Dying for the toilet

June 15, 2011 12 Comments
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Or almost dying, anyway. Meet Michelle Egglestone of Ballarat, a town in regional Victoria an hour or so west of Melbourne. Going for a quick number one could have killed her and in fact did inflict some pretty horrific injuries. Readers of a squeamish disposition may want to look away now for the next paragraph.

Documents filed in the Supreme Court show she sustained pelvis and lower abdominal injuries, along with ”penetrative injuries to the rectum, vagina and bladder necessitating surgical treatment involving laparotomy, repair of the bladder, repair of the vault of the vagina and colostomy”.

In case you’re wondering about the ‘documents filed in the Supreme Court’ bit there the answer is yes, she is suing someone. And you may also be thinking that with those sort of injuries you’d want to sue someone too and are wondering what the hell happened to the toilet she was using. Did it explode? Was there a medieval torture device left in the bowl and the lights had gone out, or what?

Good question, and inadequate lighting does get a mention. But funnily enough toilets do not.

“The plaintiff sustained injury at the premises whilst she was urinating from the verandah which was inadequately lit,” the writ says.

Ah, not a toilet then. That’s right, this is not going to be pretty in any sense. Hum the Casualty theme tune if you like.

[Ms Egglestone] was impaled on a star picket after falling off a veranda while drunk and urinating over the side [and] is now suing the property owner.
[...]Ms Egglestone [is seeking damages, loss of earnings and] claims she also has post-operative scarring, depression and anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder and nightmares because of the incident.
She believes that Mr Furness, as owner and occupier of the house, was negligent in failing to ensure the veranda had adequate balustrading and complied with the building codes.
The statement of claim says he also had a duty of care to ensure the star pickets below the verandah had protective capping.
Mr Furness also failed to exercise due skill and care in the maintenance of the premises and should have provided adequate warning about it.

Riiiight. So to recap, she gets blitzed and needs a piss, and chooses to relieve herself from a dimly lit verandah without a decent rail and above a picket fence instead of going inside to the toilet. All of which is of course not even remotely her fault, but the fault of her then boyfriend for having a verandah on which she could perch herself backwards while shooting for distance and dark enough for her not to worry about being seen. If it had a chest high railing and was lit up like the Melbourne Cricket Ground for a night game would she have just pissed on the floor instead? Or would she have, oh, I don’t know, maybe used a toilet? Does Mr Furness really have to shoulder the blame for not mentioning that it wasn’t such a good idea for her to drop her drawers and pee from there and wouldn’t she rather use his nice toilet which had a seat and a light and everything? Is Michelle Egglestone going to have Mother Nature going to be named as co-defendant for failing to properly equip her crotch for this kind of thing?

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Surely this is McDonald’s coffee all over again. Come on, the guy should not really have needed to put up lights, safety rails and warning signs to let any wasted girl who happened to be caught short in the immediate vicinity know that it’s not the ideal place to have a Jimmy Riddle. Even drunk it ought to be fairly easy to work out that there are better places to go, and anyone who can’t work that out when drunk should probably not get drunk in the first place. The only alternative left to believe is that she had no choice. But this is an industrialised nation in the 21st century and as such is practically a certainty that somewhere in the house was a room set aside and especially equipped to have met her need, though of course in Australia there are very occasionally valid reasons for not using it.

Click to embiggerise, but wait 'til I leave the room

But that’s really pretty rare, and even if the dunny was already occupied by Shelob was there really no alternative to drunkenly hovering your arse from a precarious place that, if things didn’t go well, might end up with you falling on railings which you’d just pissed all over? Because if there wasn’t, Mish, I can’t help feeling that you bear pretty much all of the responsibility. At 35 you should be old enough to know when you’re drinking enough to make bad decisions and be incapable of judging what’s safe, and who decided to put all that alcohol down your neck? Because if it wasn’t anyone else then that too was your decision and your responsibility. In other words giving yourself an accidental vagina shish-kebab came about as a consequence of your decision to urinate from a verandah instead of a toilet seat, which in turn was probably a result of your decision to get shitfaced enough not to realise what a bad idea that was.

I’m not playing the part of the teetotal finger-wagger here. Drink and be merry by all means, folks, and drink and fall down laughing if you want. But let’s have taking responsibility for your own actions and choices come back into fashion, eh?

 

 

* I should add that I did not make up the Shenis and as far as I can see it’s a real product available through its own website. Click the photo for link.

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12 Responses to Dying for the toilet

  1. June 15, 2011 at 10:04 am

    I’m sorry to say that I laughed when I read this. She just missed out on a Darwin award.

    • June 15, 2011 at 4:01 pm

      Indeed so. Must try harder next time, eh?

      • June 15, 2011 at 9:50 pm

        She’ll probably take a dump over a garbage compactor. :roll:

  2. June 15, 2011 at 10:17 am

    That is one of the best I’ve ever read. Pity I had a cup of coffee in my hand.

    • June 15, 2011 at 11:00 am

      So did I, much to the detriment of my keyboard..

    • June 15, 2011 at 9:56 pm

      Yeah, if you were writing a book of top 100 loony lawsuits this one would be in the top half I reckon.

  3. PT
    June 15, 2011 at 10:26 am

    Why sue the property owner? Go for the really big bucks. Experience has shown that the taxpayer has far more money, and government departments usually can’t be bothered to resist lawsuits anyway, as it’s someone else’s money. Surely the taxpayers could be sued for failing to ensure that Mr Furness had made it totally impossible for anyone to injure themselves when on his property, legally or not, paralytic-drunk or not?
    She should also sue her lawyers for their failure to recognise this.
    Am I the first to point this out, and can I therefore claim commission for the idea? Perhaps I’ll sue her for it.

    • June 15, 2011 at 4:02 pm

      And the drinks company, don’t forget them.

  4. Lord T
    June 15, 2011 at 12:32 pm

    Until cases like this are laughed out of court we will not be able to progress.

    I blame the shyster lawyers and useless politicians for starting this off. Hit the owner, he has money we can get.

    • June 15, 2011 at 9:59 pm

      True, lawyers pushing people into these suits have fostered this seeming culture of suing on the off chance that you might get a few quid out of someone. Law is being treated like a lottery ticket sometimes.

  5. meltemian
    June 15, 2011 at 2:04 pm

    No…. I’ve just checked the date, it’s not April 1st!!
    Of course it HAS to be someone’s fault doesn’t it, and it couldn’t possibly be hers could it?

  6. Junican
    June 16, 2011 at 2:45 am

    Here is the real horror – she will probably win!

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