You may have seen this news story circulating around Facebook. A British grandmother gets locked in a public bathroom and spends four days knitting a scarf and eating candy. The story is certainly hilarious and even a bit heartwarming, but alas—it’s just another example of blogs picking up a “news” story from a satirical website. In this case, it’s the Suffolk Gazzette, which cheekily describes itself as “Britain’s best spoof and satire news site – all with a lovely Suffolk twist.”
In case you missed it, the story is about a British grandma who was locked in a public restroom for four days, but kept herself busy the way only a grandmother can: knitting a scarf. 82-year old Gladys Phillips, the story goes, was out shopping when she walked into a public restroom and heard the door lock behind her. The restroom, it turned out, was not yet open to the public. “I was not really concerned at first when I couldn’t get out,” Phillips told the Suffolk Gazette, the world’s second most trusted online news source. “In fact I was just relieved I’d managed to go to the loo!”
Phillips tried calling for help, but it seemed as though nobody could hear her. “I kept banging on the door and walls, and shouting for help,” she said, “but obviously no one could hear me.”
But Phillips is (apparently) a grandma with an iron constitution. “I realized I had to tough it out, and so I sat on the loo and began knitting. Luckily I had just been to the shops and picked up a new ball of pink wool, so I began making a scarf, which one of my lucky grandchildren will now get for Christmas.”
Phillips goes on to describe her experience with some amusing detail:
“I had also popped into the sweet shop after collecting my pension, so I had a full bag of mint imperials to eat which kept my spirits up no end. The loo was very clean and cozy. I was able to sleep on my big overcoat and was lovely and warm, and if I got cold I just sat under the hand dryer for a while.”
A workman found Phillips four days later, as she was finishing up her scarf. “It was a great relief when the nice builder turned up and opened the door. He got quite a shock, I can tell you,” she said.
Oh, and if you’re wondering why Phillips didn’t simply call or text someone, it’s because she doesn’t have a mobile phone. “They have now been on at me to get a phone installed at home — and one of these mobile phone things for when I’m out shopping. I suppose I shall have to catch up with the times,” she said. Ah, aren’t old people funny?
This should have been the tip off, because it’s just too ridiculously British to be genuine: a town official reportedly said the incident highlights the cozy design of the new restrooms.
“We’re glad Gladys is none the worse for her ordeal. The fact that she was quite happy in the loo for four days does, however, show how modern and hi-tech it is,” the official is supposed to have said.
To the folks at the Suffolk Gazette, all we can say here is: