The morning constitutional, is always a ritual taken with some trepidation when camping. The facilities can vary from nothing at all, that’s the dig your hole and bury your own business, to full clean flush toilets with hot and cold water. Most commercial camp grounds have the later, but at National Parks they often have pit toilets (aka long drops), these are deep holes with often no bottom to them, clad with a tin shed and occupied by blow flys, spiders and other unmentionable creatures. At Innes National Park there is such pit toilets at some of the camp grounds and especially at Cable Bay.
Today I opened the tent flap, viewing blearily the clear morning in the normal way, I put the water on for a cuppa tea first, then trundled off to take my morning comfort break. I picked my way across the scrub with the toilet roll in hand. The toilet roll was specially wrapped in a plastic bag in case anyone should notice I was carrying toilet paper to the toilet.
After finishing the business that you go to toilet for, it is custom to wipe, clean as it were. In my usual frugal way I tore off three sheets and proceed with the cleaning operation. I let the paper go and expected that the normal forces of gravity would play it’s usual part in these matters and natural processes would make sure said paper would float to the depth of the ablution pit and that would be that.
Satisfied I’d finished with the morning operation I began standing. Then! mysteriously from underneath me, three pieces of pink floral paper similar to that which I had just released floated up from between my legs and danced cross the concrete floor only to scuttle out under the toilet door.
Stunned; I sat back down to ponder a second. What will I do now? I thought to myself, if I sit here a few minutes it will blow off across into the scrub and nobody will realise it was me. I gave it a couple of minutes, waiting for the paper to get as far away as possible, after a suitable interval I quickly pulled up my pants and beat a hasty retreat.
Opening the door revealed a scene of horror, there is my paper facing used side up, lying on the ground smiling at me. In panic I reached to pick it up. It moved a few inches further away from me, damn I missed it. I tried again, and again it moved. I glanced around to see if anyone is watching, good, nobody. That last action of looking away must have fooled the paper, when I turned back it was still in the same place and I easily trapped it. I proudly escorted it back to the hole for disposal.
I dropped the used sheets into the bowl for the second and hopefully last time. The sheets almost disappeared, but then they had second thoughts, and shot back up. By now I was not thinking straight, I put my hands over the top of the gaping mouth of the pit toilet, defying the buzzing wildlife and the ignoring the vomit inducing pong in a frantic effort to stop my foe escaping a second time.
It swirled around and around the top of the hole, floating in a clockwise direction as I chased it in a desperate effort to dispose of it. Finally as its strength depleted a little, it drifted back down the shaft. I took my chances and slammed the lid and trapped it inside.
I was not game to see if that action made it disappear, I quickly left the tin shed and hurried back to camp leaving the paper for someone else to worry about it. I envisaged it, rushing to escape when the next innocent came for a quite morning squat.
I tried to forget my ordeal by heading to one of the other beaches; for a snorkel. The day was reasonably warm and sunny a perfect day to use our new wet suits, they work out great in this freezing water and the snorkelling took my mind of that horrible morning incident.