Public school toilets are a sacred place. With news of the Education Ministry’s plans to refurbish and implement better toilet designs, some of us may be feeling a twinge envious of the students who’ll get to enjoy cleaner toilets- but let’s face it; dirty or not, some of our most profound pre-adolescent memories were birthed right there amidst the jammed door locks and questionable odour.
For this piece, 4 Malaysians share their hilarious, nostalgic, school toilet tales- so if you’re into funny lavatory-related stories, then urine for a treat.
“RM3 for a sip”
“Among other pubescent curiosities, lots of students, particularly male, were extremely interested in the ‘forbidden pleasures’ of alcohol,” said Siva, whose mother’s sweet gesture unknowingly brought him waves of fame and lots of spare change.
“My mum packs my breakfast and hers at the same time. She always includes a small bottle filled with apple cider vinegar in her tiffin as she claims it helps lower her blood sugar level, and one time, she mixed up the containers and I brought the ACV to school.
“I was in the habit of munching between classes, and on that day when I prised open the lid of my lunchbox, I found the putrid-smelling, gold liquid beaming back at me. My desk mate, taking a long peer, asked me, ‘Is that beer?!’ followed by a loud gasp that caught the attention of the other boys surrounding us,” he explains.
Siva, not willing to give up this once-in-a-lifetime chance at contraband popularity, said yes and proceeded to head to the toilet, telling the boys they could take turns entering the cubicle to take a sip of ‘beer’ for a measly RM3.
Siva says he made at least RM30 that day, and was never caught by the teachers, allowing his fabrication to go perfectly unnoticed all this time.
“Saved by the loo”
This is the story of a flu, a jammed door, unfinished homework, and how Kiran began believing in miracles.
“I had a slight flu and a runny nose that morning, enough for my friends to notice and suggest I head home. I decided to just stick it out because my parents were at work anyway so no one could pick me up.
“We all had that one nightmare teacher whose class we dreaded and wrath we feared. For me, that happened to be my Add Maths teacher, who would be coming in for the last two periods, right after Physics at the lab downstairs. That’s where I was when I decided to head to the toilet to blow and clean my nose.
“I grabbed some tissues and set my bag on the floor under my seat before I headed to the loo to have a quick pee. When I was done, I realised that the door was jammed and would not budge no matter what I tried. I was stuck there for about 30 minutes before another girl walked in and opened it from the outside. Then I rushed back to the lab to return the toilet pass but everyone had left. I hung the pass back up and found my bag untouched below the seat, so I picked it up and rushed up to class,” she said.
Kiran stopped in her tracks right before making her tardy entrance as she heard her Add Maths teacher collecting yesterday’s homework- the quadratic equations exercise that had completely slipped her mind. She didn’t even have the date written down.
So she did what any rational student would do; sashayed downstairs to hide out in the toilet until the school bell rang. Then she walked out, hidden amongst the crowd, buying herself an extra day to get her work done.
“My friends hadn’t noticed my bag was still in the lab, so they assumed that I had gone to the bilik kesihatan to rest or ask for medicine for my flu. I never got stuck in any of the toilets again, so I really do believe that I witnessed a miracle that saved me from the rotan!” says Kiran.
“Yours is longer but mine is thicker”
A boys’ toilet special, ‘penis inspections’ were, and probably still are, pretty common.
In my school, circumcision was the in thing, but having a foreskin meant that you were ‘thicker’ even if you weren’t packing too many inches. At least, that’s what my ex-classmate Eu Jin tells me.
“It’s not sexual in any way. We just learn that we all have penises but they’re shaped differently and at 10-14 years old, it’s interesting. It’s probably the concept of urinals that gave us leeway into having a peer at each other’s bits and there was no shame about it for most of us. It was just a part of growing up, and perhaps even a strange form of bonding for us boys… Like the male version of girls hugging or something?” he says.
Eu Jin went on to explain that the boys would tease each other over the appearance of their penises while in the vicinity of the toilets, but none of this information would leave the cubicles.
“Even the penis-shamers who would mock you knew this was a boy-to-boy thing. I like to think of it like Fight Club except that nobody got hurt and none of us looked like Brad Pitt,” he adds.
“My career began right there!”
To teachers who chided Amelia for styling her classmates’ hair in the middle of the lesson, you might wanna start typing out that Notes app apology right about now.
As the only girl on the school’s new block who had perfected the fishtail braid, Amelia became the designated hairstylist for students looking to add a rule-safe spin to their staple ponytails. Due to disapproval from her teachers, however, her craft was then limited to rushed sessions in the girls’ toilet between classes or during recess.
“In retrospect, the hurry to finish up on time actually helped sharpen my skills. I also made so many friends this way, and my best memory of it was when I was braiding my friend’s hair and a girl I didn’t know walked in crying.
“I didn’t ask her why and she didn’t seem to want to talk about it, but by the end of her dutch braid, she was smiling, and we’re friends to this day. That’s nine years later!” says Amelia, who has since made a career for herself in the bridal makeup and hair industry.
So there you have it! The public school toilet might just be what your dreams are made of….
Do you have comical toilet tales to share with us too? Let us know in the comments!