Friday, 23 May 2008

Fungus the Bogeyman has been in my bathroom

My bathroom (as opposed to my children’s) is one of the older rooms in our very old house, and was probably last refurbished some time in the ’60s.

It has a bath-tub the size of the QEII (great for wallowing, a disaster for water conservation) and a toilet cistern not much smaller (yes, yes, I have put a brick in it). The dreadful paisley-patterned brownish linoleum on the floor was clearly chosen to offset the hideous floral-ish beige tiles that go halfway up the walls. The taps are huge and ornate, and require the help of a spanner to turn on and off, and the sink (which is cracked in several places) is set into a wooden cabinet that I can only imagine was knocked together in the outside shed by some keen but very amateur handyman.

Not only that, but because the room itself was apportioned off the gigantic verandah and poorly roofed with corrugated iron, it leaks constantly – mysterious puddles of murky water appear apparently out of nowhere (but presumably having dripped down behind the tiles) and there’s a constant smell of damp.

It is, in short, a horror show.

It wasn’t, however, until Tuesday evening, when I had some friends around for dinner, that the true nature of what’s happened to my bathroom was revealed. Someone who’d answered the call of nature returned to the table with a mushroom and showed it around, saying teasingly, ‘And guess where I got it?’

There followed a small stampede to the horror-show bathroom where, behind some loose tiles, we found a modest but healthy crop of mushrooms growing out of the wall. Not only that, but a few baby slugs had crept in to keep them company.

So now I know: Fungus the Bogeyman has taken over my bathroom.

For those who aren’t familiar with this fabulously fetid Raymond Briggs character, Fungus and his like get up to go to work (scaring humans, or ‘drycleaners’) ‘as the last light fades’, in ‘the black dawn of a new Bogey day’. His first visit is to the bathroom (or ‘barathrum’ in Bogey-speak; we’re told this means ‘pit, chasm, abyss of muck’), where he runs a sink of water (‘Ah! Nice cold filthy water,’ he says. ‘Good head of scum on it this morning’), to which he adds a large dose of Muck (the box reads, ‘Old! Diseased! Just add slime!’). This he uses to wash his armpits, and he brushes his teeth with Pepsomuck, which promises to ‘get teeth really black’.

Other Bogey bathroom unguents include Old Mice aftershave, Femstench roll-on deodorant for Bogey ladies, Bogeygas Contamination underarm deodorant for Bogey men, Eau de Colon, Faboge Pus, Ambre Bogaire and, of course, Toilet Water.

Although I haven’t found any of Fungus’s personal non-hygiene products in my barathrum, that’s probably because he’s carrying them around in his Bogeybag (which is made of damp sacking, allowing the things inside to drip and emanate smells). And until I have funds available, I’m going to just have to accept that I’m sharing this space with Fungus, and probably also his wife Mildew and his son Mould.

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Juno said...

Oh dear, Mur. (Or: Oh! Dear Mur!)

Without wanting to invalidate your trauma at finding a crop of fresh mushrooms in your barathrum, there are worse things your guest could have found.

Mushrooms can at least be fried in garlicky butter and served on toast, but you can't say the same for a grey scuzzy bath-ring, a short curly hair entwined in the bristles of a tooth brush, or a toenail paring embedded in a bar of soap.

Fungus and his relatives seem positively wholesome when I think of some of the things I've found in my bathroom over the years.


Johann said...

Compared to the dead frog that blocked the shower drain and the live snake we found in the bathroom, yours is positively safe and child-friendly, Mur!

meggie said...

Our drains, though 'repaired', still seem to emit a stench, & I suspect the walls to be rotting quietly behind the tiles.
One of Fungus' rellies is obviously insidiously invading the whole place. I will keep an eye out for mushrooms!

Anonymous said...

Cabinets and countertops offer the much-needed storage space in the bathroom to store your toiletries, keep medicines and first-aid box, cleaning milk, moisturizer and deodorants, towels and napkins besides other things that you use daily while showering in your bath. They are powerful accents to your bath décor and help you to define the tone and style of the bathroom wall cabinets and make the best use of the wall and floor surface of the area. .

browniegirl said...

OH HAHA!! I have just had the biggest laugh grandson Tyler and I just love love love Fungus and his hideously divine family!!!I cannot tell you how many times I have had to sit and watch that with the little man. Its our all time favourite movie! I really should get him the book as well. So it's a couple years later...have you changed the bathroom yet or is it still a place where Fungus & Mould gravitate to each night to find stuff to take home to Mildew, and that delightfully slimy daughter Mucus?? LOL! xx

Muriel said...

Hi Browniegirl. So glad you got a laugh out of my Bogeyman Barathrum! Yes, it's finished at last, but it took a loooong time (check out the 25 June post). Two years on, however, and it seems the Spirit of Fungus is alive and well - two winters down, and one of the walls is showing distinct signs of grungy fuzziness again...!