Monday Musings # 12

from From The Dead by Mark Billingham
'" It's all just....stuff, isn't it?" He shrugged. "Watches, cars, what have you. Means nothing at the end of the day. Living is what counts, right?"'

from The Complete Evaporated History of The World Since The Dawn Of Time, by ? (there is no author name on the cover or anywhere inside)
" It is easy to underestimate the dinosaurs. They are undeniably extinct. Yet they left their footprints in the sands of time. Indeed, some of them left their feet in the sand of time. These are called Fossils."

Today's Musings are NOT mine, the piece was written by my daughter K - aka no-one, when she had her blog, Nothing - by Nobody.

We've all been there. Going into a public toilet, the next stall is occupied, and there is no sound at all. Not that we're listening for it, but the complete absence of noise is noticeable, and kind of eerie.

We know it's just someone who is so bladder shy, that not only can't they pee while the surrounding stalls are occupied, they're holding themselves completely still, trying to not even breathe, because they hate people knowing they're in the toilet. Of course we know that's what it is.

But...once upon a time, a long, long time ago - or 15 years back - Scully told Mulder that people die on the toilet all the time. Regular people! Not just fat, drugged up, jumpsuit wearing rock stars. So I always kind of wonder if maybe, just maybe, the person in the next stall is actually dead.

Dilemma. Knocking on the wall and asking if they're okay is out of the question. If they're dead, they won't answer. If they're alive, but excruciatingly shy, they also won't answer. So then management gets called, because there may be an issue in the toilets. They knock and get no answer. Security gets brought in to break down the door....revealing some poor woman, pants down, completely mortified by the whole thing. Lawsuits follow, because they're now so traumatised they can't leave the house in case they need to pee while they're out, and they can never use a public toilet again. It's a terrible thing. *<-- a="" actually="" are="" as="" be="" br="" can="" dead.="" far="" happened.="" has="" i="" if="" in="" it="" know="" matter="" never="" of="" only="" other="" people="" person="" really="" s="" scenario="" stalls="" t="" the="" this="" though="" time.="" wondering="">
So, if you're one of those people, hunched in a stall, waiting desperately for everyone to leave so you can pee in peace, shuffle your feet a little. Or jiggle the toilet paper holder. Something to let us know you're actually okay in there.


  1. I just want to get in and get out again....let the dead or incredibly shy look after themselves lol.

  2. I am with Delores. And I can't help the dead at all. Bringing people back from the dead isn't one of my talents.

  3. Holy crap. I'm not sure if there is a more mortifying way to kick it. I suppose the only good news in this situation would be the person is dead so dying from embarrassment would be out of the question.

  4. That person is never me...I never use public toilets and I can't remember the last time I did so. I have a "thing" about public toilets. I'll hang onto until Doom's Day if necessary!

    Secondly, I've never watched a whole episode of "The X-Files", only ever seeing bits of it...and then only rarely. Ehen it was on our TV screens I was cooking in restaurants etc..doing split shifts, working mostly 6 days a week, and sometimes I was working daylight hours and nights - rarely recording anything because I had little time to catch up with watching. I do like both Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny, though.

    I guess that's why I enjoy my TV these days since giving up working.

  5. Not something I had thought about. I suppose people might die on a toilet because it is somewhere they will go if they are not feeling well.

  6. What the heck happened with my text there? I'll find it and retype that screwed up passage so you all know what it says.
    " It's a terrible thing. As far as I know this scenario has never actually happened. Really though, it's only a matter of time. I can't be the only person wondering if people in other stalls are dead.

    Delores; probably the best idea, although if there's puddles of blood and moaning I might go for help.

    Elephant's Child; I can't either and that's a good thing. There's plenty of people who SHOULDN'T be brought back.

    Vapid Vixen; welcome to drifting. I agree there are nicer ways to die, but once you're dead it really doesn't matter any more.

    Lee; hanging on isn't good for you. for a while is okay, but not all day for sure. The body does reabsorb some of those toxins. I truly do not understand people's reluctance. Yes, some public toilets aren't squeaky clean. but put down some paper, and wash your hands thoroughly and all should be good.
    I watched X-Files for quite a while, I think 3-4 seasons.

    Andrew; or they could be sitting there and have a sudden heart attack. If someone is constipated and straining mightily, that's a distinct possibility.

  7. I don't go out all day, River. I'm only ever out a couple of hours at most. I get done what I have to get done and then I'm back home again. I don't wander about shopping centres; I hate shopping centres and thankfully, we don't have one up here on the hill where I live. Everything and everywhere I need to go to get what I need up here is within close proximity, really...only a couple or so of kms away. And I rarely, very rarely am away from home for periods of more than three or four hours (and if that is the case it means I'm visiting at someone's home and then, of course, I would use their toilet if the need arose)...but if I can't hang on for that time (sometimes including the lengthier time) something would be drastically wrong. When I went out to dinner at Cafe Bravo a couple of months ago...I didn't have the need to use their toilets. I don't have a Chinese bladder.

