Waverley Station, 8.20 in the morning, which was a shock to me. And to my bladder. It was time to avail myself of the facilities. Trust me, I’d rather pay 30p at the station than risk the bogs on the trains.
It is a truth universally known amongst the sisterhood that the bladder has a mind of its own, and as soon as it detects the proximity of the loo, it gets ready to discharge its duty. This truth holds whether you’ve just located the toilets in a busy shopping centre or put your key in the front door. Heaven help anyone who gets in your way, be it shoppers, old ladies or your own husband.
God knows why it happens, but it does, and when it does, you need to go, and you need to go now. Code Red, people.
I am familiar with this bladder treachery, so my coins were at the ready as I approached the only working turnstile. The 20p hit home effortlessly and gave a satisfying thunk. There was an ominous silence for the 10p coin. That could only mean one thing. The coin had jammed. The turnstile remained resolutely locked.
READ MORE: Susan Morrison: This is how I deal with dodgy cold callers At the end of the corridor, an attendant watched without any particular interest. I waved and pointed to the turnstile and called for help, but must have been accidentally rude because she looked me calmly in the eye, and then walked away.
We have a serious situation. The pressure is building. I’m doing a sort of Riverdance impersonation. There are other women headed my way. This could get messy.
Behind me a young woman’s voice said: “Jist shimmy under the turnstile. She totally blanked you, by the way. I’m gonnae shimmy. Jist shimmy.”
My shimmying days are long past, but, given the choice of either an undignified scramble under the turnstile, or getting a total pure riddy with embarrassment as a station cleaner is called out to mop up a spillage with me in the middle, it was action this day.
Yes, comrades, my bold sister and I commando crawled under that turnstile and we struck a blow against uncaring corporate capitalism, not to mention an attendant in a nylon overall.
We high fived. We were exultant. We could start a movement here. Pee for Free. Rise, sisters! We could have mass rush-ins, where we all shimmy under the turnstiles. Let’s demand that every film star at the next award ceremony wears green to signal solidarity.
Let’s get badges, buttons and one of those Twitter hashtag things – #pee4free.
Yes, yes, I know technically, I didn’t pee for free, since my 30p was still sitting in the turnstile. What’s this, our great movement splitting already?
Incidentally, the attendant fixed the turnstile by brutally kicking it. Tell you what, come the revolution, I’m not facing her.
My turnstile shimmy was probably caught on CCTV. This could be like actual film of Rosa Parks saying, nah, she’s not moving her seat, Lenin arriving at the Finland station, or Jenny Geddes creating a ruckuss in St Giles, flying stool and all. The start of a movement.
Sadly, though, this will not be an inspiring moment. Basically, all you’ll see is my massive bahookie wobbling under the barrier. Damn you, CCTV. As if a girl hasn’t got enough to worry about when leading a revolutionary movement and finding the nearest loo, now we have to keep ourselves camera ready for that footage appearing on Crimewatch.
Strewth, this revolutionary business is getting complex. Bet Lenin didn’t give two hoots about which was his best side for the camera. Left, I’m guessing.
If I push the #peeforfree campaign, doubtless the forces of law and order will descend and sweep me away, possibly an SAS team abseiling down the walls, doing the thing that makes them look like Milk Tray delivery men.
It’ll be like that advert for the Royal Marines on the telly, with the bloke sitting in his garden in the dark and then suddenly, bam! Eyes open behind him and whoosh, lifted by the Marines.
It’s a faintly worrying thought that Her Majesty’s Armed Forces appear to be careering about foreign lands hoiking folks out of their shrubbery at dead of night, then bundling them on speedboats for what I’m guessing is not a quick trip around the lighthouse.
What on earth has this poor man done to warrant this treatment. Growing sub-par tomatoes?
A big thank you to all those battling the Russian Beast
The Beast From The East certainly lived up to its billing. Can’t help but think that Russians are responsible. Well, they’re getting the blame for everything from Brexit to Trump, so why not just add to the charge sheet?
Whilst we all hunkered down and took snow pictures to post on Facebook, other people were battling on to keep emergency services moving, so let’s give huge thanks to the police, the ambulance crews and gritters who worked around the clock. Thank you.