Friday, March 18, 2011

We are the champions

On 18th March 1965, The Rolling Stones were fined 8.50 Dollars (that's about 150 Crowns in village money) for urinating in a public place; aforesaid public place being a petrol station in Essex. Exactly 46 years later, despite public toilets, outdoor toilets, portable toilets, houses with three toilets etc. the habit is not only still firmly entrenched today in the village and the wider surroundings but seems to have been taken to an entirely new level.

Its something that everyone has done but its the way its done here................Whereas most people in other countries simply scuttle off into the nearest bushes in order to be out of view and hope that no one has seen them, here in broad daylight the men simply turn their backs to the passing motorists, cyclists and pedestrians and just go. Motorway exits are a frequent stopping place (too risky with high winds and speeding traffic to actually go on the motorway) and besides the cars haphazardly pulled over is usually a line of men with their backs to the traffic. Sometimes a kind of camaraderie can be seen to build up with much banter between new found friends.

Women are much more discreet (i.e. the bushes) but like the men, make no secret of where they are going and what they will be doing when they get there. Hence a long line of waiting traffic frequently produces two or three women making a quick dash for the nearest bush while the men saunter out to the side of the road in full view.

Just look what you boys started..........

The activity does have its advantages though. On driving through an adjoining village and spotting the police and immediately slowing and hoping not to be on the receiving end of a police check, I breathed a sigh of relief to see that the Police Officer was more concerned with relieving himself against a nearby tree than measuring the speed limit and if I was carrying a reflective vest in my car.

Its a fairly laid back attitude although to some in the village, its a natural way of life. When building our house the team of builders looked askance when told that a portable toilet would be put up for their use. After several grumbles and a quick meeting next to newly arrived bags of cement, the Foreman took me to one side to explain that it was a nice offer but they really didn't need it and proceeded to explain and demonstrate that as long as you got your back to someone then you were in the right position. Subsequently the portable toilet simply gathered dust over the subsequent six months. At a recent birthday party held outside in the garden, the toilets in the house were designated for the women and the field behind the garden was designated for the men. There were no complaints, just quiet acceptance.

So, should they make roadside peeing an Olympic sport, I know who my money is on......