To P Or Not To P

I’m on holiday this week. I can’t afford to go anywhere and my flat’s as hot as Satan’s barbecue, but I’m still having a wicked time just hangin’ out, watchin’ DVDs and writin’. (And, it seems, using a lot of apostrophes on the end of words.)

Yesterday I had lunch in South Kensington with my friend Paul, who then took me to the Space NK store where he occasionally works and had one of his colleagues give me a makeover. Y’know, I never would have thought purple eye shadow would look good on me, but it does. I SO should have been a goth when I was a teenager!

Afterwards I went to a screening of My Super Ex-Girlfriend at the 20th Century Fox headquarters in Soho Square (the only word I can think of to sum up the movie is “Meh”). Getting there too early, I sat on a bench in the square and puzzled over the Human Condition. London is in the grip of a drought and a scorching hot summer, which has made the grass in Soho Square not just die but turn into a barren sea of dust. However, despite the fact the ground was nothing but dead weeds, a million cigarette butts and pigeon droppings, people were still eating picnics, sunbathing and relaxing on it. Why? Why would they do this? Are they insane? Was some part of their brain telling them it was lovely soft grass rather than a filthy desert wasteland?

I don’t get some people. I really don’t.

And, while I’m having a rant… I needed to use the toilets in the Trocadero earlier in the day (if you don’t already know, the Trocadero is the video arcade and mall in Piccadilly Circus filled with screaming kids and noisy teenagers). To my annoyance, there was a sign outside the toilets announcing they cost 50p to use. That’s a HELL of a lot of money to spend a penny; most toilets charge 20p at the most. But I was pretty desperate, I had some change and swallowed my objections after a minute’s contemplation.

But when I put my change in the turnstile, it went right through the machine. The attendant came up to me and shook her head (in, may I say, a very cocky manner). “You need to put in a 50p piece,” she ordered.

“Oh, I’m afraid I don’t have one,” I replied, smiling. I held out my change – two 20p pieces and a 10p, adding up to a perfectly healthy 50 pence. “Here you go.”

But she was still shaking her head. “No, I can’t let you in unless you have a 50 pence piece.”

I stared at her. “But I have the money right here.”

“Go get it changed into a 50p somewhere. I can’t let you in with change. You need a 50p.”

This, from a girl standing there with a key to the turnstile.

Nobody had ever said to her, “Take the money yourself if they don’t have the proper kind of coin.” Nobody had ever explained that by turning people away, her employers were losing money. She was simply refusing to let anybody into her toilets without a 50 pence piece. And did you know that there are fewer 50 pence pieces in circulation than any other form of British currency? So she must refuse at least a hundred people a day (the Trocadero is very, very busy).

I have never in my life been rude to a shop assistant, waiter, bus driver, cashier or toilet attendant, but the complete stupidity of Miss 50p Jobsworth coupled with the heat of the day and the fact I really needed to use the bathroom made me swear at her. Loudly. I told her she was talking rubbish (only I didn’t use the word ‘rubbish’) and told her to sod off and stop being such a stupid $£^$%.

She thoroughly deserved it, but I feel I’ve crossed a line now. Soon I’ll be shouting at bank tellers and telling bus drivers they drive badly. I’d better rein myself in or those nice lads at my local Tescos who always grin at me will be getting a slap. Woah, momma!

But honestly, have you ever heard of anything so dumb in your entire life as refusing to accept money off someone when they offer it to you?

I say again: I don’t get some people.

Oh, and in case you’re wondering: I was so angry afterwards I didn’t even need to pee any more. Result!



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2 responses to “To P Or Not To P

  1. WhiteCrowUK

    Still life’s not all bad.

    I saw this story on the BBC news, and was immediately transported back to one of your disturbing SFX comments about wanting to use an aging ray to make Daniel “Harry Potter” Radcliffe legal …

    Now are you going to try and blag a ticket to that, and try and follow it up with a Popcorn after show interview about the Order of Pheonix? 😉

  2. Jayne Nelson

    Daniel Radliffe naked on stage?

    Oh dear god.

    I’m ducking out of this entire conversation before you think I’m going to end up in Special Hell.

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