Maybe it was the Vietnamese food from last night, but caught short in Kirribilli, I make my way sharpish to the nearest toilet, a seven foot tall, unprepossessing looking, shiny steel box on the bay underneath the north side of the bridge.
A metallic, American voice bids me welcome. It could be William Shatner, or maybe and more pertinently here, his Shooting Stars;True or False pseudonym, but suddenly everything’s gone a bit Star Trek. Red light indicates doors are secure. Maybe too secure. Will I get out of here alive?

“Thank you for choosing ExeLoo, you have ten minutes to use these facilities.”
From Star Trek to James Bond. What would Roger Moore do? Where would Timothy Dalton sit? I don’t have time to think of a George Lazenby based scenario before a piano solo of Burt Bacharach’s “What The World Needs Now Is Love” is piped through the speakers. Presumably the gas is next? If this is going to be the last song I ever hear, it’s not a bad one. Although, if you’re going to snuff it on the khazi, surely something by Elvis is much more apt?

Considering my next movement maybe my last, so to speak, I make a break for the hand washing device. What happens next is akin to that bit in Naked Gun when Drebin is searching the villain’s high rise apartment.
The toilet goes up like a geyser, soap shoots out diagonally in rapid, globular propulsions of pink, water cascades violently down the walls and hot air wafts un-remorselessly into my face like a harsh Saharan wind. Dazed momentarily, I stand by to do battle with the Kling Ons, or SCEPTRE, or the ghost of Hal David. The doors open robotically.

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That voice again. “Thank you for flying with ExeLoo, we looking forward to seeing you soon.”
All shook up, I take a moment to compose myself, Roger Moore like. There’s no tie to straighten, so I do a double eyebrow work out instead.
It’s a stifling 43 degrees today, the long but rewarding walk back to the hostel across Sydney Harbour Bridge beckons. Maybe I’ll stick to pasta and sauce tonight.

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