The Pros And Cons Of The Toilet Freshen Up Man

Twat or hero? Owen Blackhurst and Harry Harris had a row, so we asked them to write about it...
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Twat or hero? Owen Blackhurst and Harry Harris had a row, so we asked them to write about it...


The case for the defence By Harry Harris

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One of the most important things when going to a club is toilet etiquette, and this boils down to two things: urinal or cubicle, and whether or not to acknowledge the freshen up man. For me, the former is always a nervy, rushed decision, based on a number of factors such as the quality of lock on the door, the distance between one urinal and the next and, chiefly, whether I’m game enough to have a shit. The latter, well, it’s a no brainer. Always, always acknowledge the freshen up man.

The freshen up man is more often than not the highlight of my night, whether he be coming up with playful rhymes on how best for me to pull – “No Sanitation, No Penetration”, thanks for that pal – or playing music to me while I piss – got “No Woman, No Cry” once, apropos of nothing, but it seemed appropriate at the time.

It’s a no brainer. Always, always acknowledge the freshen up man.

Ok, so I get that some people are a tad uncomfortable at the thought of someone watching them piss, but those people are the same ones who’ll happily go up against a wall at 2 in the morning, or on a bus, or generally wherever they happen to be when nature calls. And if you’re really that put out by a random man, just trying to make a go of it, offering you some Old Spice, then just say what the bloke who staggered out of the toilets at Roadhouse in Covent Garden said to me last week:

“No thanks mate, I didn’t piss on my hands”

Over to you, Blackhurst...

The case for the prosecution by Owen Blackhurst

So you stagger into the pisser, bladder bursting under the weight of flat lager and cheap shots. You look like shit.  Sweat drips down your face following the ill-advised Saturday Night Fever routine and all you really want to do is piss for England, wash your hands, smooth down your barnet and get the fuck out. But can you? course you fucking can't, because that bloke who looks like Luther Vandross' goat herding second-cousin is staring at you with lamp-like begging eyes while proffering a bottle of Farenheit, a wet wipe and a Juicy Fruit. It's a fucking travesty.

The last thing I need when I'm trying to both piss and regain some composure is someone trying to get money out of me for things I don't need. Secondly, I also don't need the guilt. I feel bad for not giving them money but have to draw the line. Charity in the street is one thing, but in the bog? No chance.

The first time I encountered one of these piss hounds was in Arizona. I was in Jenna Jameson's strip club with half of the European Tour and had just been set-up for a particularly violent lapdance that included nipple doobies (on me) a slap round the face (mine) and being told that "I knew you were a freak when you walked in..."

Staggering to the 'cock club', I bungled through the door to be met by the single most depressed person I have ever met. He claimed to be an Vietnam Vet and, who knows, he might have been. But as he told me his hideous life story my initial sympathy turned to drunken exasperation. All I'd done is gone for a piss, one of the most basic human rights, a process that should pass without interruption.

That bloke who looks like Luther Vandross after a chemical accident is staring at you with lamp-like begging eyes while proffering a bottle of Farenheit, a wet wipe and a Juicy Fruit

By the time skin cleared zip I'd been in there 15 minutes. For all I know this could've been longer than he spent in 'Nam. I was so flummoxed by the time I shook it off that I hastily handed him five dollars and repelled all attempts to spray me with seven different aftershaves. 'No splash, no gash' doesn't work in a strip club, pal.

For the record, I've got nothing against people earning a living or war veterans. But why not just stick people on the outside of the door like in Europe? I'd happily pay a quid to a moustachioed granny  / wart covered humpback to have a piss, but if they're in the lav then I'm gonna do my damndest to slash on their feet.

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