I can exclusively reveal to I’m Not Doctor Who a revelation: the real reasons why gentlemen (and some ladies) spend a long time in the toilet when doing a poo. This is a phenomenon that has long mystified the ladies (and some gentlemen) of the world, most of whom can be in, evacuated and back out again in the space of a couple of minutes. Your average gentleman (or some ladies), however, will regularly be in there for upwards of half an hour or so.
One question is on the lips of these gentlemen’s (or some ladies’) various significant others: what on Earth are they doing in there?
It is, of course, true that evacuating one’s bowels continuously for 30 minutes would probably end with all of your internal organs falling out (yes, even the ones that aren’t connected to the digestive system) so it’s clear that not all of the time is spent doing, well, that. Likewise, the subsequent cleanup operation takes a matter of minutes at most. That leaves probably at least 25 minutes unaccounted for — so what is going on in that time period?
The answer is quite simple: anything which could quite easily be done in a more comfortable chair or in bed. Reading, checking emails, writing emails, checking Twitter, composing blog posts (yes, I have done in the past and no, this isn’t one of them), playing video games, punching out board game components, small arts and crafts projects, installing software updates on various devices, learning a foreign language, listening to music — all of these are valid toilet activities for the dedicated “long stay” toiletgoer.
One may ask at this point why anyone would want to do any of those things on the toilet when there are many more comfortable seats in the rest of the house, many of which have an Internet connection nearby. The rather straightforward answer is “privacy, peace and quiet”. For those who have trouble saying “I want to be alone,” what better solution than shutting oneself behind a door which common decency prevents others from opening, even if the actual locking mechanism is broken?
You see, the bathroom is a haven of calm. Within that cramped little room lies a place for philosophers to determine their theories on life, the universe and everything; for authors to find their muse; and for committed Temple Run players to beat their previous high score while feeling one or both of their legs getting steadily more numb. It is a bastion of peace, free from the distractions of everyday life (unless the postman knocks on the door to deliver a package you’ve been really looking forward to) where one can go to be free, to partake in any activities they please — naked, if they so desire. There are few people on this planet who will shatter the sanctity of the the closed toilet door, and in most cases it’s because they really need to go and will usually knock first.
So there you have it. A secret revealed. Should you have a partner who spends a long time in the toilet, judge them not too harshly, for they are simply setting their mental affairs in order, putting the day on “pause” for a moment before returning to tackle life’s challenges once more. Allow them their moment of calm (unless you really need to go to the toilet) and marvel at their rejuvenated self once they emerge, ready to face the day.