THE other day a colleague insisted that should his pregnant wife be in need of toilet facilities when there are none in the vicinity, all she had to do was find a police officer.
I assumed the punchline would be something about an ancient law which meant the constable was duty bound to find a mother-to-be a convenient convenience.
Oh no. Nothing as sane as that.
"It is the law that she can wee in his helmet?" he chirped.
This conversation was taking place during a fire drill. I assumed he was just a little overexcited.
But a British law does indeed exist which gives a pregnant woman the right to do just that. Or anywhere in fact.
It is among a batch of nutty laws that remain on the statute books, some after centuries.
Failing to report grey squirrels in your garden, it turns out, is illegal. So is being drunk in charge of a cow – in Scotland, at least.
In England, believe it or not, eating mince pies on Christmas Day is still banned under a law brought in by Oliver Cromwell in the 17th century.
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has launched a drive to banish such needless, unenforceable and/or downright silly laws, inviting people across the UK to nominate the ones to be ditched.
But hold off, before you rush to condemn the right of expectant mums.
The fact is, the number of public loos is dwindling across Notts.
With the revamp of the Old Market Square, the underground loos were replaced with a giant water tank to feed that behemoth water feature.
And if you see panicked-looking folk scampering across Newark market place, chances are they have only just discovered that the public loos there have been closed. Last year, in fact.
Mansfield people need not feel smug either. At the recent Westlife concert at Mansfield Town's football ground, the ladies' loos became blocked after just 20 minutes. The gents were fine apparently.
The explanation from ground staff was that, as games attract a mostly male crowd, they weren't geared up for 9,000 women. (OK, they weren't all women but it's Westlife for goodness sake!)
Yes, you can find toilets in pubs, restaurants and many shops but you're not always welcome if you're using the loo without giving them your custom.
And some shops don't even have them. TK Maxx, a hugely popular discount designer clothing and home furnishing store has none in its Nottingham or Newark stores.
Even if a place has them which you're free to use, you can't always guarantee they're up to scratch. The other day I was in a book warehouse when I had an urge to drop anchor but had to do so using the light from my phone.
Despite being clean, complete with towel and handwash, the otherwise conscientious owners had failed to insert a lightbulb in this windowless room.
Anyone hoping to enjoy the free concert at Colliers Wood in Moorgreen on Sunday, which is part of the DH Lawrence Festival, should bear in mind "there are no public toilet facilities situated on the site".
The concert, by Newmount Brass Band, runs for three-and-a-half hours – and organisers are encouraging patrons to take their own refreshments.
"Bring along a picnic and blanket and enjoy a wonderful array of music within the backdrop of this stunning maturing woodland," they say.
The bear won't be the only one heading for the trees.