This post ran originally on THUMP UK.
There are people in this world, definitely millions, possibly billions in fact, who love nothing more than shitting. Having a shit, to them, is the utmost joy, the purest pleasure imaginable, an ecstatic experience that brings them closer to God than they ever thought possible. These are people who'll wolf down the greasiest burgers or the finest caviar with a smile on their face, content in the knowledge that in several hours time they'll find themselves astride a porcelain throne, faces puce and perspiring. They sigh with joy, relishing every single second of their extended shitting session. The final flush is the saddest sound in the world.
I'd like to think, though, that even these people, even the men and women of the world who look down proudly into the pan to admire their own product, have their limits, that even the shit-happy still feel a pang of shame engulfing them as they slide into a cubicle in an Asda, still want to ground to swallow them whole whenever they find themselves staring at a coat hook and a dodgy lock in a high street pub just before closing time. Surely, one has to assume, even they fear one thing above all else: needing to have a shit on a night out in a club.
Few thoughts slide in and out of my brain like the rancid slop of last night's ill-advised fried gristle and chips with as much terror and regularity as the thought that this weekend coming I might find myself stood in a queue, absolutely fucking desperate for a shit, and that I am going to have to wipe someone else's piss off the seat, and sit there, trousers and pants down by my ankles, trying to shit, all the while putting up with the ceaseless barrage of door-knocking an and hurry-upping.
Unfortunately the combination of alcohol, excitement, and whatever the fuck it is that you've slid down your Tuborg-lubricated gullet in the smoking area earlier that evening, results in quite a high likelihood of you needing to evacuate your bowels at some point during the night. Also quite unfortunately, needing to go to the toilet is a pretty non-negotiable situation. Holding it in won't do you any favors in the long run—you'll probably find yourself doubled over on the top of a double decker come sunrise, incapable of rational speech, limiting yourself to the occasional groan of anxiety-flecked pain. One has to just suck it up and spit it out, as it were.
To ensure that you find yourself capable of some much needed release next time you're stood shaking in a club queue, we've put together a few handy do's and don'ts. Print this out and keep it in your back pocket at the weekend—you might want something to read on the loo, if you don't find another use for it of course.
It's two in the morning and Anthony Naples is sending the room into a frenzy. Eyeballs are rolling, jaws are clenching and everyone's having the time of their life. Apart from you. Because you desperately need to have a shit. You waddle over to the bathroom, braving the acrid stench of old piss and freshly cut coke, tramping through the ominously dark puddles on the floor, standing shoulder to shoulder with a bloke talking to himself, sweat threatening to send him the way of the Snowman. You're clenching and grimacing which, handily, means you're fitting right in with everyone else in the room.
You finally get your slot and slide into the cubicle. The lock, predictably, is fucked, so you've got to perform gyratory gymnastics, wedging it shut with one foot while making sure you're sat fully on the toilet itself. Once that's been achieved...GO GO GO. You've got a minute, two at most, to avoid the heckles and jeers of the waiting hordes, so push with all your might, muster all your internal energy and get the fuck out of there.
Do Accept Your Own Fallibility
I was recently speaking to a mate of mine about shitting in nightclubs—which just in case my mum is reading, is a perfectly normal topic of conversation when you make a living from writing about the intricacies of club etiquette, honestly—and he confessed that he's used the men's in every single club he's ever been to. Which, I begrudgingly admitted, is in its own way, oddly impressive.
For him, you'd have to imagine, there's no nervousness, no stomach-churning, no sense of "oh shit, I've got to shit." He can strut into the club secure in the knowledge that the bathroom is his domain, that nothing, absolutely nothing, is going to deter him from letting nature have it's way. He is the man we should all aspire to be, so let us draw courage from this brave soul, and hold our heads high as we stumble back onto the dancefloor a few pounds lighter.
Don't Do it on the Floor
Remember when that bloke took a shit on the floor of a nightclub in Wigan last year? Remember that? Remember seeing the video of it on LadBible and then feeling engulfed by second hand shame? Remember how it put you off doing anything ever again? Yeah? Don't do it then. Dear god, never ever shit on any floor ever. Ever!
Do Plan Ahead
I think it was John Fashanu who once said "Prior preparation prevents poor performance," and largely speaking, he's right. Especially in this context. If you're going clubbing regularly, you're probably at an age where you've got at least some idea of what you can and can't put in your body without creating some pretty adverse conditions for yourself. For example, if you know that drinking six cans of premium strength lager followed by two of those little Goodfellas microwave mini-pizzas is going to send your stomach into a whirling dervish of degradation, try not to consume two mini-pizzas and three litres of gassy gut-rot before going out. Try a nice refreshing glass of tap water and a bowl of wilted lettuce. Iceland do big bags of it for about 50p. Quids in!
Similarly, if you know that various substances have a noticeable effect on your digestive system you've got two options. The first is to forgo them, and in doing so avoiding any potential need for the toilet, bar the odd piss. The second is to bosh away with reckless abandon all the while taking ownership of your body and its numerous unpleasant needs.
Don't Forget to Check for Loo Roll
This one sort of applies to life in large, actually. Few things are more immediately distressing than realising that you've not made the necessary checks before plonking yourself down on the toilet. You're grasping for a safety net that's not there. Years ago you would have wailed "MUUUUM, MUUUUUUUUUM, MUUUUUUUUUUUUM," over and over until mother dearest alerted to you to salvation with the gentlest of knocks. Now you find yourself sitting in a cubicle for 20 minutes or so until you're utterly sure that you'll be able to waddle to safety without being caught and subsequently lambasted forevermore.
What do you do, though, if this happens in a club? Frankly, the thought of it is too terrifying to contemplate. Sorry kid, you're on your own.
Wash Your Hands
You might be shitting in a sweat-lacquered plywood cupboard—but you're not an animal.