Do you ever worry that you might become trapped in the gentlemen’s toilets at a pub or club, or do you have a friend or family member who you suspect might just become trapped in a public convenience one of these days? Then this invaluable survival guide might just save a life!
Maybe the door slammed shut behind you and jammed tight. Perhaps you fell asleep on the toilet and the janitorial staff didn’t bother checking the cubicles before locking up. Mayhaps the janitorial staff did check the cubicles, used your comatose but moist mouth as a love receptacle, then locked up afterwards. Probably that last one. That last one happens all the time. Whatever the circumstances, you’ve just found yourself trapped in the toilets. You’ve got a mirror, a couple of basins, a number of urinals, a couple of cubicles, a hand towel machine, a warm air dryer, waxy lavatory paper, a wastepaper basket, and a condom machine. It’s time to survive in one of the Earth’s most inhospitable regions.
Food & Drink
Despite first appearances, public toilets are a veritable smorgasbord of foodstuffs and drinkstuffs.
- Mildew – Thanks to the high moisture content of the toilets you’re almost bound to find mildew on the tiles or toilet bowls. Mildew is a form of mould or fungus so if you like cheese or Marmite then you’re in for a treat. Me? I’d go hungry in this particular instance.
- Insects – Flies and crane flies love toilets and you’ll learn to love flies and crane flies if you become trapped. Catching them can be difficult yet rewarding but you might just get lucky and find a large cobweb that can be used as a net. Bonus: spiders are edible too!
- Protein Gel – The walls and floor in and around the cubicle areas will most likely be covered with an almost-invisible gel rich in protein. You can thank horny men, drunk women, and whores of both sexes for this nutritious feast. Get out your best licking tongue and lap up the rich-in-protein goodness wherever it lies. Remember: nobody has confessed to catching AIDS this way yet so it’s quite likely safeish!
- Urinal Cakes – They call them cakes BUT THEY’RE NOT CAKES AT ALL! Do not eat!
- Water – You won’t be short of water when you’re trapped in a toilet but water can get a bit boring after a while. Why not give your tastebuds a treat and try a special flavoured tea using hot water and appropriate condoms for cups?
Revenge is a dish which people of taste prefer to eat cold and you’ll be wanting to serve up plenty of helpings of cold revenge on the person who designed the toilet you’re trapped in when the temperature starts to plummet. Because hot air rises and what you do in a toilet takes place low down (unless you’re gifted), toilets are purposely designed to be cold in order to keep as many offensive odours below knee level as possible. Good for your nose (unless you’re a midget) but not your body when it needs heating up.
Luckily, there are three reasonable sources of heat in the toilet:
- Hand Dryer – The hand dryer is the first, obvious source of warmth and is ideal when the feeling starts to go in the tips of your fingers. Downside: receiving warmth is dependent on you moving in front of its motion sensor regularly.
- Hot Water – Filling the basins with hot water or sitting on the tap to keep the hot water running can rapdily heat an entire bathroom. Not only will this create steam to heat the toilet atmosphere, but you will be able to experience a healthy sauna at the same time. Downside: your clothes may shrink in the steamy toilet which might prevent you from having children later in life.
- Hand Towel – The final option is to unravel the hand towel and wrap it around yourself letting the extra layers protect you from the chill. Downside: if the first person to enter the toilet is a killer of ancient mummies then you will have an increased risk of being shot and mounted on display at the British Museum.
You might imagine that boredom would be your downfall in any toilet in which you became trapped but you’d be wrong! There are plenty of diversions to occupy the intelligent mind during public convenience-based incarceration.
- Music – The acoustics in a toilet are perfect for practising your singing. Eric Carmen’s All By Myself won’t only sound awesome in a confined, tiled space, but its lyrics will be pretty apt too. If you’re looking for musical accompaniment then the dryer, toilet flushes, and numerous strikes against the pipework will add that perfect Einsturzende Neubauten style you’re looking for.
- Counting Games – Simulate the best that the Nintendo DS has to offer with Toilet Brain Training. Count the tiles. Then count the cracked tiles. Subtract the second number from the first, then count the uncracked tiles to see if you were right. Then, er, do it again.
- Speed Skating – What’s that you say? No ice and no skates, you say? You don’t need them, I say? That’s right! Waxy toilet paper on the soles of your feet will allow you to experience the thrill of huge-thighed speed skating without the risk of severing an artery on your shoe’s blades. Practice in solitude and then join your Olympic team on your escape!
- Science – Some quality alone time in a toilet is the perfect environment for conducting scientific experiments without interruption. Why not measure the distance from yourself to the mirror, waving a hand and timing how long it is until you see the reflection move? With allowances for signals travelling from your eyes to your brain taken into account you should be able to approximate the speed of light. Or why not calculate the mass of your leg by measuring how much water is displaced when it is immersed in a toilet bowl? If you are trapped in a toilet for a number of days then why not experiment with varying levels of dehydration and note how it affects the colour and taste of your urine? The sky’s the limit when it comes to toilet science!
Should you discover yourself going mad in the toilet, frustrated at the lack of human contact, tired of the taste of fungal protein gel, and agitated that the number of tiles decreases by three every time you count them then it may be time to consider escape. Survival in a toilet is a gruelling task to endure, but escape may be nigh impossible. Nevertheless, there are possibilities.
- Balloon Escape – One wastepaper basket, one condom, and the use of the hand dryer will allow you to construct a rudimentary air balloon with which you can effect an escape from the toilet through an open window otherwise too high to reach.
- Bulimia Escape – The toilet – with its lack of many foodstuffs and ample receptacles for vomit – is the perfect enivronment to discover the thinning power of bulimia. Suitably purged and defattened it might be possible to exit your prison through the toilet u-bend.
- Satan Escape – Switching the lights off and looking into a mirror allows a person to see and speak to Our Lord Satan and he’s got a bag full of tricks just perfect for breaking out of a trapped toilet predicament.
Becoming trapped in a toilet won’t be a pleasant experience but thanks to this survival guide you should now feel confident that when it happens to you you’ll be one of the lucky few who’ll be able to be teased mercilessly about it afterwards.