There are life lessons you can learn from the toilet and nowhere else. Not necessarily your home toilet, but public toilets- the free ones divided into the Ladies for women, and Gents for guys.

I stumbled into the ladies- it was a sheer oversight, nothing intentional. The absence of urinals in that compartment should have given me the impression that I was in the wrong joint, but I was too full of shit for the realization to sink in. I was far too pressed to care for urinals or to be concerned about the absence of them.

I could remember what shitty stuff i ate the previous night: it had left me with such bad stomach that at 8:30 am, when most offices were yet to open their doors for the day’s business, I was looking for a toilet. I had to go, and it was not one of those insane days i take my payload to the gutters or street corners of Lagos.

I found myself in a eatery’s convenience. I usually look out for the sign, to inform me and give me a bearing, but there were no signs on the doors. So I barged into the nearest compartment, and dove into the nearest vacant cubicle.

No sooner had I unzipped my jean, and pulled down the waistline, and  boxer short to my knees, that I sat on the commode and gave gravity some helping hand with my shit.

And a great helping of excreta was what resulted.

But this is not the life’s lesson I learnt in that toilet. I learnt that life will be less nasty, less brutish and less short if everyone in the world was a male.

While still on my business on the commode- which I found out later was the Ladies, there was this insistent series of loud knocks on the door of my cubicle. When I would not heed to the knock and kept on doing my shit in there, the querulous voice of a full grown woman came tearing trough the thick door and shattering my peace, saying:

“haba, madam, do quick na, abi you dey born pikin for there?

Funny how it didn’t even register on my mind that a restless lady was impatiently waiting for me to finish so that she might in turn occupy the toilet.

My reply to the banshee’s vituperation at the unknown occupant of the toilet was a muted silence.

The silence seemed to enrage the lady the other side of my toilet’s door as her ill-will imprecation increased in both momentum and heat. She was invoking the fire of the God of Pastor Odukoya to burn me- the “dumb” occupant- in hell “for inside there” for holding her up

another voice that came from my right was admonishing her to lessen the noise “abi you dey mad?” the voice was greeted with a “thunder fire ya mouth for there”. The voice to my right fired back, and the world of human evolution, as I have always known it, nose-dived in a descent into chaos as the women began to hurled insults at one another, and rain curses down on me- the mute – for being the cause of the whole shit.

I realized that I was in the wrong place- a world of women, in which women and their characters hold sway- a sort of unimaginable opposite of utopia. A place not good at all for a man’s peace of mind.

If I had not learnt that before hand, I learnt it hat day in the women’s toilet.

When I finally vacated the cubicle, the women seemed embarrasses that I, the occupant of the women’s toilet was male- a man-male. They remained quiet- if out of shock, I don’t know- because I walked away without a word.


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