Namibian rears up, an indignant human beach ball. Yet his tone is more astonishment than defensiveness at this imprecation. ‘What if I do?’ he retorts, as though this is perfectly normal behaviour for an adult male. ‘It’s the way I was brought up – so you don’t make a mess.’ Good heavens, I need some feedback from other men here, I think.
Is this just a South African foible? Or the whole Southern hemisphere? (It wouldn’t surprise me if Australian men sit down to piss.) Or is this a more widespread dichotomy – between generations, irrespective of geographical boundaries? Dad? Gentleman Steve? Please don’t tell me you both prefer a nice sit down, eschewing the urinal as a confounded contraption.
I’m hoping however, that this is an isolated incidence. Perhaps Namibian was issued with a biscuit whilst potty training – as commensurate reward for a wee-wee – and simply never got out of the habit. Having just returned from the toilet, he treats himself to a little snack, smiling now with depthless geniality.
He’s got me curious though. Is he tempted to take a cup of tea with him into the bathroom, do you think? And surely, like any normal guy, he likes to browse through this month’s boat, car or motorcycle magazines while idling on the throne? Nope, I’m afraid not. Namibian is on and off the lav as though he were a girl.
Talking of girls, Vanessa is sitting here in her deckchair. She’s demurely crossing her legs, and probably thinking how nice it will be to have somebody to go to the toilet with, now that the secret is out. Oh yes, Namibian has certainly been caught with his trousers down this time. Ooh, I wonder if he’s happy to drip-dry if caught short in the countryside.
Well, as it happens, we are more or less in the countryside. The U2 tour has now reached an uncharted backwater in Denmark, a one-horse town called Horsens. And we’re having a little barbecue in one of its less salubrious quarters – behind the production trailers at the Casa Horsens Stadium.
‘My wife wanted another bottle of wine in the truck one night,’ begins Gentleman Steve, ever the raconteur. ‘So I let my air out of the driver’s seat and told her that I’m just popping down to the cellar.’ He smiles one of his ludicrously syrupy grins – that of an upper class buffoon – and locks eyes from across the barbecue. ‘I can see why Anna fell for you,’ I say, honestly. ‘She didn’t,’ he replies, ‘I tripped her up.’
Namibian, bustling industriously with tongs and Baby Wipes, could also do with replenishing his drink. He wobbles off to his lorry and – inexplicably – starts his engine. We frown at the shattered tranquillity, and ask why he needs to have the motor running to pour a drink. ‘To build the air up in my driver’s seat,’ he says, as though this is shriekingly obvious.
So not only does he sit down to pee, but he also sits up high – think of a highchair for toddlers – in order to pour a drink. How absurd. Surely even the most elliptical thinker would be poleaxed by Namibian’s logic this evening; I think I might need a drink in order to cope.
‘Is that rose wine?’ asks Gentleman Steve, after I’ve poured a cheeky preprandial. He’s elegantly holding a breadstick as though fondling a cigar, and sipping gut-rot from an inexpensive-looking carton. ‘That’s poofters’ wine, that is. You’ll be drinking Earl Grey next.’
Oh dear, this is rum news indeed. You see, I rather like a nice cup of Earl Grey – in the evenings, after my pudding. You know what the next step is, don’t you? Yep, I’ll be sitting down to piss. And quite possibly in the neighbouring cubicle to Namibian..