I went to a gig at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival the other night. The first thing I didn’t find amusing was the layout of the Trades Hall building in Carlton. The welcoming eight-foot by eight-foot picture of Gough Whitlam’s face was inspiring, but not even the magic of Gough’s visage could direct me around the fucking shitfight of a venue. I swear the architects and builders were imbibing in some top-notch opium when they kitted out the interior — go left here, upstairs here across a landing there, turn right and down some other stairs to find the toilet on the same level you started from because someone put walls in really inconvenient places, such as in the middle of hallways.
After directional assistance every five seconds or so, I found the women’s toilets. Two cubicles, one hand basin (this is important). I went about my business and stood to assemble my clothing and press the button, when suddenly the main door to the toilet banged against the wall and a blk blk blek BLERRRRRKKKKKKKKKKK noise echoed throughout the space. Oh, that would be someone vomiting in the only hand basin because she didn’t make it to the other toilet. As much as I felt sorry for the woman, I was in a quandary about how to get out of the toilet with clean hands for me and dignity for both of us.
I’m quite the rational and logical thinker and my thoughts went along the lines of:
Selfishness: Bloody hell, how am I going to wash my hands?
Ethics: What’s worse: not washing my hands or swishing them about in a potentially vomit-contaminated basin?
Reasoning: Rubbing my hands on clean toilet paper is allllmost the same as washing, surely?
Fear: The second wave of BRRRK BRRK BLERRRRRRRRRRRK splashed around the basin and I thought I’d be long jumping out of there if her vomit spilled onto the floor
I eventually had to leave the cubicle and she looked at me, I looked at her, we exchanged brief apologies and she chose to hide behind the door of the second cubicle while I washed my hands and rubbed them on my clothes. She left the tap running so I didn’t have to touch any surfaces. I hope she’s okay now and I coudn’t have asked for a more considerate vomiter.
The show I saw was passable but the most entertaining time for me was checking out the old honour rolls of union leaders from the early 1900s (don’t be messing with the tailoresses, I tell you) and the old directional assistance boards (see, people have been getting lost here for a goddamn century!). I’m glad the cemetary [sic] unionists didn’t have to face the death penalty for poor spelling.
Crank-o-meter: 8 hours of labour, 8 hours of rest, 8 hours of relaxation, people