Instead of a rambling post about the layout of the University Arts faculty I thought you might appreciate my musings presented in a more creative manner, today. There follows my March offering to the Strasbourg English Writers Group – a true story – enjoy!
With his belly still luxuriating in its recently added contents Barney sauntered back across the campus to the arts faculty where he had an increasingly urgent appointment on the second floor. Why it was on the second floor, and not the third or the first, was a mystery. It probably had something to do with its location relative to other equally well furnished facilities in the faculty, of which there weren’t many of course. Barney was worried however that his little, secret, corner of the University could soon be destroyed in the same way so many others had been before. Indeed, evidence suggested that it had recently been discovered by those less stable members of society who revelled in the destruction and defacement of public property. At his last visit he had noticed that one of the paper-holder covers had been removed and purposely slotted down behind the radiator that stood opposite the cubicle doors. It had then slipped down so that its bottom half had then wedged itself behind the pipes along the skirting that fed the radiator. No cleaner passing through could possibly have had the right tools to extricate it and restore it to its rightful home. A long, industrial pair of tweezers or the removal of the entire radiator unit were the only two possible ways it could be retrieved.
Barney broke step briefly as he reached the edge of the side terrace that lead round to the main entrance of the faculty. Something was different about the fire escape door at the end of the building. This was the door that Barney regularly sought on his way out to the refectory; it was a short-cut that bypassed the need to walk through the front atrium, a real boon if lectures had just finished and the front entrance was rammed with smokers. Like most fire exits it was usually only possible to exit from it, but, today, it had a handle on it; for opening from the outside. Why someone would suddenly decide to add a handle to a door that had existed happily until now with just a release bar on the inside was puzzling. Perhaps he wasn’t the only guy in the building who’d got pissed off with having to fight through the tight crowd of smoke inhaling narcissists every time he wanted to go somewhere. He walked over and tugged at it gingerly, half expecting it not to budge, but it gave, easily. This was great, he could slip up to the second floor and then go to the library afterwards without having to pass through the atrium.
It was then that he realised he’d never really inspected the ground floor before. Could there be an alternative to the second floor right here? Instead of heading straight up the stairs as he usually did, but in the opposite direction, Barney moved along the adjacent corridor and found the door standing discreetly, marked with the familiar symbols, between two notice-boards. Inside, he advanced to the one and only cubicle to check, and there he beheld the most wonderful and delightful vision he could have ever imagined: a clean, fully functioning toilet – with a seat!