Question two? Who wants to hear about the toilet-that-broke-on-a-date? YOU do? Okay. Here it is.
Last year I went on a couple of dates with a lovely young chap. It didn't go anywhere - there wasn't "that spark", but the lady who gets him will be a lucky lady indeed. And it is just as well that he has a calm character. Because I hit his house like a whirlwind of destruction.
Here is what happened.
That day I was very nervous because he said he would cook for me at his place. Being a good Christian girl, I was not sure this was entirely appropriate for a third date, but him being a good Christian lad and all that, I thought, well, it can't go wrong. But I was still nervous about how the evening might proceed. For one thing, I wasn't feeling that I wanted to kiss him, after all, we'd not even held hands, and I am quite a slow starter when it comes to all that romance malarky. So with that and all the other pressures (ie not telling my friends because they'd all be ultra nosey and want to interfere), I was unable to perform during my regular morning slot of 7:25 to 8:10. Believe me, I am so organised that even my bowels operate in synch with my diary. My bladder has a filofax. Actually, no the little beggar has a blackberry which keeps going off in meetings.
But I digress.
As a consequence of not indulging in a bout of deep-sea otter chasing, I was feeling a little bloated during the day. Merms is not a fatty by a long wave, but I certainly did not feel like swimming much that day. I nibbled a salad for lunch, thinking that I did not want to get to his house and not eat anything he'd cooked.
However, the salad worked a wonderful release for me. At 7:25 to 8:10 that evening the fact of the matter became clear to me. I needed to go.
I was at his house.
Dating Rule 101: Never go for a dump in a friend's house if you can possibly help it, and NEVER go for a spell on the porcelain throne the first time your date asks you to come to his house. MEN - this really applies to you, but ladies, do not be complacent. The Mermaid of Moorgate succumbed to the pressure. The Mermaid of Moorgate was on the verge of doing the turtle.
I excused myself.
I followed the laws of toilet etiquette. I carefully laid a barrier of Andrex upon the water, and started to run the sink tap to hide any noise. I performed. Rather beautifully and noiselessly. I ....
Have you ever seen Dumb and Dumber? It's one of the best films ever.
If you didn't do so, the video below is what you should watch NOW before continuing to read this post.
The toilet didnt flush.
I tried it again.
I tried it a third time.
By now I am panicking. There's no window to open, and I can't find any air freshener.
I layered some more bog roll over the top of the log.
I sprayed my perfume into the air and tried to flush again.
It started to flush
"Mermaid, are you alright in there?"
"Yes! Just looking for my ... er... comb! There's so much trash in the bag I can't find it."
Where is the toilet brush?
Stab at the log! Stab the pig! Stab the pig! Down, Tarka, Down! Swim for your life down the china tunnel....
I finally got it to flow away, but the water kept rising. The flush came down and the floods came up, looking a bit like a bulemic's dinner.
By now the lid of the toilet was off - YES HITCH AND OLD TARF I HAVE BEEN FIXING MANY TOILETS IN MY HISTORY - as regular readers of this blog will know (if you click here you will see what I mean: Toilet Seats)and I was trying to stop the ballcock from sinking. But the plug was broken in any event.
After about 10 mins the water had run clear and it was flushing normally.
I exited, victorious but badly shaken by the experience.
Two hours later, during which time he burned the salmon en croute and a fox ran into the living room and just stood there looking at us, he went to the bathroom.
"I think the toilet is flooding. It keeps on flushing."
I took out my cheque book and grabbed my coat. Being a gentleman, he refused to accept my cheque. Being a lady I refused to stay any longer.
and that was the last date we had.