By Matthew Edwards
One of my favourite magazines recently published the results of tests they had done on Johannesburg’s public toilets. They used some kind of forensic testing kit and took samples off of the toilet seats in four different areas of the city: popular clubs and hangouts in Melville, gyms in the northern suburbs, three major shopping malls, and the campuses of major Jo’burg varsities. The results produced were certainly eye-opening, to say the least, but at the same time a bit of what was to be expected. The campus tests showed traces of marijuana on at least 65% of their loos, Jo’burg gyms have large amounts of drugs like speed and ecstasy lying around in their bathrooms and all of the toilet seats tested in Melville showed traces of cocaine.
I’m not in any way implying that anyone advocates the use of illegal drugs, but we do have to admit that they are definitely out there, and more common than most people would like to believe. But at the same time I don’t want to write a whole column on the dangers of drugs, we’re all adults here and can make up our own minds. What fascinates me, though, is the fact that this stuff is everywhere and I doubt any normal person would be able to pick it up without being prompted. There is this “potential”, if you will, all over the place and most folk just walk right by none the wiser. Regardless of anybody’s personal view on drug usage, you have to admit that these statistics show that there is a lot of money floating around, wasted on toilet seats all over the country. So much potential that people don’t make use of.
At the same time, the tests show that we also have a large portion of our society that is dependant on some form of upper or downer. A portion of the people that either have, are or are going to be leading the country and possibly the world. Does anybody wonder why we have disgusting racist videos produced from our country’s universities and fights over the colour of a journalist’s skin when so much of our population is in the bathroom every five minutes shnarfing a line?
I’m not claiming to be opposed to drugs. I’m not claiming to be judging those that like to feel better about themselves every now and then. I’m still on about wasted potential, but not only in the substances people leave behind in public restrooms, but the potential of our country and the people in it. Trying not to quote Dr. Phil, everybody has an amazing potential. Just being at this university is testament to that. I’m just a bit worried that most people don’t realise the amount of potential they’re sitting on, even when they’re on the loo.