I spent the best part of 14 years in full time education. That was 3 years at infant school, 4 years at junior school, 5 years and senior school and 2 years at college. Admittedly the 2 years at college were largely spent at a work placement or in a pub but that’s not the point. The point is that in 14 years, I can count on one hand the number of times I used the school facilities to take a poo.
The actual number is 3. Once in my last year at infant school when I was rather ill and was also a couple of years past the age where soiling one’s self in public was acceptable, and twice at junior school; once in my first year and again in my last year. Once again this was due to a mild tummy bug and because crapping ones pants at that age was not only unacceptable but would subsequently involve years of justifiable bullying. That was it. I never took a dump at senior school or college. I even spent 5 days on a school trip in Belgium and didn’t crap for an entire week. I had developed bowels of steel.
This continued for several years afterwards. My refusal to ever curl one out in a public toilet was largely based on fear. A fear brought on by the hideous facilities at school. Forgetting the fact that school bog roll was made out of the same material baking paper is and not only chafed your ring but disintegrated very easily which would result in a rather unpleasant finger related malady, the toilets at my infant school were outside. They were consequently cold, dirty, full of mutated living creatures and used by young children who hadn’t been taught how to go to the lavatory properly and therefore used to do their business on the floor. It was much the same story at senior school and college with pupils always managing to urinate all over the seat and crap on the ceiling. In public toilets there is the addition of regurgitated curry, used condoms and George Michael to worry about.
However, this all changed when I started working. After leaving college I took a temping job at a factory where I had to do shift work. With my body clock all messed up, I found myself in the unusual position of being wide awake and working at 6am and, since I was never usually awake at that time, my body decided this was a good time to have a poo.
So it was with a certain amount of surprise and a great deal of delight when I walked into a gleaming white room that smelled like disinfectant and had no trace of turd anywhere in sight. There was proper toilet paper as well; good quality stuff that didn’t disintegrate on contact with skin. Toilets, as it turned out, weren’t as bad as I thought. I even came to enjoy a few moments of peace and quiet – interspersed with the occasional splash – where I could sit and think about the world. I also realised there were perks of going at work because I was technically getting paid to poo.
However, this all changed when I started racing. The first race I attended, I needed a plop first thing in the morning. Knowing I was going to be at the circuit for an entire day added to the fact that travelling at 80 miles per hour in karts with no suspension would send a lot of vibrations travelling straight up my backside, I decided it would probably be safer if I emptied my bowels. The problem was the facilities at this circuit at that time were prehistoric. You know that scene in the film Train Spotting where Ewan McGreggor has to poop in the worst toilet in Scotland? Well imagine that but in Islamabad.
Anyway, to cut a long story short, I managed to successfully drop one without catching a disease that caused my anus to fall off and since then I’ve been able to defecate quite happily in pretty much any lavatory. The only exception to this rule is curling one out round friends’ houses because I’m simply petrified of either leaving a floater or skids, or both.
I do find my toilet habits fascinating. And when I say fascinating, I mean fascinating in the same way I find Big Brother and murder fascinating. For a long time – and possibly a legacy of the shift work - I used to plop one out in the morning before I left for work. I then got into a bit of a routine – 10am on the dot. This went on for years and it was purely a once a day thing. Having said that, I used to pee every hour on the hour until lunch time, which I always put down to the morning jar of coffee the boss used to make. However, when I moved into my home office I still maintained the once-a-day poo but, despite still having my morning cup of coffee, I suddenly no longer had a bladder like a 2 year old.
Now I have moved into a nice big office again I am pissing a lot less but find myself doing at least 2 curly wurlies a day. It’s quite disconcerting. Especially as physics dictates I should be shedding weight every time I empty my bowels out so I find it odd that I seem to be getting heavier. Sometimes at races I’ve weighed myself, taken a dump, got back on the scales and found I’ve put weight on. I defy science.
You may be wondering what on earth has possessed me to write an entire article detailing specifics about my bowel movements and that would be a very good question indeed. I guess it’s because I went out for a curry last night so this morning my bowel movements are quite irregular. By irregular, I mean it isn’t even the afternoon yet and the toilet count is almost in double figures. My arse also feels like someone has set a firecracker off in my colon. It makes me thankful that I didn’t experience the delights of Indian food when I was still at school because if I had to wipe my bottom dozens of times a day using baking paper, I swear to Allah I wouldn’t be alive today.