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.

Not actual bathroom though. I have limits.


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.



The Bloggess (aka Jenny Lawson) made a frank confession on her Twitter feed about an awkward moment at the airport.


and Twitter didn’t just respond, it responded AWESOMELY. Tales of utter awkwardness spread like wildfire, with a combined sense of shame and growing community spirit over our shared human moments. There’s one of mine up there detailing what was a formative moment in my early working life:

Nov 2:

when I was a travel agent my PC froze mid-booking. I said to my customer “I’m sorry ma’am, I’m having trouble getting it up.”

That…took some living down.

I bring it up not only because The Bloggess was nice enough to retweet me amongst all the other amazing stories, but because I had another amazingly awkward moment this morning at chemotherapy.

I was sitting in the chair hooked up and half asleep. My Mother was there being awesome and supporting me, and I heard one of the Doctors say to my Mother “Here again huh?”…except I thought he was talking to me and I responded before Mum could.

“Sadly,” I said. Implying I was sad that my mother was in fact there, supporting me, again.

It took a few seconds for me to realize what I’d just said. Mum broke out laughing and the doc looked horrified. I tried to say sorry but couldn’t get a word out of my mouth. I eventually managed to croak out ‘um…sorry Mum’. She thought it was hilarious, but I don’t think that doctor will ever look at me the same way again.

Maybe I can wear a mask in next time…

I'm going to wait here until everyone else is gone.

I’m going to wait here until everyone else is gone.

I just scared a courier away from my house by burping.

In my defense the burp caught us both off guard, and I didn’t know he was there until it was much, much too late.

If my throat hadn’t been occupied I like to think I would have screamed DUCK AND COVER before unleashing hell, but as it was the burp ripped its way out of me like I was Ellen Ripley having a bad dream.

There was a moment of silence afterwards. The spiders dropped off the ceiling.

The cats hid under the bed.

The courier stared at me. I stared back. He very slowly put down my parcel on the ground by the front door.

“Uh…” I began. I was going to apologize as best I could but he didn’t give me the chance. With an expression on his face somewhere between disgust and abject terror this professional deliverer of things turned and ran away. It wasn’t a professional ‘I have places to be jog’, it was a ‘Oh Lord what is going to come out of that guy next?’ run.

I’m not proud…but I am a little amused especially as now we’re going to have to move house so I never have to see that poor, scared little guy again.