    I just do not like using public toilets.- it's as simple as that...and if I have no need to use them what's the point? . I seem to have survived okay until now without poisoning my body with my own toxins...perhaps I've become immune to my own poisons! I was taught as a very small child how to use public toilets...and I've not forgotten the training, if the rare occasion does happen to raise its ugly head I'll be sure to do as taught! :)

  8. Everyone in the place knows I'm alive, from the banging of the door which goes half way through the wall to let me in and crashing of bags when I have to hang them on the door peg to throwing the "ahem" container out of the way to the swearing as I lower myself on dodgy knees to a toilet made for the 7 dwarfs.
    And more swearing if someone has let the toilet paper spring right back into the holder and the fingers can't quite get hold of it.
    And the nasty glares if I come out of the disable person toilet but I only have to lift my hem to let them see the scars and they apologize.
    As for holding on, done that and nearly given myself a Brazilian without the wax trying to get my knickers down while flying through the bathroom.

  9. Lee; good to know you don't hold on all day. I once knew a woman who did, at work, even our staff toilets weren't good enough for her, she had terrible breath and her skin was greyish. I don't hang around shopping centres much either, sometimes I'll wander a bit looking at stuff, usually when I'm waiting for the movie to start, if I have more than an hour to wait.

    JahTeh; as a short person, I LOVE the lower toilets, there aren't enough of them to suit me. I get nasty stares sometimes when coming out of a disabled toilet, but if that's the only one empty and no one is wheeling up to it, I don't feel guilty. And I'm always sure to leave the paper hanging for the next person. If even I can't reach it, I'll use a fist full of tissues from my bag.
    As for holding on, I've had the odd occasion where I've inched along with legs so tightly crossed I couldn't get the knickers down. I've learned now, not to have a coffee within four hours of wanting to go out anywhere.

  10. Well, you can rest easy, skin is very clear and my breath is fresh. I'm not sure if I should be offended that you thought me otherwise or not! lol

  11. Oh my, made me think back to my mum, would have been her birthday today :)
    Mum collapsed in the loo at home, dad and I never heard a thing.
    She died 10 days later...but not on the loo..:). Yes, I see the funny side as in my profession (past) we have too.

  12. After reading your daughter's post, it's safe to say she's a lot like her mom. Same terrific sense of humor, and same way with words.

    Never visiting a public restroom isn't an option for me. The blood pressure medicine I take also contains a diuretic, so when I gotta go, I gotta go. Some public rest rooms are nastier than others, but most are reasonably clean enough to serve their purpose. One thing I have noticed, though, is how many women DON'T wash their hands afterwards! I mean, really? Yuk. Makes ya want to think twice about shaking hands with other people... And it cracks me up how many women I've heard yakking on their cellphones while sitting on a public potty. (I've gotten better... I used to always think they were talking to ME!)

    Your daughter makes a good (funny) point about making a wee bit of noise so the gal in the next booth knows we're still breathing.

  13. Margaret-whiteangel, the best advice my nurse sister ever gave me was to have the toilet doors installed to open out not inwards.
    Great idea since I've gotten bigger but the toilet space hasn't.

  14. Oh toilet shyness, I know that feeling but have overcome it after having children no shyness left but have wondered about the person in the next toilet sometimes but never think them dead I just hurry up and get out so they can go.

  15. Lee; no no, I was just mentioning HER skin and breath, she was also a heavy smoker, so that wouldn't have helped her either.

    Margaret-whiteangel; sorry about your mum, at least she didn't die on the loo. My ex used to fall asleep there quite often when he was drunk, he'd fall off and curl up on the floor with his pants around his ankles. Luckily the kids didn't mind using the back porch loo, because I always just left him there.

    Susan; that particular apple didn't fall far from the tree :)
    I'm the same with having to go, when the bladder says 'now' I head for the nearest facility.
    I've noticed that about the hand washing too, so I never eat anything after I've been in case I've picked up a bug from door handles etc and scrub my hands the minute I get home.

    JahTeh; that's a good idea so if you collapse, people can get in and get you out. Here at home though, my toilet is in the middle of the combined bathroom laundry, so there's lots of space.

    Merle; I've never had toilet shyness. It's something I don't understand. From the time I was tiny, my mum used to say 'everyone wees, even the Queen, we all make noise'.

  16. I tend to think a couple of little coughs would to the trick.
    The comment re people dying in a toilet would be correct. I know of two people that did just that.

  17. Mimsie; a couple of small coughs would certainly let others know, that's a good idea. Now I'm wondering what those two people died from.


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