RECORD STORE TALES MkII: Getting More Tale
#418: Toilet Anxiety
Some of us have, errrr, a few personal hangups. Perhaps you don’t like spiders, or snakes. Many have a fear of confined spaces. Others, myself definitely included, hate crowds. A few lucky ones like me can tick off multiple boxes in the anxiety category. A lot of people will nod and understand if you say you’re afraid of spiders, but nobody seems to understand my toilet anxiety! Specifically, public toilets.
I’ve never liked public toilets, ever since I was a kid. Someone in my family, a musician who shall remain anonymous, loves to try out every different kind of toilet around. The first time she went on an airplane was an exciting moment for her. She can’t wait for the days of spaceflight when she’ll get to take a 0-gravity dump. She was always fascinated with that scene in 2001: A Space Odyssey, when Dr. Floyd is trying to figure out the instructions to the space toilet.
My debilitating toilet issue is that I just can’t perform if someone else is in the room. I remember the year before we got married, Jen bought me Rush tickets for my birthday. It was the Snakes & Arrows tour. We had a whole evening planned including dinner at the Old Spaghetti Factory. The restaurant was packed with Rush T-shirts. I had to make a pit stop, but the washroom was wall-to-wall dudes in Rush shirts, peeing. I found a urinal but could not squeeze a drop. Not one drop. I began to worry. “What if I can’t go pee before Rush? The washrooms there will only be worse.”
Without options I waited it out, and eventually the washroom completely emptied. I was able to take one of the most relieving pisses in my entire life, all the while cursing my own idiotic hangups.
In some ways work toilets are even worse – at least where I work. Here, people will likely to strike up a conversation with you, while doing their business. It took me a while to get used to taking a dump at my current job. Unfortunately, my toilet anxiety became publicly known. After walking into the washroom, and then walking right out again, I was asked what was up so I explained that I have a toilet anxiety and I’d rather wait for the room to empty. Embarrassing, yes, but I couldn’t come up with a better lie on the spot. I’m a terrible liar. So I outed myself as a Shy Shitter.
Since then, I have been pranked at the office numerous times. Most often, someone just turns off the lights when I’m doing my thing. Once, a pile of boxes was placed in front of the door while I was inside, forcing me to knock it all down to escape.
Once, I almost had a heart attack in there. I was in the stall, doing my business, when somebody snuck into the washroom quietly. I heard nothing. While I was sitting there reading my magazine, this person reached under the stall door, grabbed my feet, and tried to pull me off the seat!
Thankfully no mess was created, but I sure was given a shock! You have to admit it was pretty funny, even though my public toilet fear only got worse in the short term!