We go to choose tiles.
I am not sure quite how I got myself into this situation, but my delight at being in the King’s Lynn branch of ‘Topps Tiles’ (a name that surely should belong to a tile shop in the Beano) is only marginally tempered by the realisation that I have forgotten to change my trousers.
I should have changed my trousers because Baby Servalan vomited in my lap earlier, and to the untrained eye it looks, to put it politely, a bit like I have jizzed all down them.
“Can we go now?” I ask the LTLP.
“No,” she replies.
“But I really need to do a poo.”
She looks at me in some contempt. “For Christ’s sake. What with you and the baby…”
“It’s not my fault. That coffee has gone right through me.”
“We’ll go to Homebase after this,” she announces. “You can go to the toilet there and,” she shakes her head, “do your poo.”
“Are you sure it is a genuine toilet?” I ask. “Enclosed, with paper and all that? I am not going if it is just a display in the bathroom section.”
“It is a genuine toilet.”
I am a bit happier at this. My best-case scenario is to be allowed to go home to do my poo, my worst case is to continue choosing tiles and not be allowed to do my poo. Choosing more tiles whilst being allowed to do my poo seems like a good compromise. We park at Homebase and I hurry-waddle in ahead of her.
The toilets are pretty well next to the tills, and are sternly labelled ‘FOR CUSTOMERS’. Bearing in mind that I have already waddled past the staff in an odd fashion, I am anxious that they do not think that I am a non-customer who is sneakily taking advantage of their facilities for some nefarious purpose. I try to let them know this, using telepathy. I am sure that they are looking at me suspiciously.
You would think that toilets in DIY centres would be the most incredible spaces, full of shiny bathroom gizmos to inspire, with labels telling you in which aisle to buy such fantabulism. But this is a place of disinfectant, of off-white washed walls, aged Armitage Shanks and plastic seating. It screams ‘municipal!!!’ louder than the Revd Iain Paisley fleeing down the streets of North Belfast being chased by a giant municipal.
I sit and do my business, hoping that the LTLP has entered the shop by now and that the staff have realised that I am a genuine toilet-authorised customer and not some wierdo.
I am some time in there.
As I go to leave, a member of the Homebase staff marches in through the door. He is checking up on me!!! I push past him in my ostensibly jizz-covered trousers and go to rendezvous amidst the tiles.