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Sunday, 10 August 2014
What is Looitis? It’s a reasonable question for, though many suffer from it, often they are unaware that they do. Basically it is a fear if being loced in the lavatory. All my life I have been afflicted with looitis. It can strike anywhere, abroad or at home. As I grow older it is getting worse which is a constant source of amusement to friends and family.
I have lost count of the Gents I have mistakenly entered sometimes with quite an aggressive response, no doubt they think I am interested in their dangly bits – as if?
Old ladies, in extremis hurl themselves at me. The police were nearly called to a German Beer Cellar after I had blundered into the Gents for the fifth time! It’s not simply the locks I can prove to be death to the interiors too. Taps have a tendency to come off when I touch them and the resultant flooding leads to unpopularity. I broke a loo pan once by standing on it in a vain attempt to see if anyone could rescue me – those cubicles are quite small and claustrophobia can easily set in. Hand dryers die on me. And I have to abandon any loo which has revolving doors – you don’t want to know!
Recently I was at the BRI hospital in Bristol – a wonderful and caring institute. The call of nature became evident. A nurse insisted on guiding me though I said I could manage. There in all its porcelain splendor stood the Disabled Loo, the sight of which gladdens the heart of anyone who is the least bit handicapped.
“If you get into difficulties press the orange button,” she said as she left. I locked the door.
I do wish that the disabled were consulted as to where and what they needed. This was a prime example – the grab bars were virtually useless since they were too short, the loo paper was impossible to access given it was too far back. The floor covering was slippery and with the short grab handles getting up was difficult – so I removed a shoe which always helps. Slowly but surely I became upright. Putting out a hand for my crutch I knocked it flying across the room. At this point zap the lights went off.
I couldn’t find my shoe, despite being sure I knew where it was but this search inadvertently made me move away from the security of the toilet. Fortunately I felt the tap and hung onto it for dear life accidently pushing it so that a jet of water shot out to soak me and make the floor wet and more slippery.
This incident made me jump back – well not jump exactly but made me shuffle further into the room which, incidentally, was huge! Losing contact with the bog and the basin made me feel even more vulnerable. Where was my crutch – please behave, I have heard every crutch joke there is. Panic began to grow, I could be here for a long time, had no one not noticed . . . and then the light went back on.
The cool cat – well, I like to think I am - who had gone in was no more, instead a wild eyed, wet, OAP with one shoe on effusively thanked the nurse who appeared in a flurry.
“Why didn’t you pull the orange alarm?” she asked.
“I would have had I been able to see it!”
“You should have moved about more, the light wouldn’t go off then.”
“I was virtually doing a bloody tango . . .’
Supported by the nurse I re-entered the waiting room to a chorus of “Three old ladies got locked in the lavatory . . .” I pretended to be amused . . One friend upon being told of my adventure wittily pointed out – with a schoolboy snigger - that having a Motion Sensor Light really IS a joke.
Rereading this I realise it doesn’t beat the time I sat on a special loo seat tor the disabled. Settling down it suddenly took off and with me hanging on for dear life shot across the bathroom floor as if we were on the Cresta Run!