John McCullagh June 9, 2004
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It was a full month after the traumatic event but Ida Crappiner was still in tears as she explained.

‘You can have no idea what it was like’, she moaned.  ‘One minute I was sitting on the ‘throne’ of the Portaloo in the centre of Gomel, suffering from constipation.  I just couldn’t ‘go’. 

I think I was there ten minutes or so.  The thieves must have been watching and thought it was unoccupied. 

I’d have cried out when I heard the chains being attached to the outside, only I was embarrassed and didn’t want to draw attention to my predicament.  I was sorry after.

The next minute the Portaloo, with me inside, was swinging wildly through the air.  No more constipation! 

It was flying everywhere!  I was desperately trying to hold on and maintain my dignity.  You could say I was ‘caught with my pants down’.  I’ve also heard people talk about having it knocked out of you.  What could I do?’

In the event the stolen Portaloo, with Ida inside, was loaded onto a flatback truck and set off careering through the streets of Gomel in Belarus. When it slowed at a road junction she managed to squeeze out past the chains and escape.  Throwing dignity and caution to the wind, she jumped out into the middle of the street.

‘What does anyone want to steal a toilet for?’ she appealed helplessly. 

But I was biting my tongue and unable to answer.

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