Just as you sit down in a cafe to eat, the four-year-old wants to pay a visit. ‘You’ve just been,’ I said. ‘Okay, come on.’ So off we went to the toilets. ‘I’ll go in on my own,’ he said. Again, no problem. He’s old enough. ‘That’s alright. I’ll wait outside. Just don’t lock the door.’ I waited. And waited. ‘What are you doing in there? Are you okay?’ No response. I opened the door.
I’m sure you know how it is. If you tug on a toilet roll, it unwinds. A point is reached where the weight of the paper hanging down is sufficient to cause the roll to keep rolling, a kind of lavatorial perpetual motion machine. The FYO was making bold but futile attempts to roll the paper back onto a roller tucked up inside a plastic security cover. He was looking at me hopefully because papas, as everyone knows, can put such things right. I looked at the pile on the floor. There must have been several metres of paper. ‘Come on,’ I said. ‘Better leave it…’