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Opinions of Thursday, 30 December 2010

Columnist: Yankey, Stephen Duasua

A Day @ The Public Place Of Convenience

Attending to nature’s call is one of the musts in life, just like eating and sleeping. When nature calls, one cannot do anything but answer. The best one can do would be to put the call on hold, although that cannot be for long. Even a beep from nature can spell doom. Dukes, monarchs, presidents and in fact, everybody in the second world, Facebook, answer the calls of nature.

It was in my quest to answer one of nature’s calls and also satisfy my curiosity that led me to a public place of convenience in one of the suburbs of Accra. It took me quite a while to make a choice as to where to answer that disturbing call. I had a number of choices though but I settled for one that outwardly looked attractive. There were some PVC pipes pointed heavenwards though, probably to allow some not fresh air to get into the atmosphere. And to think that I breathe in that same air gives me chills. Thank God we don’t see the air we take in.
Well, I paid a meagre sum of Ten Pesewas and while expecting to be given a toilet roll, I was rather given a page from an old newspaper. I figured it was the Kotoko Express, the official Newspaper of Kumasi Asante Kotoko FC. With that in hand, I was directed to the male cubicles, although I had to fight the temptation to use the female cubicles which appeared much cleaner. Well, I didn’t need anyone to tell me where I was because the stench did it all and carried the message across to me. There was a queue of about three other men waiting for their own special sessions with nature. After having their turns, it was mine to do same.

Being my turn, I had three cubicles to choose from, and I carefully examined all three. My verdict was that I choose one that hadn’t undergone much staining. Well, the cubicle I chose didn’t even give me enough room to remove my garments. Somehow, I managed to do so and managed to hang them on the narrow door. Jesus Christ probably had this door in mind when he mentioned about a large and narrow door in the bible. Back to the cubicle, it was littered newspapers of various sorts; The Daily Graphic, The Mirror, The Ghanaian Times, Lottery papers, Exercise book pages, among others.

It was then time for the real deal, you know. You can’t imagine how long it took me to find a posture. I considered sitting, squatting, bending and what have you. However, I finally settled for sitting although I wasn’t so insane as to barely sit on the WC. At this point, I was as well prepared as a Ghanaian soldier on a peace-keeping duty in Lebanon. Quickly, I brought out my own newspaper from the pocket of my pantaloon and having covered the toilet bowl with it, I read my Kotoko Express and savoured the aroma underneath, or should I rather say stench underneath. Interestingly, the newspaper made me forget about where I was and even wanted to finish reading both sides of it before leaving the cubicle. No doubt there was a winding queue awaiting me when I came out of nature’s consulting room, and trust me, I have never donned the apparel I used on my trip ever again.

I don’t need to tell you why- well, it’s just that the natural perfume from my day at the public place of convenience still lingers in my dress and mind.