Sport Pissing

The wash basin is blocked with toilet paper and cigarette butts, and the tap is dripping something altogether the wrong colour. The toilet bowl is crusted with the crud of a thousand stranger’s rear ends. The stains on the walls are so thick and tactile you would be well within your rights thinking they were the only thing holding up the ceiling.

No, I’m not describing the shit-house of a Turkish prison. It’s much more pedestrian than that (no play on words intended). It is in fact, the toilet of a trans-European train – manufacture circa 1970. And I am here by choice.

See, I have a thing about pissing in exotic places. I’ve been known to risk wetting myself trying to get to a pissoir with a good view across town rather than just emptying my bladder, in base physiological need, just any old place. We all have to piss, but only some of us choose to do it in style.

If you are willing to meet the challenges of this particular toilet, the reward is singular and unforgettable. Everything should be considered infectious, so wear surgical gloves. The endlessly swaying compartment is best dealt with using a helmet with anti-slip rubber stuck over the forhead so you can pin your skull to the wall to facilitate a straight urinary stream. Lastly, resist the urge to get the hell out of there quickly. This is your inner mother speaking. Pay no attention. Savour these precious moments.

What could possibly be worth all that? Listen up, I’ll tell you. When you flip open the toilet cover with the toe of your left boot, you’ll notice everything suddenly gets much louder. This crapper suddenly echoes with all the sounds of the train. Look down. That fuzziness at the bottom of the bowl isn’t what you first thought it was. Those are the tracks flashing past underneath the train. This is what passed for plumbing back in the 70’s.

Isn’t it wonderful!

While you urinate (or otherwise), you can contemplate how many other people, in that very same moment, are dropping their loads over the train tracks of Europe. How many kilos of filth, do you think, will be dropped in any 24 hour period? How much crud has hit those sleepers over the last year? Over the last 40 years?

This, friends, is what makes urinating a real pleasure.

Trivia: track repairs in Europe take 57% longer than in America. Why? Because entire work crews can be off work with a mysterious illness the French rail authorities loosely call ‘track fever’. Apparently, the relationship has never been established.

Cultured Europe? My eye. Wanna know what educated Europe has in mind to deal with this anomoly of shared dysentary? Well, it’s a very simple plan actually, made up of a single rule. That’s right, just one. And they’ve fixed it to the inside of the toilet doors in those trains in question. To their credit the sign is written in three languages.

‘Please do not use toilet at or near stations. Thank you.’


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