On our floor the women's washroom has 3 stalls to choose from. As anyone who has ever been in an on-going multiple stall situation knows, over time you tend to pick your favourite stall based on the various factors I'm about to explain.
The third stall toilet has a tendency to overflow.
As a result, the walls of this stall have been covered in signage indicating the tricks to flushing this particular toilet while avoiding overflow. One sign instructs you to flush once, then wait 30 seconds and follow-up with a half flush. A second sign advises you to hold the handle down for the duration of the flush and then jiggle the handle until the water stops running. While a third sign (which I'll admit I put up just to mess with people) asks that you do two brisk half-flushes and simultaneously lift the seat up and down three times while using your foot to spin the toilet paper roll in a counter clock-wise motion. Now I'm not sure if what any of these signs suggest actually prevents overflow, but I think we can all agree that what these signs are really saying is, unless you're desperate, use another stall.
This brings us to the second stall. I've never been a fan of the second stall since, as the middle stall, it seems to lend itself to the least amount of privacy. As well, the seat of the toilet makes an odd noise when you sit down on it. And I don't know about you, but in a stall type of situation, the last thing I want is a weird noise coming from my stall's general direction.
And so, we're left with the first stall, which, up until this incident, was always my favourite. It was my favourite mainly because it didn't have the undesirable traits of the other stalls. But as we learned this day, no stall is perfect. This stall, it seems, has a faulty lock on it. So back to the story...
Terra and I knew that there was a person stuck in stall number one and it was up to us to free her.
As I approached the stall I could see one of the victim's shoes from under the door. It was a black studded Michael Kors ballet flat.
"Jasmine?" I shouted. "is that you?"
"Yes." Jasmine mumbled sheepishly. "How did you know?"
"I have those shoes," I said pleasantly, "in silver, remember?"
"Um, yeah," Jasmine pleaded, "can you help me out of here?"
"Oh. Right. How long have to been in there?".
"Since yesterday" said Terra, doing her best Jasmine impersonation. I snorted out a laugh. Of course this was all it took for Terra and I to lose focus and start yelling things like "should we call your husband at work?", "who's your next of kin?" and "don't go towards the light!".
Once we'd composed ourselves I got to work on closely inspecting the lock on the stall that had imprisoned Jasmine. Out of the corner of my eye I noticed that Terra was frantically pulling huge pieces of toilet paper off the roll from the third stall and tying it in knots.
"Uh... what are you doing?" I asked.
"I'm making a rope ladder out of TP", Terra replied.
Realizing that this was likely the best plan her "rescuers" were capable of reduced Jasmine to tears and she sobbed "am I going to have to crawl out of here?".
We all looked down at the tile floor of the washroom with distain and I heard Terra throw up in her mouth a little. We knew that if Jasmine had to slink under the door with both hands and the majority of her outfit touching the superficially sanitized floor that the three of us would have that image permanently burned in our memories.
I shuddered and looked at Terra. "Do you have a credit card and a coat hanger?" I asked.
"Meghan", she sighed, "this is not the time to be thinking about shopping".
"Not for shopping. For picking the lock." I looked down at her toilet paper rope ladder and shook my head. "You'd have a better chance of saving her by throwing one of your fallopian tubes over the stall to rescue her. Now let's break her out."
Remembering that I had thrown some tweezers in my purse that morning when I had noticed that my eyebrows had taken on the distinct appearance of two hamsters super-glued to my forehead, I began to rummage through my purse until I found the tweezers, as well as a hair pin. Silently thanking the Surrey School District for adding that breaking and entering class to our ninth grade curriculum, I began my handy work on the lock.
Jasmine was still sniffling and sobbing from within the stall and Terra was covering the floor with paper towel. Clearly, neither of them had much faith in me.
"What's the paper towel for? Are you about to give birth again?" I whispered at Terra.
"No," she hissed, "this is in case she has to crawl out". The thought of this caused Jasmine to wail again and I could tell she was near hysterics.
I flicked the hair pin around and slid the tweezers between the door and the lock and the stall door magically swung open. Jasmine jumped up and down and bolted out of the stall. We all cheered and dodged hug attempts from Jasmine as we waited for her to wash her hands.
Once we had finished celebrating, we all agreed to never speak a word of this to anyone again.
Luckily no one mentioned anything about not documenting it in the form of a blog.
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