Now, I know that some fears and phobias are irrational; people are afraid of foil, or bananas, or clowns, despite not having had negative experiences of them. Maybe it’s just the thought, or the smell, or a subconscious feeling that can’t be explained.
My husband is a strapping 6′ 2″ man that’s terrified of both spiders and snakes for no other reason than they make his skin crawl and cause him to break out into a hot sweat.
Not so with me; I have very tangible reasons for choosing plane toilets and multi-storey car parks.
If you’ve read my blog before you’ll probably be able to guess what’s coming. Yes, that’s right, there are no unexplained, subliminal reasons for me. I’ve just made a dick of myself and the memory is so mortifying that it’s scarred me for life.
These are the reasons I get sweaty palms and palpitations at the thought of using an aeroplane loo:
I get the window seat. I sit BURSTING for the loo. There is either a) a sleeping person or b) someone with their tray down with food or drinks balancing on it. I wait for so long that in my haste I accidentally kick a slumbering man in the groin, stand on a small child and spill a drink down a woman’s bosom to avoid wetting myself.
Fellow passengers find my bum in their face as I climb over them and am then forced to wait, suspended, like I’m ‘presenting’, whilst someone else passes in the aisle…and heads towards the vacant loo I was planning to occupy. I’ve also reached the aisle just as the plane lurches and sat on another passenger’s knee or fallen face first to give them a boob nuzzle.
I stagger like a drunk to the front of the plane on a particularly bumpy journey, with bored passengers no doubt putting bets on where I’ll fall next. I reach the toilet and pull vigorously on the loo door for several seconds…before coming to the conclusion that it’s occupied after all.
Then I stand waiting, staring at the floor or my nails, becoming more self-conscious by the second. Then I glance up…and notice the ‘push’ sign on the door. Then I realise it’s been vacant all along. THEN I realise that the other passengers have known all along too and haven’t bothered to tell me. Bastards. Then I enter the loo with the sinking feeling that I’ve just provided more entertainment than the in-flight movie.
Once inside the loo, I crouch delicately over the filthy basin until sudden turbulence sends me sprawling onto the urine-sodden seat that I’ve been so carefully avoiding. I then allow myself to relax slightly…before peeling myself off the ceiling the next moment because the flush is so pissing loud that I’m convinced an engine’s just blown or there’s a suicide bomber on board.
Then there’s the horrible moment I realise I need a poo (nerves will do that to you, you know). I meticulously place loo roll around the seat and perch precariously with my knickers round my ankles hoping, nay, PRAYING that I won’t start hearing chants of, ‘We know what you’re doing!’ filtering through the wall, or emerge to lairy heckling and a round of applause because I’ve been in there for so long.
On the odd occasion I successfully manage to use the loo, I find myself stuck behind the refreshment trolley on the way back to my seat. I’m sure the air hostesses get their kicks by taking longer than they need to, using their little calculators to convert sterling to euros and pretending they can’t find what they’re looking for. Meanwhile I’m standing behind them feigning nonchalance whilst secretly contemplating throwing myself out of the emergency exit.
See? Being scared of going to the toilet on the plane is completely justified. What’s not to be scared of? In fact, I’ve found so many reasons, this will have to be Part 1 of ‘Things That Freak Me Out’. Part 2 will tell the tale of a mum, a son, The Smurfs, an expensive roof box and car park height restrictions…
Included as part of Actually Mummy’s ‘Wot So Funee?’ Blog Hop.