Friday, May 1, 2009

The Incident in the Bike Store Bathroom

***I'm waiting for the mister to finish up at a bike store in Moab, Utah, and I found a free wireless connection, so I'm posting this. Pictures and other tales from our vacation will be posted upon our return to the great white north.***

I have issues with my digestive tract. I used to be able to eat anything, anywhere, and be just fine. See Semester in Guadalajara, Mexico, eating strange things from street vendors with only minor consequences. But in more recent years, my stomach and intestines have asserted that they will no longer be cooperative. Despite increased water and fiber intakes, I waffle between crippling constipation, nausea, and a sudden, urgent need to poop. The kind of sudden, urgent need that results in a clenched-cheek speed-walk to the nearest facility, accompanied by ominous rumblings and gurglings and muttered prayers that I not embarrass myself in public.

The mister and I were in a bicycle shop in Glenwood Springs, Colorado, a couple of hours west of Denver. He was chatting with the store employee, looking at a topographical map of the area and discussing the best places to go for a mountain bike ride. I was perusing the sale racks, contemplating whether or not I needed a $15 fleece zip-up jacket when suddenly, the NEED struck.

Oh, God, I thought, looking around for a bathroom. Oh, God. I hurried up to the desk and jumped right into the middle of the conversation. “Excuse me,” I said, doing my best to look calm and appear like I wasn’t about to crap in my pants, “do you have a ladies room?”

The clerk nodded and sent me towards a door covered in mountain biking posters. I did my business and zipped and buttoned up. Then I hit the handle to flush.

Jiggle clank. No flushing. I hit the handle harder. Jiggle clank. No flushing. I panicked and shook the handle up and down like a mad woman. Jiggle clank jiggle jiggle clank. NO FLUSHING.


Since, courtesy of owning a home, I know a little bit about toilets and their inner workings, I slipped the top off the toilet tank, hoping the problem would make itself clear.

It did.

There was no water in the tank. No water in the tank equals a failure to flush.

Of course, knowing a problem and being able to remedy a problem are two very different things.

Okay, I thought to myself. If there’s no water in the tank, the toilet can’t flush. So, in order to flush, which I desperately need to do because yuck, I need to get water in the tank. The sink’s on the other side of the room, so I need a bucket to carry water in to fill the tank.

I looked around the room, wild-eyed in panic. No buckets. But there was a tiny blue plastic garbage can!

I pulled the bag out of the can and filled the can with water. I poured the water into the tank and was crestfallen when it only amounted to an inch in the bottom of the tank. Not enough to flush. I hurriedly filled and emptied my little makeshift bucket a couple of more times, getting a grand total of six inches of water in the tank, not even half full.

It’ll have to do, I thought, and I pressed the handle again. The toilet only sort of flushed. It made the right kind of noises, but didn’t really do much of the whole down the drain part.

I debated going through the whole rigmarole again, filling the tank with the little garbage can, but by this point in time I’d been the bathroom for an unreasonable length of time, even by my standards, and I had to get out of there.

I hurriedly reassembled the tank, tucked the garbage bag back into the can, and bolted out of there.

I snagged the black fleece jacket off the sale rack and tossed it on the counter, figuring the poor employee was going to find what I left in that bathroom and the least I could do was bump up his commission a little bit. While paying, I gave the mister the look that says wrap it up now, buddy, or I’ll make you very sorry. He obeys this look, as I have perfected it and the consequences for ignoring it over the course of our seven year relationship and he knows I only bust it out when I mean it.

He quickly thanked the clerk, purchased the topographical map, and we were out of there.

“What the hell were you doing in the bathroom for so long?” he asked.


JM said...

Good thinking with the trash can, Poop MacGyver! That sounds like even more fun than having horrible toxic-gas-style food poisoning while staying with my boyfriend's aunt and uncle.

Elizabeth said...

Ha! Awesome. I also have a strange knowledge of the inner workings of toilets. It comes in handy more than you'd wish for, sadly.
Have you ever considered the possibility that you might be gluten intolerant or have a wheat allergy? Your "issues" sound just like mine before I cut out the gluten.

MOLLY said...

OMG - that's a freakin' awesome story! Someday, I wish I can be as McGyver-ish as you are. I don't think I would've tried to fill up the toilet tank. Did you ever tell the Mister why you bolted out of that store? Bob and I share those kinds of story - we're gross like that.

Buster said...

I totally told the mister. That's too good of a story not to tell, plus, we have no secrets when it comes to poo. He cracked up pretty seriously when I told him about the little blue garbage can.