Thursday, 16 July 2009


I get back to my hotel room shortly after two. They call it a hotel but it’s more a large B&B. I’ve had five or six pints of Stella and two JD and cokes. I’m pissed but not shit faced.

I kick off my shoes, drop my shirt on the floor, put my trousers over the chair as neatly as I can manage, take off my socks then pause. Normally I wouldn’t sleep in my pants but something about the grubbiness of the sheets makes me think twice and keep them on. Within seconds I’m asleep.

As is the way these days, I wake in the middle of the night needing a tinkle. Go to the bathroom and shut the door behind me. Hang on. I’m not in the bathroom. I’m in the corridor. Bollocks. Push the door. Locked. Push harder. Still locked. You’re having a laugh. Shit. What am I going to do? Before I can think about that, the issue of needing a leak becomes urgent. Run down three flights of stairs to the ground floor. No toilets. Run back up to my floor. No toilets there either. Oh yeah, all the rooms are en-suite. I’m getting desperate. Go back down the stairs. There’s a small potted plant on the landing. Hmmm. Consider it but judge it wouldn’t take it all and carpet is a pale blue colour that’ll show the spillage too clearly. And seeing how at some point I’ll have to get help I’ll be too obviously the culprit.

Back on the ground floor and I’m hopping about wildly and panicking. Shall I go outside? You madman. Bad enough being locked out my room in my skimpy pants let alone out in the street. The lounge. Come on, come on, there’s got to be something there. Would a cushion soak it all up? Ridiculous idea. The breakfast room. I expect the door to be locked but it’s not and I go in. Hallelujah! Those little silver tea pots all lined up glistening, beckoning. Ahhhhh. And relax. Except the pot’s rapidly filling so I pinch hard and grab a larger pot. And finish. Phew. Relief.

But now I realise I’m stood in the darken breakfast room of a shabby hotel in a miserable seaside town at quarter to five in morning holding two pots of piss dressed only in my Calvin Klein’s. In a fleeting glass-half-full moment I thank the Lord for the grubbiness of those sheets.

I wander around before finding a small sink under a counter and rinse the pots before putting back on tables. It’s too early to wake the hotelier – not that I know how to anyway – so go back to my room and curl up on the floor outside. It’s draughty but I fall asleep before waking up again and, yep, need another piss. Repeat.

It’s now half seven and I reckon it’s a reasonable time to take a deep breath and summon help. In the reception I spot a “please call for assistance” buzzer. It’s deafening. Immediately from a hatch under the stairs right next to the breakfast room pops the head of an angry troll. In a Mr. Reasonable voice I go, “Excuse me, do you have a spare key for room 4?” He doesn’t strike me as the type of chap that would normally object to half naked men standing in front of him but even he apparently draws the line at puffy eyed old mods stinking of beer and piss covered in red blotchy imprints from his scratchy synthetic carpet. Silently he gives me the key and I hot foot it trying to look as casual as the circumstances allow.

At this stage I should just pack my bag and leg it in shame but I go to bed meaning I see him again when I check out. “Sorry about that earlier, I must’ve been sleepwalking and found myself locked out”. He doesn’t say much and I’m out of there.

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