As may be obvious to regular readers, I go to a lot of music festivals. And as everyone knows, the absolutely worst thing about festivals is festival toilets. These are usually stinking chemical cesspits in cramped cubicles, smeared with the bodily excretions of thousands of worse-the-wear punters.
The game du jour at any festival is toilet roulette – will this one be filled to the brim with poo and bogroll? Or will you luck out and get a freshly-emptied cabin with (ooh yes!) toilet roll and hand sanitiser included?
Regardless, everyone walks away from the experience with a slightly degraded look of horror on their face. It’s the same kind of face a dog owner makes when they have to scoop up a particularly nasty poop – the unpleasant feeling of getting just a little bit close to the visceral reality of life. Never mind wanting to do a poo at Paul’s – it’s enough to make you never want to do a poo ever again.
I refuse to go to festivals unless I’m performing myself or tagging along as a Belleruche WAG, so I get to use the backstage toilets. These are slightly better than the ones for general use, but still not the most enjoyable experience – though I must point out that the compost loos at the Sunrise festival were positively pleasant (or as pleasant as an outdoor municipal shitter can be) throughout the site.
My main issue with festival loos is more of an issue with my own body – I’m extremely short. This makes it difficult to hover over a dirty seat without peeing onto my boots or accidentally sitting in something horrific. So this summer I invested in a SheWee. This is essentially an anatomically-shaped plastic funnel (instantly dubbed “the Ladycock” by everyone who’s seen it) which should – in theory at least – enable me to pee standing up.
The packaging recommends to try it in the shower first. Now I don’t know about you, but I haven’t peed in my shower since I was about three, and I’m not about to start now. So I tested it in the privacy of the toilet of my shared house. The results were not promising. Given that I live with three boys, the toilet and floor have already seen a fair amount of… errr… misdirection, but this was ridiculous. Over a few attempts, I managed to get wee on:
- My hands
- The toilet rim
- The floor
- My trousers
- The wall (I’m still not quite sure how that happened)
Suddenly I have a grudging new-found respect for the challenges of weeing standing up (although it is loads of fun, isn’t it?). Anyway, I ran out of time and inclination to practice any more before the festival, so the SheWee remains untested ‘in the wild’. I’ve still got a few more festivals lined up this summer, so maybe she’ll get another outing.
Have you ever tried a SheWee or similar device? Did you pee on your trousers? And just how much fun is peeing standing up, eh, boys?