There is one situation where one of these would improve life - after all, it's a slightly more discreet way of getting a you-know-what sample than the polystyrene cup you get from the doctor. Sure, there are times where being caught short can really mess your life up - but this ingenious design takes convenience too far.

One thing that Men Behaving Badly and bottom burps and gurgle jokes have not changed is that the event itself takes place behind a closed door. Moaning or speaking, crossing legs and doubling over, even wetting yourself are fine. But to say: "Excuse me Granny, I can't wait for the next petrol station, so I'll just take a slash right here next to you. That's if you don't mind, ma'am" could never be made polite behaviour.

We hope. But what if this catches on? What next lies beyond Freud's worst diagnosis and figures in psychologically disturbing dreams. No more toilet breaks at work; sorry you can do it right here like the rest of us? Or lets just broach another stomach turner - hygiene. Does a portable wash basin come free with this purchase?

Germs are no doubt right now hatching a plot to inherit the earth with portable loo designer's as their unwitting henchmen. Don't let them do the dirty.

Jennifer Rodger