About a month ago part of the bolt on the bathroom door fell off. This meant that it was no longer safe to lock the door as whilst you could slide the bolt in, you lacked the means to pull it out again. Obviously this has resulted in lots of walking in on people, furtive knocking to make sure it’s empty and the strong social prerogative to leave the door open when you finish, thus indicating to your fellow man that the stink-room is vacant and waiting their attention. My own tactic while in there is to whistle loudly in an effort to convey both my presence in the room and to indicate my satisfaction with the task at hand.

However, unfortunately on Tuesday evening I forgot the above byelaws in a moment of confusion. My mental state was caught somewhere between intense confusion and elation and this caused me to step into the room and firmly lock the bolt before proceeding with my business. I remembered to do the whistling part (needlessly), and suspected nothing, but on returning was hit with the revelation that I was locked in, sealed in a ceramic tomb. The cold/hot feeling familiar to those of us who occasionally make mistakes washed over me and my instant ape-man response was to seize the bolt with my bare fingers and exert force. Unsurprisingly, this was wholly ineffective and hugely painful and even when I attempted the pull bolt with sleeve of jumper as a protective barrier trick, I was rewarded with nothing.

Pacing the room I was filled with fear. What a twat I would look to my guests sitting below. Would I have to call one of them up to kick the door in from the outside (given that it opened inwards I couldn’t try that one). Would I have to spend the night here wrapped around the u-bend, Prov passing maroots under the gap in the door and thin slices of cheese for sustenance. I might even have to clean the place. The thought and the terror that went with it was too much. I seized the toilet roll holder, smashed it into smithereens, rooted through the wreckage for a handy screw, forced that into the point in the bolt where the piece of metal had broken off and pulled with all my might. A moment of resistance and then “pop” and I was free.

From now on I will be going to the toilet in the garden. It’s pretty rubbish out there, but you can’t get locked in, just out, which has happened to me as well, but that’s another story.

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