Scene 1: Southwark Cathedral It's Saturday, and my brother and his family are down from Norfolk for the day. We've paused for lunch at Borough Market, where we've purchased organic burgers and fresh pancake-y things, and now we're sat munching them in Southwark Cathedral churchyard. Youngest nephew: I need to go to the toilet. I need to go now. Anxious Mum: Oh great, that'll be urgent then. Can somebody accompany him to a nearby toilet? Devoted uncle: Come on youngest nephew, let's go and find a toilet. Erm, surely there's one around here somewhere. Youngest nephew: I really need to go to the toilet. I really need to go now. Devoted uncle: Erm, I can't see a toilet in the market. And I can't see any signs for toilets anywhere. Maybe there'll be one inside the cathedral. Youngest nephew: I really really need to go to the toilet. I really really need to go now. Devoted uncle: Ah brilliant, there's a publicly accessible gents toilet in the cathedral's rear extension, down these steps. Perfect. Let's open the door and go in. An unclean heavily-bearded man is crouched by the sink opposite the urinals. It's not precisely clear what he's up to, but it's not pleasant. He's already peeled off his trousers and boots, revealing scabby legs completely covered in coin-sized red blisters. He smiles, in a kindly but slightly demonic way. He is not an attractive sight. Bearded devil: Don't be afraid. Do come in. Youngest nephew: I don't need to go to the toilet. Let's go now.
Scene 2: London Bridge station We've gulped down the remainder of our lunch, and have hurried off in search of a toilet at the nearby station. Because all stations have toilets. Youngest nephew: I need to go to the toilet. I need to go now. Resourceful dad: Damn, the main toilets are on the other side of the ticket barrier. But come this way, because that sign says there's another toilet beside Platform 13. A few minutes later... Resourceful dad: There isn't a toilet anywhere near Platform 13, or if there is I can't find it. Youngest nephew: I really need to go to the toilet. I really need to go now. Anxious mum: There's a superloo here on the pavement by the bus station, except there's a queue of seven people waiting to use it. We'll never get inside in time. Youngest nephew: I really really need to go to the toilet. I really really need to go now. Resourceful dad: Hang on, I've spotted a poster for McDonalds over there. It's only 2 minutes away. They'll have a toilet I can get you into. A few minutes later... Resourceful dad (beaming): Success! But I can't believe how difficult that was. Devoted uncle: It's coming to something when you have to rely on a much maligned multinational company to provide adequate public facilities for performing a bodily function all humans require. Youngest nephew: Can I have a drink please?