Wednesday, 23 November 2011

The Matter Of The Night-Flush

I was going to use my blog to share my thoughts on a matter of distinct worldwide importance, but at 4am this morning I realised there was a more pressing issue at hand.


As you may recall, my bedroom in my shared house is adjacent to the bathroom. Although this stands me in excellent stead when it comes to the lesser known Hangover Vomit Sprint, it also means I have become familiar with the toilet habits of those I live with.

I should clarify - it's not that I'm sitting there listening cup-to-wall or anything, but when Niagara Falls thunders down into the pot at 4am, it's a little bit hard to ignore. Which brings me to my next point.


Now, I don't believe that I can be the only one who has had this debate. But in certain households, there seems to be an unspoken rule about flushing the toilet in the middle of the night. Or not, as the case seems to be.

The motivation behind not flushing is largely consideration for others: not wanting to wake sleeping people. But for me, this act of selflessness has bigger implications; simply put, when I stumble bleary eyed into the bathroom at 8am, I'd rather not come eye-to-urine with a bowl full of someone else's piss.

It's admirable that they don't wish to wake me from my slumber, but quite frankly, if my room is close enough to be woken by a flush, it's close enough for me to hear everything that comes before. This includes the light being tugged into life, toilet seat going up, the inevitable tinkle (or, tsunami, I'm looking at you, boys), and the "tip-toe" back down the stairs.

And this isn't a one-off encounter I've had with Morning Piss. When I lived at home, no one did night flushes either. It drove me round the bend, not least because my room was across the hall and not in audible loo distance. So after sleeping through the night undisturbed, I'd get rewarded with a yellowy toilet treat, right at that point in the morning where things - good day? bad day? - can go either way.

"Can we PLEASE flush the toilet" I'd plead, rubbing the wasteful vision out of my eyes, "I don't want to see your WEE"
"But we don't want to wake you!" would come the thoughtful reply from family members alike.

Then one day my sister moved out. And ha! Low and behold, a few months after her new house-share commenced, the complaints started. For her new house mate (male, platonic) did not partake in the Night Flush, and she soon tired of being faced with day-glo wee surprise at such a pivotal point of her waking day.

"But I used to complain about that all the time at home, and no one saw the problem!" came my response to her protests.
"Yeaah, but it's different when it's not your family's wee, isn't it?"

Well that's just the thing. I'm not sure it is.

So convinced am I that this is not just a matter surrounding my immediate family and my (admittedly easily irritated) brain, I'm opening it up to the wider blogging community.

Readers: To night-flush or not to night-flush? That is the question*.

*(Oh come on, Shakespeare went to the loo too)


Martin said...

I tend to night-flush, and my head used to be adjacent to a toilet-bearing wall, my beef was always with bathrooms fans, what with my parents' house having an odd arrangement whereby none of our bathrooms had windows and therefore all had fans.

*click* *brrrrrrrrrrrr* *tinkle* *flush* *click* *brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr*

It's always the "grace period", after the light's switched off, where the fan persists to evacuate the last whiffs of someone's visit that used to drive me round the bend.

In summary, I night-flush, and I use the shaving light instead of the big'un.

Smidge said...

No to night flushing but yes to closing the lid afterwards. I then just flush before i use it :)

Breeza said...

Exactly what Smidge said.

James _Ink said...

Defnitely a night flusher. But I'm never quite sure if I'm staying somewhere new. But I'd rather someone be annoyed at me flushing the loo than being annoyed at facing my wee in the morning.

The lid down option is a compromise though.

In my opinion you become habituated to toilet flushing in the night anyway. The only people it wakes is people who come from non - flushing households. So they lose lose.

Please Don't Eat With Your Mouth Open said...

Martin - OH THE FAN. How could I forget the FAN? Its such a persistent little fooker, I completely feel your pain. And bravo to your shaving light and night flushing. We win.

Smidge and Breeza - Controversial. Now, I think even if the lid was closed, I'd still open it up before I thought "Oh, now hang on...this might be down because it's hiding some - MHHAARRGHHHHHHHHHHH!"

James - I agree. If I'm woken up, I'm woken up. In my experience, the flush is usually the quietest bit. And you're right, morning wee Vs. waking up hosts - I'd deffo opt for the latter as well.

Amy said...

In my house, I'm not a night flusher. I apologise, but my mother is such a light sleeper that I can't have a clock in my bedroom because our rooms share a wall and the ticking wakes her up. I do what Smidge and Breeza do — lid down.

