A Scottish Storyteller

The Tale of the Missing Turd

Of course, dad chose just after Christmas Dinner (2000) to tell this story. Just the time of year when you’re eager to hear stories of “Poo.”

Dad used to work down at the ship yards, and he tells stories very similar to those of Billy Connelly’s about the toilets there. These were basically cubicles with a trough that run down the line of cubicles. (see B. Connelly for details of lighting little paper boats. Now I come to think of it, dad mentioned this too. Many heads would rise, praire dog style, as the flame warmed their nether reigions”)

Anyways, there would come a time in the day in the cold weather when the toilets would be full of unscrupulous gentlemen who would skive the hours away on the lavvies highlighting the horses that would be likely to win any races that day. As a result of this, those who “genuinely needed to use the humble conveniences” would have to nip round the back of the building into the discreet yard behind. Equipped, of course, with some quality bog roll.

Now, before I go on…, During the 2nd world war (here we go! A sentence that brings many a story afterwards!) there were these things called incendiary bombs. Now, for those of us born after the 1970’s, the intention of these was to set fire to houses where the bomb struck, thus indicating a settlement. If the bombers identified a city, the incendiary bombs were bound to be followed with bombs of a more sinister nature, so a contraption was developed which would, from a distance, scoop up the bomb, removing it and extinguishing the flame all at once. Dad has hinted that this came in useful in many a prank. But he went no further than telling me this one. Still, we still have New Year to go…

So, there was this gentleman with some quality bog roll, retreating behind the lavvie shack, full of blokes planning that days betting. Dad, seeing this equipped himself with one of these “contraptions” and sat at the ready with it. As the worker duly evacuated his bowles on what he supposed was the ground, my father (with the help of an impressionable apprentice) collected it with the “contraption,” and duly disposed of it elsewhere.

Imagine the look on the face of the innocent ship worker, as he turned round to see his “work” and found, in it’s place, SPACE. NOTHING. Well.. I’d panic… Wouldn’t you???


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