“I don’t have to pee. I don’t have to pee. I. Don’t. Have. To. Pee.” I kept telling myself that for the past ten minutes. It didn’t matter that I had just used the toilet fifteen minutes previous, or that as a rational adult I can hold it for quite a long time. The only thing that mattered was that I was locked out of the bathroom, a fact that forced all rational thought out of my brain.
My first thought was, “Where is the nearest secondary bathroom?” I began mapping out escape routes were it to become necessary. The church down on Main Street. The Town Tavern. My mother-in-law’s house. I suppose the Town Tavern is closest but I’m not sure if I really want to see what their bathroom is like. We don’t have that kind of relationship. Yeah, the church it would be, even if it’s Methodist.
I have no clue how it happened, either. I’m always very careful to make sure I haven’t turned the knob lock, so I think it must have been Lexi. Of course she denies it, but I think she somehow locked it on her way out of the room after bath. I don’t blame her, though. I just wanted to know how it actually went down.
And while I was trying to train my mind to think of other things, my body was betraying me. Why is it that you’re just fine with something until you can’t do it, and then suddenly it’s the only thing on your mind? So my mission was clear. Find a way back into the bathroom, and quickly. But that was easier said than done. You see, there is a tool that is supposed to make it simple to unlock, but the tool went missing. It wasn’t in the place where we keep it.
Enter the paper clip. Someone (my wife, but she told me not to say it was her) told me that if I unfolded a paper clip I would be able to use it just like the missing tool. So I got to work. However, after about five minutes of jiggling, and untwisting again, and manipulating the paper clip in the small opening I was no closer to getting that door back open. “I don’t have to pee,” began to take on a bit of a desperate edge by then.
That’s also when the onlookers arrived on the scene. From my wife (who was supposed to be in the kitchen making pizza), to Lexi (who still claimed she was not the cause of the turmoil), to Cleo the cat (who honestly had no business being anywhere but knocked out on the couch at that point). Yeah, I don’t do my best work under pressure, so I sent them all away and got back to work with the useless paper clip.
By this point I really did have to pee, and no mantra was going to make it all okay. I began plotting the quickest path from my back door to the Methodist church. Luckily for me that’s when my wife returned from her trip to the basement with the very implement I needed. I threw the paper clip into the nearest trashcan while the theme music from “Chariots of Fire” played triumphantly in the background.
The door opened as if by magic. And I closed it again. I didn’t have to pee after all.