Heaven is a half-wipe

Beijing’s Temple of Heaven park toilets are clamping down on local loo roll kleptomaniacs by rolling out face-scanning dispensers.

But there’s a problem with this, isn’t there? Very rarely does anyone use a public toilet for the larger missions unless it’s an emergency. These machines, which have been known to take up to 30 degrading seconds to scan your despairing face before allowing you 60cm of tissue, will not do in an emergency.

Nonetheless, you’re sat there, having queued for ages due to all the tourists who just wanted a look at this new contraption. You’ve patiently posed for your tissue allowance, but it’s nowhere near enough. Not today, anyway.

Apparently, a member of staff is at hand should you need more. So you shout out like a toddler for more, but not too loudly, because your family are waiting outside and you want them to be able to look you in the eye when this is all finally over.

You reach beneath the door, but it’s still not enough. This can’t be happening. You close your eyes and dream of a sort of unalloyed wiping nirvana, packed with bounding Labrador pups fetching you sheets upon sheets of limitless two-ply comfort. But it’s just a dream. You open your eyes and shout for yet more, and can hear your children laughing at you from outside. What a mess.

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