In prep for the third session of the comedy course, we were all asked to write a thank you letter to someone you really dislike. I thought you might like to read mine, it’s not supposed to be a polished piece, more like a first draft to show that by actually switching off your inner critic, you can produce fairly good material straight off, so trust your instinct.
A Letter to the Toilet attendant at Camden stalls 1st Floor
To the High and Almighty Tap Guardian,
I was excited as I knew we’d meet at some point today, and after asking about 74 people, none of which even knew where Camden was let alone the ‘Public Toilets’ I found myself climbing the steps to where you, the High and Almighty Tap Guardian would be waiting.
As I entered the compact mouldy space, I was instantly overwhelmed by colours and smells I’d never experienced before, causing temporary blindness and waves of panic to rip through my body.
This is what I’d come to experience. This was the true London, the sort of atmosphere that can only be created by an experienced artist like yourself.
Naturally it was too much to take in. Colourful exotic graffiti art of ‘male genitalia’ and ‘lady parts’ sporadically layered with bursts of mould, rubbish and human waste, I can only imagine you had commissioned. There’s so much to love. The way you removed all the locks from the cubicle doors with a sledgehammer was pure genius as it has increased the traffic flow by at least 15 – 20%, or the broken panes within the rusting window, perfectly spaced out to achieve the best exchange of heavily intense urine vapour and the fresh sweet London air.
But this is just the setting for the real experience to be to played out. The second I enter you clock me as your next client. The drilling of your eyes in the back of my skull while I try to wee is a breathtaking moment of panic mixed with intimidation.
I’d heard about this and it’s everything I’d hoped for as I’m forced to really concentrate on the job in hand whilst exercising those all important core muscles.
As I finally complete my side of the bargain, spraying most of it back onto myself due to the uniquely homemade looking urinal, I turn and notice there were sinks on either side of the room, yet you had covered one with a ply board and masking tape. I can only imagine that was to save the tax payers’ money in water bills, whilst forcing every innocent victim to get the full service you proudly provide.
You could see I was nervous as I kept looking at the exit door, though being a naturally caring father-figure you aggressively ushered me to the all important sink.
It’s as if you read my mind as you hit the taps on full blast a split second before I could, and then once my hands are wet, bang, there you go again producing soap like a magic trick from the 80s. So fast, so silky. My world was a blur, it was all happening so fast.
I didn’t even have time to explain I had done this hand washing-business before, and didn’t need any assistance, but look at all these coins and jewels piled so high. So many previous satisfied customers. I should have just relaxed and enjoyed the 5 star treatment.
Before I could even finish that thought, you were already on to the next task, folding toilet roll ready for me, like a well oiled machine.
We were onto the final straight. As I tried to remove bits of toilet roll from hands, I could see the exit door. My heart was racing. Shit, do I tip, do I not tip?
I was momentarily distracted, however, as the Tap Guardian pulled a man by his neck into the queue. Supposedly that guy had tried to leave without the full experience, shame on you.
I dipped into my pocket and fished around. I realised I had enough change for a coffee or to tip the Tap Guardian!
We both knew what I was going to do.
So thank you for the experience of a lifetime, and also thank you for pointing out 10p is not £1.
Lots of Love Dan
P.S. I also wanted to add a little thank you for letting me write down a few of those friendly numbers off the back of the cubicle door, I’ve found they’re far better than 118 118. Though I’m not too sure if Long Dong Silver is a real plumber.