Those who follow me on Twitter will know that toilets have been on my mind lately. You see, the next stage of the Curse’s after-effects has been the demolition of much of our bathroom floor. It’s rotten under the shower … AGAIN.
Unfortunately, the rot had spread to under the toilet as well. Our lovely builder Alberto warned us last week that the toilet was going to have to go, maybe for as much as a week.
Then it was all OK and we were only going to be without a toilet on Monday night.
Which sounds reasonable until you think about the words. Without. A. Toilet. Family of Four. Ugh.
And so every day since about last Thursday, I have wondered whether I would have a toilet that night. And I have been oh so very thankful when I did.
And then the Bigster realised that her exams were at the start of this week. No proper shower (only hand-held over bath). No toilet. Actually, half a bathroom missing. And Exams. Yikes.
So we hatched a little plan that involved me and Bigster going to a hotel for Monday night, leaving Fraser and Otto to
wizz in a bucket manage on their own. And then we considered getting a family room or something so that we could all go. And then our builder said today, “Oh by the way, you won’t have a toilet tomorrow either.”
Which he clearly meant to be reassuring. Or, at the least, informative.
But you see, “no toilet” and “reassuring” do not really go together. And I started to add numbers in my head, because we were already way over “budget” on, well, everything, but especially on the unbudgeted “hotel” item. And I flung myself in my car and drove to Aldi, because some of my friends thought that MAYBEJUSTMAYBE they might have seen camping toilets at Aldi.
And of all the things that were bad about having OMG NO TOILET, that one was the least bad. Because it would mean that the inspection camera was no longer the strangest thing that I had bought at Aldi. I was able to go to a happy place inside my head. A toilet-free happy place, admittedly, but an only slightly less happy place for it.
Until the woman at my local Aldi smashed my dreams. “Yeah, we had those. About three months ago. But they didn’t sell so we sent all our stock to the rural stores.”
Grrr. I drove home again, thoroughly subdued. Then: Brainwave! Camping Stores!
I rang the “local” camping store, which is about 15 minutes’ drive away. It was 5:13. They had camping toilets in stock, but closed at 5:30. It was a challenge I was determined to make; I was out the door before we were even off the phone. (I rang my family while I was on the way, to tell them I had gone out).
I made good time to the camping store, until … disaster. A train. Ding, ding, ding, boomgates down, no chance to cross.
Thoroughly desperate for my toilet, I rang them. “I’m on my way to pick up a camping toilet but I am at the boomgates and now I will be late. Could I possibly pay by credit card or something, just to speed it up?” I was ready to offer any staff member willing to WAIT OUTSIDE THE STORE WITH MY TOILET $20 cash. Things were down to the wire.
Fortunately, the assistant manager was lovely and helpful and reassuring. After establishing that I really WAS just up the road, she promised to keep the till open for me, even past 5:30 if need be.
And so it was that I got there, and ran through the doors, and was greeted with one sweet sweet word: “Toilet?”
And it was 5:33 and all was good.
I bought the special toilet paper which “hindert Verstopfungen” (stops blockages) which made me giggle because I will swear that Verstopfung is German for constipation. Trust me, by that time I would have giggled at anything. And then I bought the special tank chemicals, only it turns out that you aren’t supposed to use them in the regular sewers, so I didn’t. And then I over-filled the tank (the clean water for flushing, people, minds out of the gutter) and it started leaking and there may or may not have been some al-fresco wizzing and some argufying with Fraser about how much water should be going into the waste tank anyway because there is a PROPER WAY to use a camping toilet and I might have missed it. And then we demonstrated how to flush the toilet to the girls and there was much hilarity except from them and Fraser, who all think it is a little revolting. So from me, really.
And the best part of all, is that I got to buy something completely weird, and actually genuinely put it on the “saving money” side of the ledger.
And also, I have just topped my Best Toilet Ever story.