File under Grumpy Old Men…
When did that start ?
Paying to use the toilet, paying to have a jimmy, paying for a slash, with real money, your own money, who’s idea was that then ?
Oh sure, women have been paying to use public toilets for generations, but thats women for you, they have more needs from a public toilet than men do, they need their own cubicle for one thing, with a door on it that locks properly for gods sake. They need a ready and plentiful supply of soft paper to wipe their regions with, a sink to wash their hands and freshen up at, mirrors to preen themselves in front of, and above all they expect their public toilets to be clean, clean as the driven snow, clean, and pure like they themselves are…
Men, we just need a wall.
Thats it, and if there is no wall then just a spot on the floor will do as long as its marked with a cross to aim at.
We don’t even need a specific assigned room labelled “toilet”, hands up all those men who’ve relieved themselves in a field, behind a tree – thats all of us then – hands up all those men who’ve relieved themselves in a field when there wasn’t a tree to stand behind, yes, my hands still up, is yours ?
So when did mens toilets start charging real money to use ?
Birmingham New Street Station hang your head in shame, I arrived there Friday lunchtime for my journey back to Leeds with that nagging voice in the back of your head, “You need a piss” it says and your conscious brain tells it “No, you went when you left the office” but the evil voice won’t let go, “I’m going to make you want to go so bad in the next five minutes if you don’t go now” it says, so you shrug your shoulders and you look for the sign that says “Public Toilets” and there it is – pointing beyond the ticket barriers.
So I show my ticket to the man and I follow the sign and I actually stop dead and say out loud to no-one in particular “WHAT!!!” in an exclamation stylee, for there in front of the mens toilets is a turnstile with a coin meter attached and the coin meter is asking for money to let you pass, worse still its not a trifling amount either – thirty pence it wants, thirty pence for a piss, why its just taking the piss is that…
And of course I did not have thirty pence, not even for a piss did I have thirty pence, I had a five pound note though and so I went into a shop that was selling trendy snack foods at outrageous prices and I bought a piece of flapjack for a kings ransom, then I took my change to a machine next to the mens toilets that issued change and I changed a pound coin to have change to use the toilet turnstile for I knew that as sure as night follows day that if I ignored the evil voice in the head and waited until I was on the train then the train toilets would be broken, or like the train that I travelled down to Birmingham on the previous Monday, would have an automatic toilet door that randomly slid open whether or not there was anyone in it and without regard for whatever they were doing at the time.
SO now armed with enough change to gain entry to the mens toilets I approached the turnstile only to find that the display screen on it was informing me that I had already paid twenty pence and only needed to insert a further ten, obviously the person before me had got fed up of routing around for the extra ten pence and either jumped over the barrier or pissed into the machine itself – its a mens toilet, remember, we only need to have something to aim at.
And after all that was it worth it, frankly no, it was nothing special, what can I say, it was a toilet, a mens toilet, it had a wall to piss up against, a sink to wash your hands in and a dryer to dry them on and just for a change, just because I’d paid ten pence for the privilege, I used all three.