The right cubicle

Have you ever entered a public bathroom and wondered how your life turned into such a dismal failure? Well, too bad, I don’t care – I’m just here to give you advice on which cubicle to choose. It’ll literally give you direction, so you know, it might help.

1: Assess the numbers
In the bathroom I use most frequently to ponder my mistakes in life, there are four cubicles. Of course, it  follows that, should all four cubicles be occupied, you’re not going to be able to sit down and reflect on what might have been if you’d better written that selection criteria any time soon. Now, the big question in the case that all cubicles are occupied is: should you wait in the toilet or leave and try your luck again in an hour or so? This depends on how long other regretful individuals are likely to take in their respective cubicles, which is, as far as I can tell, a constant across the public service, and the number of cubicles in the toilet itself, which is the key variable. If I were the only person waiting, and there are seven or more cubicles, I would sit it out. As for my frequented toilet, I tend to leave – four cubicles is far too few and if you start thinking about your losses in life with a glazed expression whilst standing you might seem a little creepy to the next person that leaves. However, if there are any spare cubicles, you can advance to the next step.

2: Survey the layout
There are three major cubicle attributes which I consider whilst simultaneously wondering why I didn’t put as much effort as this into that thesis which could have guaranteed me a place in postgrad research:
-Distance to the exit;
-Number of shared walls with other cubicles;
-Proximity to an exhaust.
The first point is fairly straightforward – walking time within a public toilet is time not spent thinking about your friends’ superior achievements – the less time spent on it the better. The second point is similarly simple; shit literally happens here, and you don’t want the fact that your two cubicle neighbours each had a particularly good kebab to distract you from your parents’ constant reminders that your achievements are quite underwhelming given you used to be amazing in school – halving your cubicle neighbour count halves the chances of that happening. The last point, however, is rather interesting and related to the second point. See, intuitively, you might want to be near the exhaust, as the fumes from your literal and metaphorical excrements of failure would be removed here, right? Well, yes, but, so is everyone else’s. What’s actually going to happen is that the fumes of everyone in the toilet will be funnelled towards your cubicle. Therefore, stay away from exhaust areas, like windows.

3: Safety checks
Once you have selected your optimal cubicle, safety considerations are mandatory:
-Cleanliness of the cistern;
-Contents of the cistern;
-Remaining amount of toilet paper;
-Abundance of reading material.
The first two points are, again, fairly straightforward. Your life is already shit, you don’t need other people to add their own to it. However, if your selected cubicle fails these two points, check if they can be remedied using toilet paper and a simple flush; unlike your life, a cistern can still have a fresh new start. This underlines the third point, though – you really do need toilet paper, unfortunately. As farcical as toilet visits may be, chances are, you still probably do need to actually use its intended function. The last point, though, is a double-edged sword. See, some of the most entertaining reading I’ve had (well, at least prior to my introduction to internet forums) were on public toilet walls. It could be a hugely uplifting experience. On the other hand, though, is that what you really came for? Don’t risk breaking your wallowing despair about that assignment result which started you on your descent by laughing at a racist message about petrol sniffing. Plus, if you end up laughing out loud, your cubicle neighbours might think you’re a freak.

Anyway, I just look at memes and play games on my phone when I’m in a public toilet.

-Z

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Laserwash automatic car wash review.

As we live in the future it is important to try as many automated things as possible. to misquote Ken Brockman; “I for one welcome our new robot overlords.” one of these is the automatic car wash. Today’s article is purely an attempt for me to justify having paid to go through a car wash.

It is common knowledge that the model tee mini morris car came in any colour so long as it’s black. But why this was so is less well known. It is because the advent of the tire was replacing the shoe as the main mode of human transport. This got shoe shine unions in a right fit and the little orphans demanded something to shine. Hence cars early colour scheme.

“shine your car black guvna!”

Anyway, skip to the future and we have robots to do that for us. I tried one the other week. it was a laserwash 3000 or something, built by skynet purely for my convenience. I don’t know why I like automatic car washes. There is something about those silly big machines that I find appealing. Probably because they’re somewhat futuristic.

