Friday, February 5, 2010

A Toilet Possessed

Friday finds me at the end of a long week. Twice in the last three days, I sat down to blog and fell sound asleep with my computer on my lap. I'm hoping to stay awake long enough to finally get something posted.

Today marked my tenth Jazzercise class, so I'm officially calling it a habit. I actually look forward to it. In fact, I credit my new habit with getting me through the last week. I have successfully resisted the urge to have a head-spinning meltdown, and rather than sitting in a bell tower somewhere, I'm calmly blogging in my home. So, I'm gonna keep on dancing.

Most days, I take my workout clothes to school and do a quick change in the bathroom before hurrying off to class. One day last week, the teacher's bathroom was occupied, so I changed in a stall in the girl's restroom. The toilets in our school flush automatically when you stand up (and sometimes when you don't) with a very loud whooshing sound. The water pressure is so strong, you can feel a breeze off the mini-hurricane in the toilet.

I can almost hear you thinking, "Interesting, Kathy, but are you so desperate for blogging topics that you're writing about the toilet?"

Well no, not yet. The extraordinary flushing power of our school's toilets is integral to my story.

As I said, I went into the stall to change. I set my bag on the floor and slipped off my sensible work shoes. When I bent over to pull my Nike's out, the toilet read my change in altitude as a flushable moment. I ignored it, flipped my slacks over the stall door and bent over again to pull out my sweats. A stiff breeze wafted across the back of my legs as the toilet flushed again.

I pulled on my sweats and bent over to pull my athletic socks out of the bag. WHOOOOOSSHH! This flush was accompanied by giggles. I was alone in the bathroom, and with the stampede that occurs at dismissal, the hall was mostly empty. But two girls were sitting on the other side of the wall that separates the stalls from the main hallway. (We spent our entire school bathroom budget on good water pressure and ran out of money before we could install a door.)

I could only imagine what the girls were thinking. Why is Mrs. Owens alone in the bathroom and repeatedly flushing the toilet? Now I was paranoid. I needed to put on my socks and pull my t-shirt out of the bag, but I didn't want the toilet to flush again. I tried to put on my socks without bending over. I lost my balance and crashed into the side of the stall. As the walls reverberated, the toilet flushed again. The giggles became laughter.

I couldn't just leave the stall because I was still half-dressed. I contemplated looping my foot through the strap on the bag to get to my t-shirt. Then I contemplated cracking my head on the flushing toilet when I lost my balance with my foot tangled in the strap. Resignation set in, and I bent over quickly and grabbed my t-shirt. The toilet mocked my attempt at a speedy recovery with a loud whooshing raspberry. I muttered something unrepeatable under my breath. The flush as I put on my shoes came on the heels of the flush as I repacked my bag. I finally got out of the possessed toilet's stall, but not without a farewell flush.

The girls sobered up as I left the bathroom. I held up my gym bag. "I was changing clothes."

I don't know why I tried to explain. One of the girls looked confused for a moment, and then her face brightened.

"Gym class makes me pee a lot too."

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