How to poo in the library

Honest it was just a long wee

It’s the age old dilemma of getting caught short while you’re cramming for a deadline. Panic sets in as you realise everyone around you will know exactly what you’re doing.

Hold that poo in and take note before you go. Unfortunately I can only provide tips from a female perspective – my investigative journalism is yet to extend to eavesdropping in the male toilets – but this guidance can be of use to just about anyone. No one wants to be heard excreting.

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You’ve learnt how to poo in a club and at a house party but the university library is a whole new story. The deathly silence and inability to escape the judging glares of everyone on the same floor make the situation far more delicate to deal with.

From vast experience, one formulates three tactics that can be employed to make the experience less stressful to deal with.

Option one: Wait it out

Take your chances and wait for the coast to become clear. It is quite likely however that you might be waiting an uncomfortably long time, in which case things could get awkward.

A queue could begin to form, making it even more embarrassing when you do eventually leave the cubicle. Or even worse (and quite likely), is that someone else is also in there waiting to take a shit and are just waiting for everyone else to leave too.

In that case prepare yourself for a wait war; either hold your ground or sneak out before the tension becomes unbearable.

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Alternaitvely, employ stealth and wait for somebody to use the hand dryer. If possible, find a very trusted friend to become your new toilet companion. Entrust them to use the hand dryer until you flush and give them the heads up.

Option two: Illegal disability

Experience in this area has led to plenty of tricks up my sleeve. If there is the opportunity, take up a squat in a disabled cubicle. Try to get over your feelings of guilt and just stop thinking about the fact there could be someone with a genuine disability waiting outside the cubicle once you’re finished.

This may be disguise enough, but if you’re incredibly lucky, as I was during my investigative endeavours, there will be a hand dryer within arm’s reach – use it while you go and avoid the embarrassment of someone hearing you poo altogether.

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This method proves more difficult when it is an automatic hand dryer. The only ones I’ve found are a little tricky to reach, so prepare for a long old stretch unless it’s a little nugget you can squeeze out quick.

Option three: Stride of pride

Sometimes, if all else fails, you just have to go out all guns blazing. My advice, just do it and be proud.

Instead of creeping out of the cubicle embarrassed, running past everyone washing their hands who definitely just heard you go, it helps to act with confidence and instead strut out of the cubicle as if you own the place. That, or just pretend it was someone else.

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Another well-established tactics, stuffing the toilet with toilet paper to quieten the sound – do not attempt this if the pipes look old and liable to easy blockage.

You can always fall back on the fail safe of making a racket in any way possible – cough loudly, jangle keys, pull the roll of toilet paper, pretend to talk on the phone – be creative.