That’s probably why I was dissapointed a little with the laserwash. It gave a pretty good flashing lights robo-wash, however there weren’t actual lasers. Pity.

_W

A Bug’s Death

“Psst! Come here!”
“I keep telling you, I need to go forage! The dry season is coming soon-”
“Yes and why do you do that?”
“What?”
“Come here!”

She relented. Whatever, might as well get it over with, she thought.

“Do you ever wonder why you work for the queen?”
“I just do, I was born and made to do so.”
“What if you weren’t? What if you’re meant to be one with nature?”
“I’m not though.”
“Here, have some of this, it’ll change your life!”

The crazed worker handed some dust to her with their mandibles.

“Eat it!”
“What? I don’t want to.”
“Just try it and I’ll leave you alone! Trust me, it’ll blow your mind!”

She consumed some of the dust. It was completely tasteless. She looked back, but the crazed worker had run off towards the outer branches. She shook her head and went back to the trail to join the other workers.

The day was good – the trail managed to find a moulting cricket which they quickly dismembered, and she set about taking a leg back to base. However, the encounter stayed with her. Why was she so devoted to the queen? This question became deeply entrenched in her mind by the time she got back to the nest.

“You’re alright, you’re alright, you- oh hey there, why the long face? You wish you were born a guard ant? I mean, I guess it would suck being significantly smaller, weaker and generally less important than me.”

She hated the guards. They were invariably power-tripping whenever a large number of workers were entering the nest.

“Hey, have you ever wondered why we work for the queen?”

The guard turned her head sharply. Other guards were also taking notice.

“What did you say?”
“Well it’s just th-”
“Listen here you insignificant little nothing, we work for the queen. We live for the queen, we die for the queen. She’s the one that gave us life, she’s the one that will continue giving life. Don’t ever let me catch you spouting this independent reproductionist garbage ever again.”
“I didn’t want to reproduce, I just meant-”
“Shut up! You take that back or I’ll cut your head off.”

She’d seen one of the guards completely dismember another worker the other day because it’d been crawling through a trail of another ant colony, so she decided not to take her chances.

“Sorry, I was getting ahead of myself. I won’t question the queen again.”
“That’s better. You can go in now.”

She quickly ferried the leg to the nursery and started chewing it up to feed to the larvae. However, she couldn’t stop thinking about her loyalty. Why was she doing this? And why are the guards, usually so self-absorbed, so sensitive about the queen being disrespected? What if it wasn’t for the best that they were serving the queen? But what else could they be doing it for?

She pondered the possibilities, before it hit her. They were building an army.

But what for? No, that didn’t matter, the important thing was that she needed to get out of there. She didn’t want to be a soldier, and soon it would be too late! All of a sudden, the workers looked alien to her, as she finally saw the truth. She dropped the leg she was chewing and ran out of the nest, and immediately headed for the branches. When she was close enough to the outer branches, she left the trail kicking up bark behind her. Another worker looked on in bewilderment. She turned around. She had to at least try to save one of them!

“Do you ever wonder why you work for the queen?”

But this worker was not as receptive as her. As soon as she asked the question, they ran off. She looked around in panic. The world looked bleak, and a burning pain began in her head. She scratched it, and was shocked to find dust, the very same dust which she had eaten earlier. She was fast losing control. All she knew was that she needed to get to the leaves. She kept following the branch, further out than she had ever been, until she reached a leaf. The leaf looked so clean, so pure, unlike the chaos within the nest. She embraced the middle of the leaf tightly with her mandibles, and looked around. The sun was bright, the world was clear. She closed her eyes, and smiled. She was safe.

Epilogue

Alright, it’s your first day of being a worker, so I’ll show you the ropes. The first thing you need to learn is that the outside world is far more dangerous than the nest. Buddies will die. Eventually you will die too. But, with luck, you’ll make a lasting difference to our community.”

She listened with trepidation, but also excitement. She wanted to be a worker, like the others.

“Hey, what’s that up there, hugging that leaf? Is that one of us?”

Her guide’s voice turned dark.

“That’s what happens when you take shrooms.”

-Z