What is it? It's a flat, with a toilet in it.
Where is it? Oval, one of those awkward-to-get-to places south of the river where if someone attractive invites you back to theirs for what you're pretty sure from the eyebrow wiggles they are making is an offer of sexual intercourse, you are thinking about it three, maybe four times then ultimately saying no. Who… who could be a good example here. Rita Ora, right? We all agree – everyone agrees! – that Rita Ora is a stone-cold babe. Every person of every sexual denomination fancies Rita Ora. So the situation is that you meet Rita Ora, at an adidas party or something. You're dancing, the two of you. Flirting. Light arm touching. That electricity. It's Rita Ora. And then she arches one perfect eyebrow, Rita Ora, and says "Back to mine?" And you go "Sure. Where's that?" And she says "Oval," and you go: thank you for your time, Rita Ora, but I'm going to go McDonalds for some Chicken Selects before I get a night bus with them instead. It's just not worth it;
What is there to do locally? Have your entire life taken over every three weeks during summer by Every Single Dad In The World, on day-release from their marriage, drunk on Fosters and singing ancient cricket songs and flapping little bits of cardboard that say "4" on them through the air. Literally nothing else;
Alright, how much are they asking? £1,101 per calendar month. Yes: £1,101. The estate agent begging this around really could not round down that pound, there. They really went with £1,101.
Listen, no judgment on your life – this is a judgment-free zone, my people! Kink away until your dirty little heart's content! – but nobody has ever watched me shit and I have never watched another person shit. For pleasure. I'm sure my parents watched me shit a few times when I was a kid, just to make sure I was doing it right. Soft guidance. Like glancing under a train. "Yep, that's all fine," I imagine every parent has said, at one point, while watching their child shit. "I will never check you are doing this right or wrong for the rest of your life. I'm going to really let you take the lead on this one, little buddy. You have my trust." But other than that – other than the last time my parents watched me shit, which I cannot recall, so I'm assuming it's a fair while ago – nobody has watched me shit, ever.
I am saying if you want to watch people shit or you want to have people watch you shit, and this is a boner thing for you, then I am OK with that, as long as I do not have to be one of the people involved.
The thing – I have always supposed, with watching people shit – is the issue of consent. If I am going to watch someone shit, I'm going to take time and care about it. I'm going to set the mood. Light some candles. I'm going to knock softly on the bathroom door. And then, once I'm in there, I'm going to pop into an appreciative crouch, and I'm going to watch that thing happen, and enjoy it in whatever way I can. I do not want to watch the shit happen from my bed, where I'm trying to read Glamour. Like: it's Saturday, 11AM. I've got a cup of tea and a bacon sandwich on the go. And:
I have demonstrated exactly how this is bad with photographs of your two favourite celebrities, for scale and for reference. In the situation below, popular Toronto-born rapper Drake has entered into a serious relationship with TOWIE's Gemma Collins, and they are staying in Oval for a year to save money while they get their deposit together (Gemma's mum has also vowed to "help them out", although quite what that means yet is unclear). And it was all going well, until three hours into their first day at the house, and:
Imagine what Gemma Collins is saying, in the above photo. "No, Drake!" or something. "Please, hunni!" This is like one of those romantic trips you plan, to Amsterdam or something, but when you book it the whole website is in Dutch or whatever, and you get a room for two but for some reason the hotel deigns it romantic to have glass walls between the bed area and the bathroom area, so you are stuck with this weird reality, where essentially you are left lying on the bed watching bizarre Dutch daytime TV while your partner thoroughly cleans their body maybe four, five feet away from you… only you live there now. And also they watch you sleep while they pee.
I want to be clear here: I have looked at the floor plans, and the only possible place to shit and/or piss in this flat is while facing the bed, in the illustrated toilet. There are no other options. This room is billed as an en-suite, but it isn't, really, is it. That is the only option. £1,101 a month.
Do I have to say this is bad? Alright, I'll say it: this is bad. For £1,101 per calendar month I want privacy when I shit, piss and vomit. Just a weird quirk I have. Call me quirky. Just a weird quirk. But this is what keeps happening in London, and we've seen it before: basic housing necessities tagged on as an afterthought, with whoever's left living there – in Oval, remember! – left dealing forever with the reality of it. If a developer built a flat entirely and only remembered maybe half a day before completion that it didn't have a toilet in it – so, oh yeah, let's put it here – that raises the question: how long, then, before London rental opportunities are reduced to simple, unadorned rooms, no toilet no sink, no hob no window, just a little white box with a bed in it, in Oval, with Gemma Collins spread over the top of it, asking if you can light a match or something if you're going to use the potty again, fucking hell Drake, we're not going to that Turkish place again. And my prediction is: three to eight months.
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