Call of nature

Call me an old fuddy-duddy, but, when I were a lad, there used to be something called etiquette (look it up): a general set of rules explaining what constituted socially acceptable behaviour (and, more importantly, what didn't).

Foremost of these rules (for us chaps at least) was the commandment, Thou shalt not engage another gentleman in conversation whilst either of you is having a slash. It just wasn't the done thing—not even for the sort of chaps who make a habit of chatting to other chaps in gentlemen's washrooms.

Yesterday, I was spending a penny in the gents at the Tebay Service Station on the M6, when the chap two urinals along from me suddenly remarked, "Ah! There you are! I've been trying to speak with you for ages!"

I glanced over at him nervously.

"I think you and I need to get together with Phil to thrash out the details," he said. "Have you got his number?"

It was clearly a case of mistaken identity: I had never seen this man before, and I didn't know anyone called Phil who I was likely to want to thrash out details with. "I think you've got the wrong per…" I started to say.

Then I realised the chap was on the phone. That's right, he was making a business call whilst having a burst! Is nothing sacred?

It lends a whole new meaning to the phrase, I'll give you a tinkle.