I got locked in a toilet today.
My brother came around and we decided between us I had been inside my house for way too long, so he took me to cafe and all was well. Until I needed to go to the bathroom and I discovered that this particular cafe kept its bathroom next to the area everyone waits to order food, and that it was the smallest freaking bathroom in the world.
I don’t like tight spaces much, I’m not a small human and this bathroom was clearly designed to accommodate people one limb at a time. I had to go into it sideways, more or less orient myself and then close the door.
Which locked itself.
I didn’t realize what had happened until I tried to leave the microbathroom and the door wouldn’t open. My first, primitive brain thought was “door won’t open? I WILL OPEN IT HARDER!”
My primitive brain is not made for tiny bathrooms.
This thoroughly buggered the locking mechanism on the door which was already hanging on by a thread. By the time the rest of my brain kicked in and I decided to investigate the handle/lock/sadness hybrid that was keeping me in the Febreeze scented oubliette the lock itself was jammed.
I was unhappy about this.
A lot of thoughts went through my brain. First and foremost was it would be deeply ironic if I died in here after everything that’s happened.
I don’t want to have an ironic death. If I’m going to make the papers passing away I either want it to be because I’ve done something heroically amazingly or heroically strange enough to make everyone who reads it laugh.
There was a tiny little window. I considered climbing out of it despite the fact that it would have accommodated my head and that’s about it. I wasn’t getting out the window without dismantling myself with a chainsaw first. I considered calling for help.
I decided I would give myself five minutes and if I was still stuck I would call my brother and get him to see if he could help. It was a great plan hampered only by the fact that I had left my cellphone in the cafe. Maybe that’s why everyone takes their phone into the bathroom…subconscious fear of getting trapped.
So, thus abandoned by both my primitive brain and my subconscious I was left with modern humanity’s only option: push all the buttons.
I mean this metaphorically, there was only one actual button and I’d already broken it.
At a lot of jobs I’ve worked I’ve ended up with the title of unofficial IT guy because of this willingness to push buttons until something works. It’s actually pretty hard to permanently break a computer these days so I’m perfectly OK with trying any and all solutions I find on Google and then accepting the credit when one of them works.
In the tiny bathroom this meant jiggling the handle, rattling the door and repeatedly twisting the locking mechanism.
There was a pop.
The door creaked open. The line of people who had been waiting to place their order who had been wondering what personal dragon I had been trying to slay in the restroom all looked away suddenly. With as much dignity as I could muster (none) I walked back to the table my brother was at. He was engrossed in his cellphone and didn’t seem to realize how long I’d been gone for.
“You OK?” he asked.
“Sure,” I said. I am full of lies.
If he noticed the rest of the cafe was still looking at me, he was too nice to say anything.
It occurs to me now that I should have told someone who worked there that the lock was broken…
If you are stuck in there now and are reading this on your cellphone, PUSH ALL THE BUTTONS.
It might even work.