I don't know if you are like me but I only like to have a dump in my own toilet. When there is no other choice though, I brave the public inconveniences. However there is a protocol to be followed. For instance, if there are a line of cubicles I look to see which are 'engaged' and from the results make my selection. I am always careful to ensure I get a cubicle with those either side vacant. This saves embarrassment should there be a splash or 'thunderclap'.
If I am fortunate enough to choose a time when all the cubicles are empty I will select one in the middle (providing there are more than four). This allows the next poor unfortunate the benefit to select a cubicle away from mine. So am I weird or do others use this method? One day my theory they did was shot to pieces.
I had selected the middle cubicle of nine, having checked for fall-out from the last occupant first, and sat tentatively. The tortoise had just began to poke his head out when it happened!
Somebody else came in to use the facilities and I froze. Shouldn't be a problem, he will pick a trap near the end and I can continue. The newcomer chose the cubicle NEXT to mine. I was horrified but how could I protest to this faceless stranger. The tortoise was getting impatient and I tried to ease it out hoping it would slide gracefully into the water. Not so!
My horror turned to disbelief when a voice came from the next cubicle.
Who the hell talks to a stranger while taking a dump? Was he insane?
"Alright" I responded cautiously, I mean I had to be polite after all.
"How are you?" the voice asked.
Now I was aghast. A simple greeting to save my embarrassment at making a splash was almost commendable, if a little weird.
"How's the wife and kids?"
I thought of possible answers as to why this strange conversation was taking place and wondered if he had seen me enter the building and knew me. The voice wasn't familiar.
"They're fine" I replied, trying to give myself more time to think.
"Going on holiday this year?"
"Hadn't planned on it" I said, finding myself becoming drawn into the conversation.
A loud irate banging on the thin wall of the cubicle made me crap myself.... metaphorically speaking. I mean technically I had alre-, well you know what I mean. The voice that followed was louder and quite angry.
"Will you shut up! I'm on my phone"