So, two teenagers had intercourse in a public toilet today. At 3pm. The one in the afternoon.

I had just come from a meeting in Melville when I decided to withdraw some cash at Campus Square. On my way from the ATM I went into the public restrooms next to the Standard Bank. The first person I saw was a girl in school uniform so I immediately recoiled, imagining the shrill screams of “pervert” if I’d wandered into the Jill’s. No, the sign outside confirmed that I was in the right place. So I went back inside. I’ve never quite understood why we have separate restrooms anyway.

That’s when I realised that the girl was with a boy, also in uniform. They were listening to a song on one of those Sony Ericsson Walkman phones and having an animated conversation about it. That’s how I discovered that they were listening to Coldplay. (That’s a band, for the benefit of the over 35s). Within a few seconds, a stall became available and they took it. Both of them. And then they stopped talking. The only sound emanating from inside the stall was the unmistakable rustle of garb-shedding. And Coldplay. I was still waiting outside for a stall.

And then things got out of hand. Let’s just say I shared many a room during my student days. I know the sound of carnal exertions when I hear it. And those two were locked in an illicit scrum. I shifted uneasily. Look, I’m no prude by any stretch of the imagination. My restlessness did not originate from any moral high ground or disgust at what was going on in there. And if you’re thinking “Have today’s kids no morals?” please get off your high horse. Twenty years ago, I hung around the Student Union building of my campus. If there was any truth in the world, many kids from that era would have been christened Middle Stall. Don’t pretend you don’t know exactly what I’m saying.

No, I was worried about more practical issues. What if someone walked in at that moment? I would look like a sick old bastard (SOB) eavesdropping on kids doing the nasty in a restroom. On the other hand, if I did my civic duty and try to talk them out of it, I might come across as a SOB having a conversation with kids bonking inside a bathroom. The parameters that constitute a threesome are a bit fuzzy to me and I wasn’t willing to have them clarified to me in the bathroom at Campus Square.

As luck would have it, a visibly shaken elderly gentleman emerged from one of the other stalls. I rushed past him without making eye contact and locked myself inside the stall. After the elderly gentleman left I was left in there listening to the sounds of Coldplay and the other … thing I was trying to block out. The huffing and puffing finally subsided and the two hormone victims left, cooing and giggling. I heaved a huge sigh of relief. Did I mention that it was 3pm? You know; the one in the afternoon?

I bet someone will start wondering if this sort of things happens regularly at Campus Square. As the old saying goes, one pale male politician does not a Zille-sque cabinet maketh. I can neither confirm nor deny this. Quite frankly, I don’t care. I’ll tell you what worries me, though. My teenaged son. The two kids in that middle stall were not much older than he is. He owns a Sony Eriksson Walkman too. And he often listens to Coldplay on his phone.

Call me paranoid but this worries me. I have written at length about the effect that music has on human behaviour. That’s why you can’t have Holy Mass without “Amazing Grace”. It would just mess up with the collection plate tally. By the same token, not too many gang-bangers plan a drive-by while listening to jazz. But I bet they listen to 50 Cent, though. Oh I’m sorry, Fiddy. So I can’t take a chance here. I ain’t about to become Middle Stall’s grandpa. Coldplay has just made it into the banned list at my house alongside Metallica, Ja Rule and Judy Boucher.

I can guarantee that at least one of my dear readers will judge me for my seemingly blasé attitude towards moral decay. And maybe they’ll be right to blast me. Where I grew up, that nonsense would never have flown with grown-ups. There would have been a hastily-arranged meeting between flesh and sjambok. Those were the pre-Bill of Rights days. I’m told that nowadays my only responsibility is to butt in when someone’s rights are being violated — excluding my right to have a peaceful, fornication-free crap inside a mall.

I’m curious, though. What would you have done?

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  • Once upon a time, Ndumiso Ngcobo used to be an intelligent, relevant man with a respectable (read: boring-as-crap) job which funded his extensive beer habit. One day he woke up and discovered that he had lost his mind, quit his well-paying job, penned a collection of hallucinations. A bunch of racist white guys published the collection just to make him look more ridiculous and called it 'Some of my best friends are white'. (Two Dogs, ISBN 978-1-92013-718-2). Nowadays he spends his days wandering the earth like Kwai Chang Caine, munching locusts, mumbling to himself like John the Baptist and searching for the meaning of life at the bottom of beer mugs. The racist publishers have reared their ugly heads again and dangled money in his face to pen yet another collection of hallucinations entitled 'Is It Coz 'm Black'. He will take cash, major credit cards and will perform a strip tease for contributions to his beer fund.


Ndumiso Ngcobo

Once upon a time, Ndumiso Ngcobo used to be an intelligent, relevant man with a respectable (read: boring-as-crap) job which funded his extensive beer habit. One day he woke up and discovered that he...

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