The story begins with young Billy finding an old, mahogany toilet seat in a skip on the way home from school, then persuading his mother to allow him to hang it on his bedroom wall after disinfecting it, followed by his father persuading Billy to allow him to actually bolt it onto their own toilet bowl because the other seat had broken.
When the seat was on Billy's wall, he had heard strange sounds coming from it at night - a girl's voice, distant and incoherent; the sound of running water; a dog barking; etc. etc.
One night, he took the seat from the wall and placed it close to his face in order to smell the coating of bees-wax he had applied to the wood, and he let it slip over his head by accident. He then found himself peering into an upside down, Victorian bathroom, with a prim young girl - wearing a nightdress - peering back at him. After a few attempts and squeezing his small body through the seat, he finally manages to enter the girl's bathroom headfirst through the toilet bowl, and finds himself flat-out on the floor with the ghost girl and dog looking down at him in astonishment (I can't think why, this happens to me all the time - I'm always finding young lads stretched out on the bathroom floor). He eventually squeezes himself back into his own world, then falls ill for a bit. During that time, his dad fits the seat to their own toilet, and Billy wonders how he will ever find the girl again.
So you see, it's got everything - love interest, animals, toilet-humour....
I think that two things inspired this story: the old 'Viz' comic character, 'Billy and his Magic Arse', and the fact that I had to replace a toilet seat in our compact (etc.) apartment at the time.
I had replaced a ghastly plastic seat which had been there for years, with a cheap, MDF one from Argos, but - H.I. being H.I. - there were things that Her Indoors did not like about it, so I had spent about a day in my workshop, re-shaping it and giving it 2 coats of spray-paint to get it back to the right colour. When I had refitted the hinges and taken it home to fit it, I found that it was one inch too short, so I had to go through the whole procedure with a new seat, all over again.
A couple of years later, I found a brand-new, solid wooden seat in a charity shop for a few quid, and I took it to the workshop, dismantled it, gave the woodwork a sand down, then took it home for H.I. to apply a couple of coats of very expensive paint to it, and two days later it was ready to fit.
I had taken off the old, shabby MDF seat and thrown it away, and when I went to fit the gleaming new seat, I found it was one inch too short.
So... I went to Homebase late that afternoon (the whole thing had taken all day) to buy one the right size. Confronted with a bewildering choice of toilet seats all hung up for display, I was attracted to a solid oak one which - for some reason - was being offered at half the normal price of £40. There was also a man in a business suit next to me in the vast store, who was also looking for a new seat - for exactly the same reasons as me. We began to compare the merits of the individual seats, and noticed that the half-price one had a 'soft-closing' mechanism fitted to the hinges, which - although we did not particularly need this facility, having spent a combined total of about 100 years closing our toilet seats without the aid of a softening mechanism - did not detract from the appeal of the handsome looking woodwork.
The man conjectured that maybe this one was half-price because of the soft-closing mechanism, but I ignored him. I think that his business suit might have been an outward indication that he was a lot more savvy about marketing tactics than me, but I certainly had the upper hand when it came to manual skills, so we both bought one and took them home.
H.I. and I spent the following day dismantling it, painting it and putting it back together, then it was finally fitted by me yesterday morning, and very elegant it looks too.
I came home last night and went into the bathroom for a piss, having had a couple of pints of beer in the pub. I lifted the seat up to the cistern and started. The seat slowly began to close itself without help from any visible outside agency, so I stopped mid-flow and lifted it up again. It started to close itself again.
Please, God - PLEASE - give me the strength to cope with these trying times....