Susan Morrison: You’ll go raving mad on trip to these bog-awful toilets
There, I’ve said it. Those of a sensitive disposition may prefer to seek out a story about another royal being photographed nude. Please, not Princess Anne.
We shouldn’t pretend waste water production doesn’t happen, so let’s ensure it’s something we can do easily. Gosh, even men occasionally need to “go”.
So, let me direct your attention to Princes Mall.
Given its position, it’s probably a first point of contact for tourists. Well, it certainly was this week. They were milling about like a UN delegation, trying to access the loos.
You need 20p. The change machine wasn’t working. There was no-one to fix it.
There was an uplifting moment where pensioners from Dumfries rode to the rescue of some ladies from Hamburg and two Goths insisted on giving some American students two 20p coins to use the “comfort station”.
By this time, I was getting ready to vault the turnstile in a Storm the Barricades moment, but I figured the hip replacements behind me wouldn’t take it, though the Borders women were game.
Once we’d got inside it quickly became apparent that the 20p wasn’t worth the candle. The loos were filthy, some were blocked and stinking.
I tried to remember the German for “sorry” but found it difficult to make myself understood over the thumping rhythm and bass of what sounded like a popular beat combo. Apparently, this restroom operates as an all-day rave club, which could be viewed as funky and innovative, but does tend to leave the nerves jangling.
As one of the Dumfries grannies said glacially on her way past, best to hang on for Jenners.
Steely determination will always find a way
WOMEN are not just responsible for our own waste disposal. Oh no. For huge swathes of our lives we are the primary loo-finders for small people and, with remarkable frequency, our men.
Why do they think we always know where it is?
Because we do, that’s why. Every mum I know can scope a location like a presidential close-quarter bodyguard within seconds to secure that ladies room. It’s like a superpower.
We learn. Remember? One minute you’re immersed in retail therapy, the next you’re scything through the mob like a Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback with a howling toddler wedged under your arm before that dam bursts and you’re proved wrong in your belief that she was ready move out of nappies.
No trumping this superpower . .
Speaking of superheroes, I recently asked a young chap of about five what sort of superpower he would like. It was in front of a fairly large audience and, for some reason, I had forgotten that children in public are bit like bananas. One minute they’re fine, next minute they’re off.
“Well,” he said, with the authority of a tiny Alex Salmond, “my superpower would be to impersonate ducks.”
“That’s interesting”, I said, “but can’t you do that already?”
“Oh yes,” he said, “but my daddy can do it with his bottom.”
Daddy was in the front row. Mum laughed so hard she only just made the ladies room.
Nutkin makes me see red like squirrels
Now, I’ve had strong issues with squirrels in the past. They’re just coasting on that cutesy image. Don’t trust them, I say.
Last week, I had to cross the Cowal Peninsula from Dunoon to Portavadie. The driving instructions were thus – get off the ferry at Dunoon, keep the Clyde at your back, keep driving, when you see water in front of you, stop.
And that’s pretty much what I was doing until, right in front of me, in the middle of the single track road, stood a squirrel.
The brakes on our old Rover are good. Really good.
Did our squirrel move? He did not. He eyed the radiator grill like a faintly disapproving mechanic who hears something he doesn’t like under the hood.
It was a red squirrel. Every line of his furry little face said “Nemo me impune lacessit, for I am protected”.
Even when I got out of the car and shouted “shoo”, did he move? No.
He stood his ground even when I told him – loudly – that the reason he was endangered was because he was rubbish at breeding, letting those American grey squirrels overrun the place. I’ve said it before, these Yanks came over here (they have a track record at this sort of thing, you know) and shoved our red lads into the corner, like the GI’s shoving ginger boys out the way at village dance, circa 1942.
Finally I rushed him, screaming like a banshee. That worked. He took off and hit a tree.
Red squirrels are indeed Scottish. They have an interest in cars, prefer not to speak to women and are a bit clumsy at high speed.