley But I’m Not Chav Scum (most people who joined were, in fact, chav scum, and the admin of filtering these reprobates out became too time consuming).  I love my internet friends because I chose to be their friends not because they sat near me, or lived near me, or were friends with my friends, or were related to me, but because they made me laugh.  Also, I am lazy and like to have friends that I don’t have to see or speak to.

30 people are friends from work.  This is always a scary prospect – are they suddenly going to become incredibly offended by something and report you to your boss?  I would hate to have to sit in the boss’ office and answer the question ‘So who is the fucking idiot who made your face hurt?’.  I do have a few friends from my new job, which I’m hoping is a good sign that my true, annoying personality has not been unleashed.

34 friends come under the title ‘friends of friends’.  I’ve worked this out, and about 75% of them can be credited to Alison McQuail – since she introduced me to her housemates, who included Penny, who was sort of seeing Matt, who ended up marrying Holly, who worked with Smooth, whose friends all like poker and weed.

I also seem to be friends with someone called Judas Iscariot – and I have NO idea who this is!

So, work people do actually constitute a significant proportion of my friends, so how do I keep this up in the new job?  It’s tricky.  The first thing I ever said to Chris was ‘Oi You! Want a shag?’, which was mockingly shouted at him while I was drunk on Thunderbird.  The first time I met the Benrik people I got drunk on half a cider and kept putting words in finger-quotes. Like a twat.  I don’t have any natural grace or dignity.  Plus I know what it’s like when people have tried to make friends with me in the past – the people who invite themselves along to anything and everything, the people who come over to join in a whispered conversation, and the people who go straight in for the ‘Hey guys, party at mine!’.  It’s a little bit like being in some kind of animal pack, you sort of have to let people sniff you a bit, then you back off and offer yourself for sniffing again at a later stage.  And you bring cake in.