Really poncey places do not make it easy. Arty designs. A thing and another ting. One symbol and another symbol.
I’ve worked hard at being a bloke and I’ve made damn sure I know the difference between a men’s loo and one for the ladies.
But, on Friday, I made a heinous error.
The thing is, the lack of urinals didn’t alert me. It was a poncey bar and I figured this is how they did stuff. The bar has a spiral staircase going through a glass floor so you can see the wine cellar. The spiral staircase continues upstairs to… erm.. nowhere. It’s like some MC Escher puzzle, and who does a thing like that in a bar, if they’re not out to confuse the heck out of you?
The actually pleasant smell in the loo didn’t help me put two and two together either. It’s a new establishment and so I thought that the ‘pissing all over the place posse’ (The Pisse?) hadn’t christened it yet.
The signs on the doors of the bathroom didn’t resemble an M or an F. As I approached I said to myself something which rhymes a bit with ‘For fuck’s sake’ while trying to work out the difference between Arthur and Martha.
Someone was messing with my brain and thinking back, the staircase was confirmation of this. I looked at both doors, resolved my confusion but made my choice knowing that it was the right one.
Except it wasn’t.
I’ve been to more confusing places. Signs in gaelic, pictures of things which make no reference to gender. Bars just trying so hard to be too cool for school.
But while I was having a wee in this cubicle, on this Friday night (“Where are the urinals?” I said to myself. “How fucking stupid!”) I heard some tippy tappy noise. High heels on the floortiles outside the cubicle. A woman or a tap dancer? I realised it probably wasn’t a tap dancer and thought “Poor woman. So drunk she’s found her way into the Gents”.
As I came out she smiled and said “Often hang around ladies toilets do you?”
I responded in my best funny. “Man alive, if you wanted my number you could’ve asked me while I was sipping my coffee.”
She simply said. ” Dude. You’re in the ladies loo.”
Suddenly everything pinged into place. The lack of urinals and the pleasant smell. This wasn’t a new, cool thing. It was because I was actually in the ladies toilet.
To make me feel worse, she stepped back, opened the door and pointed to a perfectly legible F. It wasn’t in a stupid font or anything. it was an F. Clear as day.
This is a small town. Thankfully the person I met didn’t react oddly, or run screaming to the bar staff. She was cool about a bloke being in a ladies toilet. She laughed, asked if I had any decent lipgloss and I said my sorry. Then, as I observed from my seat as I hurriedly drunk my coffee so I could get the hell out of Dodge, promptly told all her friends. One of whom pointed and laughed.
Well. Who wouldn’t?
The worst thing about this? I was stone cold sober.
Anyone done anything similar? Please share with my group of one.