There was considerable alarm when we rolled into Strath Creek. The public toilet sign was at half-mast. What had happened?

Had the public toilet been privatised by a crooked councillor, seeking a quick buck at the expense of the National Character? Would we now find this dunny manned by a guard from Wilson Security, charging a dollar to get in (or two dollars if you looked desperate—a “surge” price if there ever was one)? Would a dodgy-looking fella be blocking the way out with a tray of shitty perfumes for sale?

Thank goodness, the private sector had not put the boot in—a slackarse had simply forgotten to tighten some bolts. The Strath Creek public toilet was going strong. How strong? Strong enough to warrant its own on-site wood-fired pizza oven (!) and dedicated sign for public toilet parking (!!).

Both the dunny, the adjoining Strath Creek Public Hall, and the on-site wood-fired pizza oven are painted in a fetching cream-and-green colour scheme. Squint when the local ranga walks past, ignore the fact that you are not in Canada, not on a farm, and are looking at a public toilet with a wistful bladder rather than a young girl’s coming of age tale, and you could swear that this is straight out of Anne of Green Gables.

Inside, however, is less Anne of Green Gables, and more Gattaca (albeit in need of a mop). There is something very futuristic, yet very unsettling about the lone urinal bolted to the wall. It is of a mildly alien shape. It has no visible controls or plumbing. One might question whether it is even bolted to the wall at all, or simply hangs there in space like an inverted, inside-out egg. If a good-not-great alien engineer was tasked with designing a trap and/or hiding a superintelligent machine life form amongst human society, this would be the result.

Further along is the sink. Unlike the “urinal”, it is definitely a human-made sink. Its dangers are far more real. There is a not-insignificant chance that the “urinal” might suck you into another dimension. There is at least a 75 per cent chance that this sink will squirt you in the face.

If you leave the toilet alive, be sure to visit the delightfully honest native garden on the way out.


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