I staggered from the toilet cubicle.
If we start from the premise that the chemicals in a portable toilet smell bad enough in their own right, then add in three days of festival use and a hot, humid day, we can begin to construct a dictionary definition of the word ‘unpleasant’. The flush had ceased to work, and contents were mounting up in a disagreeable fashion.
It had not, let us say, been a trip to The Sanctuary.
Deep breath. To the one and only basin.
A man was hovering, with towels and washing accoutrements.
“You go first,” he offered. “I was just going to have a shave, and there doesn’t appear to be any hot water anyway.”
I blinked at him. He had a day’s growth, but was hardly Rasputin. I struggled to come to terms with his need to stand there amidst the flies, piss and shit, struggling with his regular grooming routine.
“You pitiful, foppish, berk,” I irritably retorted, in my head.
On these occasions I’ve always played the pragmatist. It seems to me that if you’re going to camp in a muddy field with no facilities, drink beer on a 24/7 basis and eat things from the back of vans, then personal hygiene is going to suffer and there’s not a lot of point in fighting it.
Thus it was that I found myself arriving home on Sunday afternoon with the rare condition known as ‘solid hair’.
It’s a bloody unusual feeling, I tell you. Not desperately unpleasant, unless you happen to touch it. I’m sure there is some genuine medical reason behind my solid hair besides grease and beer spillages. As it was, I had a go with my pretentious shampoo, and it’s loosened up a bit.
As the great maestro wrote:
“You’ve been taking your time
And you’ve been living with solid hair.
You’ve been walking the line,
You’ve been living with solid hair.
Don’t know what’s going wrong inside,
And I can tell you that it’s hard to hide when you’re living with
Couldn’t have put it better myself.