23 August 2009

Business skills

Mrs Slippy has gone to the V Festival, so while the cat is away, the mice will play.

Or will they? Mice don't really 'play' do they? In the absence of cats, they generally eat everything in the cupboard, and shit everywhere.

Squeak squeak...

And whilst not eating and shitting, I am mostly watching the cricket, with Twitter and Facebook streaming in two separate windows on the laptop, and another one open onto which I am typing.

I've also taken some time out to ensure that I will be able to watch the Premiership on the computer if England haven't finished the job by 4 o'clock. I may even bring the portable tv into the living room too so I can watch the Grand Prix as well.

Who says men can't multi-task?

It is probably the business skills of multi-tasking, prioriting, and forward planning that have made me the success I am today.

Never were these skilled called more into play than back in 1998, when I was still a young man, finding my way in the World, and taking sometime out from my hectic business life to enjoy a couple of weeks holiday in Spain with some old school friends.

Nothing like a group of eight young professionals sharing a villa on the Costa del Sol to relieve the strains of day to day life in the UK. The cat wasn't away, but the mice were.

Maybe open a bottle of wine in the evening, and listen to the gentle lapping of the waves on the shore, or find a local bar and enjoy one or two local beers while making friends with the locals.

Chilled and relaxed.

One evening the others wanted to go and visit the local 'Discotheque'. I wasn't really feeling up to it myself. Probably just a bit of a combination of too much sun, and a rich Mediterranean diet, but my guts were gone to hell.

Not wanting to let the others down, I fought the cramping pains and agreed to join them. It was the last night, and so we'd probably earned a few drinks.

The club was only small. It wasn't a big resort, so it really was just the locals place to go and enjoy a night out, not some mega club. We were the only English there, and the bar staff seemed pretty pleased to have us there, with lots of very large, very free drinks.

It soon became apparent that my guts were not going to hold out. Nobody in their right mind enjoys taking a shit in someone else's toilet (except that freaky kid on the TV who wants to 'do a poo at Pauls', which I'm sure must be urban slang for something altogether sinister), but sometimes needs must.

As I said, a small club, so only a small toilet. Fortunately I hadn't started relaxing too much as I burst into los servicios. I knew that despite the urgency of the matter in hand, if I didn't want matter in my hands, I couldn't afford to drop focus until I knew it was safe to drop the kids off.

I was right to do that. A quick visual check told me there was only one cubical, and there was no paper in it. No hand towels next to the sink either meant back to he bar. I'd clocked a pile of napkins at the end of it - those would do.

As I walked round, my hand slipped up and grabbed the small pile without breaking stride, nor attracting attention.

Back in the cubicle I was hit by problem number 2 with my problem number 2.

There was no lock on the door, and it was so badly hung, it wouldn't stay shut on it's own.

And it was about 5 feet away from the seat....

Try it yourself. Sit down and see how far forwards you can reach. Unless you are;

a) an orang-utan
b) Andrew Marr
c) Dave Beasant

then I can pretty much guarantee that door is swinging open on you.

So we have priority decision time number one. Privacy, or accuracy?

If you can lean forwards enough that you can apply some pressure on the door, with your arse pointing in the general direction of the toilet (and trousers removed for added safety), then surely that is the better option than sitting and shitting, door wide open looking cold and clammy as every Juan, Luis y Fernando walks in?

I thought so.

As it turned out, removing my trousers was not required, as it was not the ground beneath me that was the high risk area. Nope, I had completely misjudged the level of pressure which had built up in my guts, and rather that 'falling short' in the gap between myself and the seat, I completely overshot with hot, liquid filth.

As I was leaning over so far, I was practically horizontal, and the wall behind the toilet now looked like someone had been at it with an industrial muck spreader.

I looked down at the small pile of drinks napkins in my hand, back at the 2 foot circle of evil on the wall (that was fast growing as gravity pulled it down to the ground), and peeped through a gap in the door to check I was still alone in there.

I was.

Priority decision number 2. I had a small pile of napkins and needed to clean;

a) My arse
b) The wall

A quick bit of 'quantity surveying' left me quite sure that I did not have enough napkins to clean both. Even if I made a rush job of my arse, the wall would need some serious attention. The longer I took thinking or cleaning, the greater the risk that someone would walk in on me.

The decision was simple. Why clean two jobs badly when you can clean one job well?

I cleaned myself with napkins to spare, but any attempt to start on the wall would have been futile. Best to just drop the lot and run before someone saw me.

So run I did, and I'm pretty sure I got away with it.

And it was there that I learned my most important dirty business skill. You don't always have to clean up your own shit, you just need to make sure nobody saw you do it, and none of it's stuck to you.

Now back to the Cricket/Football/Grand Prix/raiding the cupboard.

After I've had another shit.


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