Helpless moments may come along more than we like in life; a sick child, the home team losing. Few, however, rival a toilet that overflows in front of your eyes. But this morning, that was exactly what happened – so here is that story.
About 9:30 this morning I had to siphon off four cups of dark roast. I saddled up to the urinal in our small office bathroom, went through the motions and apparently hit the flush lever with a bit more enthusiasm than was necessary. You get used to the sounds of toilets you are familiar with, not unlike I can tell on a Saturday morning by the sound of footsteps on the stairs which of my kids is coming down. I knew within seconds something was amiss; things didn’t sound right – and they sure as hell didn’t look right. In those fleeting few moments before a cascade of water and urine breached the lip of the urinal, I held out hope that Our Lady of Flushometers would intervene on my behalf. It wasn’t to be. The pee water was overflowing and creeping across the tile floor, pinning me against the far wall like I was in that room full of snakes in Raiders of the Lost Arc.
I admit, with the waters now placid, I considered scooting out on the whole, soupy mess. But like I said, I am in a small office, so escape was impossible and at the very least, I could be easily traced. I realized too, not only did I have to own up to this and sop up the “water” but I would have to abate the smell that was sure to set in. I considered the mop, but soon understood that I would only by “moving” the issue to another medium, not actually “removing” anything, thereby doubling my efforts. Instead, I started to unfurl paper towels like Greenpeace banners at a Republican Convention. For the record, dumping undiluted Pine Sol into an enclosed space is a sinus clearing, eye watering exercise. The bathroom was as clean as it has been in a long time.
Later in the day, not long after lunch, I considered walking downstairs to our shop to pee. Instead, chanting the “lightening never strikes the same place twice” mantra, I walked into the lemon, pine, citrus aromatherapy chamber of the office men’s room. I pulled the lever gently and I may have even closed my eyes in anticipation. Yes…I knew who was coming down the stairs.
(As a fun note, who among you have a file stored on your computer called “backed up urinal.doc”?)