I have a compulsion. I can’t properly explain why I have it but I wonder if I don’t overcome it can really I really be free? It’s something that developed in my childhood so probably my parents are to blame.
You see, the thing is, when I go for a, eh, well, number two, if you know what I mean, I just have to lock the toilet door behind me.
God, that’s a weight off my shoulders. I mean, just being able to talk about it…
The thing is, I feel like I’m not alone. There are people out there who share this compulsion. Like every single person I’ve ever met.
At this point, you’re probably saying to yourself: “Here we go again. Gormley’s going to say that the lads in the ‘Joy are right to sue the State, just because they’ve had to take a crap in public”.
Sigmund Freud pointed out the significance of our phychosexual development, particularly the role it plays in shaping our personalities when we grow up.
Freud said that from the age of one and a half right up to three we enter the ‘anal stage’ of our development. This occurs around the time of toilet training. It’s all about the bowel movement, you see.
Although the epithet ‘anal’ has entered the popular lexicon, there are actually two possible outcomes to the anal stage: anal-expulsive and anal-retentive.
The theory is that if parents are too strict and uptight during toilet training, you’ll end up anal-retentive, that is you’ll get pleasure from withholding. If your parents are too easy-going, you’ll end up anal-expulsive, that is you’ll get pleasure from just letting go.
It’s thought that anal-expulsive people are sloppy, disorganised, reckless, careless and defiant while anal-retentive types are obsessively clean and orderly, careful, stingy, withholding, obstinate, meticulous, conforming and passive-aggressive.
So the people of the world fall into two groups, neither of which, you will agree, are without their flaws.
But hang on. Maybe Freud was missing the bigger picture. Was he not the one that pointed out the damage that keeping our traumas secret did to our conscious and subconscious wellbeing?
Now what’s the one thing we have in common when we go for a number two. That’s right – we lock the door. We do it in secret. We’re afraid having a crap in public.
Maybe this is why we have wars, hatred, sectarianism, repression, divorce, estrangement, alienation and violence.
We need to take the locks off our bathroom doors. Hell, take the doors off. Everyone should have their own pot to carry round and when you want to do it – do it.
And since the state has now decided, via the smoking ban and like laws, that they are in charge of our wellbeing, I suggest that toilet locks, (hell, toilet doors) be banned.
And since they didn’t ban them before now, I’m holding them responsible for all the anger that I feel.
In fact, I think I’ll sue.