But when I stay over at Garry's house, or a friend's house? I flush that thing. There is NO WAY I am letting other people see my wee. And I don't let them hear it, either — if you put a big handful of loo paper down before you go, it absorbs the sound.

The amount of thought I put into this is worrying.

Josh said...

I'm not a night flusher as sleep is so precious in this noise filled city. Also i dont get the sight of wee being upsetting its water and its yellow, grow a pair.

If the odor is the problem then I understand. I think be thankful you share with nice thoughtful people.

Josh said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Please Don't Eat With Your Mouth Open said...

Amy - In these times, you have to think these things through. I commend your efforts on the night-flush situation.

Oh Josh, Josh, Josh, Josh. "Grow a pair" - now that's not very polite, is it? It's not just the colour of wee that irks me, Josh. It's the fact it's someone elses bodily waste. I don't have the same squeamishness when I come home and the toilet water is blue from bleach. It's wee, Josh. It's wee.

modelofamodernmajorgeneral said...

Good grief, it's only piss! Perhaps it's a boy thing? The sight of urinals from the age of 4/5 probably inures one from the sight of it; floaters, on the other hand, should be disposed of before leaving the lav. Even I have standards!

Blonde said...

Definitely to night-flush. When I lived with the girls, the matter of the 4am pee used to really irritate me - because it happened EVERY SINGLE NIGHT. It wasn't the flush so much as the elephantine footsteps and the slamming of the door.

On which note - loo paper. Anyone else familiar with the 3-sheet rule, or is that just me? I swear, other people seem to eat the bloody stuff.

Sheriji said...

Unless the power's out and the water supply at risk, I flush. I didn't once, when staying at a friend's, and the next morning she was all "so what's up with the peeing and not flushing?" so that was that.

I'm way more bothered by guys whizzing like racehorses when people are in the next room. Can't you sit down or something? Same thing when bathrooms are right off of kitchens. At least run the faucet or something. Ew.

My solution to the night-flush question: flush quietly?

modelofamodernmajorgeneral said...

Urinary decorum - who knew?!

London-Lass said...

Bollox to the if it's yellow let it mellow but if it's brown flush it down. I say flush. No matter the time of day. Nothing worse than opening up the toilet lid to find someone else's `mellowing' in the pan.

Rennbird said...

Discovered your blog a while ago now and I've been quietly perusing it like some kind of non-sinister stalker.

Anyway, I live next to the loo in my halls at university and I must say I have never been woken by the flush. I was yesterday, however, confronted by a very large brown turd (let's not beat around the bush). I let out a little yelp. Why would you not flush that?

Anyway on an unrelated note I have been reading all your posts on your break up, and having just broken up with someone myself they have helped me just a little. So thank you. God that sounds corny doesn't it...

Gorilla Bananas said...

Using a chamber pot at night is the obvious solution. No flushing noise and you keep your piss with you rather than inflicting it on anyone else.

Please Don't Eat With Your Mouth Open said...

model - It is most definitely a boy thing. As is the not washing hands after weeing thing, too. (present company excluded, I hope)

Blonde - YES. The loo paper thing. Almost every time I go to the loo, there's a pile of the stuff in there. What on earth do people do with it? (rhetorical question)

Sheriji - Concur with the whizzing like a racehorse thing. What's the deal with that? Or at least aim onto the porcelain and not the water...I've thought way too hard about this.

London Lass - That was my favourite comment. Spot on. Love the turns of phrase.

Rennbird - Welcome to my house of heartbreak...only joking, the posts are getting fewer and further between now, and the same will come for you. I'm glad they helped a little bit. Sometimes it's nice to know that someone else is going through the same thing, if only so that when they move on and feel better, you know you will too.

Gorilla - Those Victorians had the right idea. You may be onto something. Would an ice cream tub (empty, obv) suffice?

Ellie said...

In my house I only ever flush when there are guests or when the pee is concentrated. (I drink a lot of water) . I night flush only when I am a guest at someone else's house and I know I'm sharing a loo. For me it's more about the environment than the noise. Some flushes, in my opinion, are just needless and wasteful. Comes from living through periods of water rationing.

Robbie said...

I feel your pain. I also have the room next to the bathroom. It is not fun. And although I haven't been woken up by a 4am wee, I'd definitely want whoever to flush

Jenni said...

I too have been stalking your blog, as you may guess by the time elapse between this post and my comment. All I wanted to say was A) Flush. Always flush. B) A good friend of mine has a rather obnoxious brother who NEVER flushes if it's just a wee. It's bad enough he leaves the door open and doesn't wash his hands, but to leave it like he was proud of it makes me feel somewhat disgusted. IT'S NEVER OK!


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