I don't know about girls' toilets (even though I've used them a couple of times; completely by accident, you understand), but boys' toilets always have a condom machine, even if they're in the most remote places. I guess sex happens almost everywhere these days, so having some condoms nearby is a Good Thing. I wholeheartedly support the presence of condom machines, even if they also sell those little blue pills that suggest you're entirely incapable of having sex. But then again, there's also this (image taken by me on my phone):
WARNING! The British Transport Police and Rail Staff know that UNACCEPTABLE BEHAVIOUR IS OCCURRING in these toilets. Arrests have been made and we will continue to monitor the toilets and make further arrests if the unacceptable behaviour continues.
Well, of course there's unacceptable behaviour occurring in railway station toilets. Not that I'd go that far, but I heard a couple having sex in some toilets once. I was on the other side of the wall, in the waiting room, so it was probably even louder from their end. It's not the optimum place to have sex, but there you go.
And what was inside the toilets to dissuade such "unacceptable" behaviour?
And then today I saw something which almost - almost - matches the inflatable sheep dispensing machine I saw in Wales. (Or was it Blackpool?) We were having a leisurely pub lunch, insofar as having lunch in a pub when you know that you have approximately two hours before one of you has to get on a train and rock up to the furthest reaches of the country can be leisurely. I excused myself to go to the toilet (I have the bladder of an infant), and in front of the urinals was the compulsory condom machine, advertising - amongst other things - a tattoo parlour somewhere in Oxford (although I suspect that was added). Quite a few things had been added, mind you, among them herbal Viagra (yes, really) and a brand of condom called "Fundom" (yes, really really) whose product was, well, condoms shaped like animals.
Not just animals, either. There were happy clowns and laughing policemen, too. It was perhaps the scariest thing I've ever seen, including Tim Burton's hair.
And when you thought it couldn't get any worse, there was a strict warning on the machine itself:
NOT FOR BARRIER USE
Um, well, do you want to tell me what to do with these condoms if I'm not meant to use them as a barrier then, eh? Inflate them with helium? And, in that case, what's wrong with the word "balloon"?
So, as I mentioned, I'm sad. And so I'll go and despair now. But when you see things like this around innocent corners these days, while my girlfriend being away for a few days is the first thing to despair about, there are clearly plenty more... if you look.