Monday, December 26, 2011

Toilet of Doom*

*Special thanks to Twitter follower xHeatherxMariex for the title.

1. I had a post planned for today--my first day back from the holiday I took from writing real blog posts.

2. It had visual aids that looked like this:

and this:

3. I know. Classy, right?

4. But certain events have conspired to change the theme of my post. And NOW the visual aid looks like this:

5. Allow me to explain.

6. Over the years, I've discovered that I (most inexplicably) have a nemesis or two out there. Chicken nuggets. Gravity. Beth Revis.

7. Trees. Goats. Diet Coke.

8. Dental hygienists. iPhones. Green beans.

9. I could continue, but I think you get the picture. I've even devoted an entire post to one of my more determined opponents--that spawn of Satan we call the automatically flushing toilet.

10. I made the grievous mistake of believing that I could openly discuss the toilet's actions in a public forum with impunity.

11. I'm here to tell you that is not the case.

12. Apparently, the automatically flushing toilet takes exception to a frank discussion of its (lengthy) list of faults.

13. And apparently, I'm on the short list of Those Who Must Be Neutralized.

14. The toilet has, in various locations, tried to wound me.

15. Multiple flushes with a line of women waiting. Flushes with cruel suction and drafty drafts where no drafts should go. Flat-out refusals to flush, no matter how much I threaten its mama.

16. But these actions, while inconvenient and annoying, did not strike fear in my heart.

17. And any worthy nemesis will tell you there's no point in being a nemesis if you can't strike fear in your opponent's heart.

18. Last night, the automatically flushing toilet escalated the conflict.

19. I took the teenager to see Mission Impossible 4.

20. As I walked into the theater, I realized two things. 1. I was about to drink a significant amount of Diet Coke. 2. I've carried three babies, all of whom parked right on top of my bladder and traumatized it for life. I needed to go into this movie on EMPTY.

21. So, I decided to use the restroom.

22. Sadly, I was playing right into the toilet's ... um ... flushers.

23. I don't know how the dastardly deed was accomplished (though I suspect a paid professional), but somehow the toilet KNEW which stall I would choose.

24. And it KNEW I would be wearing shoes without much traction.

25. And it KNEW all the various laws of physics that would work to its advantage.

26. Like the law of inertia.

27. And gravity.

28. I, on the other hand, had grown complacent, and therefore I was easy pickings.

29. I walked down the line of stalls, saw one with an open door, and stepped over the threshold right into a puddle of water.

30. Have you ever been water skiing?

31. It can be fun, under the right circumstances.

32. You know, the circumstances in which you are in a warm, sunny location being pulled by a boat.

33. The circumstances in which if you lose your balance, you simple sink into the water and start swimming.

34. These were NOT those circumstances, but there I was. Water skiing.

35. Fortunately, it was a short journey. There's only a couple of feet between the doorway and the toilet.

36. Unfortunately, while the toilet was kind enough to stop the forward momentum of my knees, it failed to address the forward momentum of the rest of me.

37. Have you ever seen a jack-knifed semi truck?

38. Then you get the idea.

39. I hit the toilet with my knees (sooo fun), jack-knifed at the waist, and had the presence of mind to slam my arms onto the toilet seat mere seconds before my face hit the water.

40. Before my FACE hit the WATER.

41. I do not think there's enough therapy in the world to recover from giving oneself a swirly in a public restroom with the stall door wide open for all the other occupants of the restroom to stand there and take bets on how long it will take you to surface.

42. I nearly scrubbed my skin off as I washed up and left the restroom.

43. On the way home, I contemplated all the ways in which I would now have to be wary whenever I got desperate enough to use a public restroom.

44. And then I got home, walked into my own familiar bathroom and stepped (barefoot) on a wad of chewing gum. (I have boys. Why are you surprised?)

45. I'd like to tidy up the end of this post with a pithy little remark, but honestly? I just nearly did a face-plant into a public toilet.

45. I've got nothing left.


  1. Two hundred years from now when lit students are studying YA authors of the early 21st century, someone will do a thesis paper on C.J. Redwine and compile all these . . . incidents . . . and no one will believe it's a real thing.


  2. #41 is the best line ever of any post ever written. It's true. :)

    I am very sorry to hear about your awful experience, though. It sounds like you might want to give up on public restrooms altogether. This is not an enemy you want to face. :o

  3. ...

    I was going to slip the toilet a twenty for joining the dark side, but now I worry that it is too evil for even me. The toilet is the Emperor to my Darth Vader...

  4. I am satisfied. Also, I agree with Emily. #41 for the win. I'd tell you all my horrible toilet stories, but I'm afraid it'd merely confirm what you already know about them: they're evil and they enjoy it.
    ...And I may have to steal Jodi's idea for this century. I still have a LOT of papers to write and they may as well be interesting. :)

  5. It's official. I am the suave one in the family. How can I make this claim? Because every day, at work, I successfully navigate automatic flushing toilets and have never given myself any kind of swirlie.

    Then again, perhaps the fates are confused and think I am the beneficiary of your life insurance policy instead of the other way around.

    Are you taking notes, Revis?

  6. OMG, those things are evil. There's one at work that is straight from hell. It kept flushing because I was leaning forward trying to get the only roll of toilet paper - a new one - started, and I swear they used airplane glue on that sucker. Meanwhile, a coworker waiting for the bathroom kept banging on the door. "Are you ever coming out, Sharon? Sharon? Did you fall down in there...again??"


  7. Oh my, what an experience. I remember searching the entire mall for a non-automatic flushing toilet for my 5 year old, who was deathly afraid of them. After 20 minutes, we walked to the movie theater across the street and found one. I feel your pain.

    And even though you almost face-planted into the toilet, you should feel a sense of pride in entertaining us just a little (okay, just a little tiny bit?) Thanks for the giggle.

  8. I laughed out loud. I wish I could say I feel guilty. I mean, my amusement is at your expense. Would it help if I told you I spent 2 or 3 confused minutes passing my hands under a faucet in a public restroom yesterday, only to realize I had to actually lift the handle to turn on the water. No. Didn't think so. #41 has my vote too. : )

  9. Dude. I have the worst luck with faucets. I either try to turn them on when I'm supposed to wave my hand, or I turn them on and they spray me ... I now suspect they are working with the toilets.

  10. I STILL have to search for non auto ones for my daughter (7). On a ferry we regularly take, we have to use the "family" restroom, which was fine when she was in diapers, and maybe still now she's 7, but what will people think when I take her in there when she's 16?


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