How a trip to the toilet exposed an absurd psychological nightmare

He always had to know what the toilet situation was. Were the urinals divided, a long trough, separate, cramped? Did the cubicle door lock? How many cubicles were there?

His wife estimated he had not gone to social occasions approximately 33% of the time on account of inadequate and frankly frightening bog situations. He’d had acupuncture, hypnosis, LSD – nothing could cure him from this ill.

His friend had given him a tip.

‘When you’re standing at the pisser mate, look at the tiles and where they join and say ‘grouting’ over and over again in your head.’

This had helped him to some extent but he still had left the toilet 13% of the time without having gone due to his shycock.

This night, against the odds, he had gone out despite knowing the facilities panicked him. Having delayed and delayed – mainly when seeing other men enter the toilet – he eventually went in. Horror. There were two men with a minimal gap between them relieving themselves at the urinal. He made for the shycock cubicle. He was a shycock pavilionite.

He was pissing in the shycocks when the button fell off his trousers, into the bowl, into another man’s piss. He was gonna fish it out but thought better of it.

His trousers falling down, he returned to the table to tell his wife he would have to go home.

‘Did you win at shycock?’ she asked.

‘No-one wins at shycock,’ he replied, one hand on his belt line, the other pulling the door.

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