Actually, it IS Rocket Science

Holy crap

Around 5 pm yesterday my toilet began to make incredibly awful sounds.  Sounds like those your emphysemic granddad would make after laughing too hard and choking on his own phlegm in the process.  Yeah.  That bad.  I wish I could say it was something that I did to it (actually, I don’t, ifyoucatchmydrift, otherwise this would turn into a completely different post), but it just started this on its own.   That worries me, because it means it could happen again, at any time, and anything that has to do with a temperamental toilet, one that stands dangerously close to my closet where all my clothes reside, just doesn’t sit well with me.

It was also unsettling because the noise it was making was of the this-is-about-to-turn-into-a-geyser-situation variety, so that only added to my dismay.  Truth be told, I know nothing about plumbing, apart from when to know to turn the water supply off and how to use an auger, plus the occasional plunger and brush every so often.  Fun fact!  Ashlin’s main chore growing up in the Phillips’ household was to clean all the toilets.  I could get away with not sweeping the staircase once every so often, but the toilet chore was my parent’s own little fongu to me for being a 12-year-old curmudgeon, and I wasn’t really allowed to scrimp on it.

So after shutting off the water and checking the upper tank to see no visible sign of foul play, or anything that I could necessarily correct given my limited plumbing skills, I had to bite the bullet and call the front office.  I spoke with a nice woman who listened intently to my issue and responded:

Lady:  Okay.  Let me put in a request for maintenance services to come out there.

Ashlin:  That would be great, thank you.

Lady:  Okay.  Thank you for calling, have a nice day.

Ashlin:  Oh, can I ask for an estimate on when they might be arriving?

Lady: Hmm.  Well.  They’ve left for the day.  Soooo, probably tomorrow morning?


Nooooowww, here’s where the issue is about to be upgraded from threat level annoying to threat level apocalypse.  Because I don’t think I need to explain to you that sometimes certain things happen in certain locations at certain times that certainly cannot be controlled by willpower.  And suddenly my afternoon was transformed into an epic horror story of refusing to eat or drink anything in sheer hope that it might keep certain things from happening in certain locations that might turn a bad situation worse for the next 14+ hours.

This morning, I was awakened by two things.  Luckily, neither one of them was the sonic blast that I was anticipating from my ailing toilet, though.  Instead, I opened my eyes to the feeling of such extreme thirst that it was the only thing my brain was considering.  If I had turned on the news and caught a story about how they cured all types and stages of cancer, I still wouldn’t have been able to concentrate because unless the TV had turned into a water cooler, I wouldn’t be interested.  At the SAME TIME, the pee trolley was coming into the station fast.  Which made me infinitely ticked off at my body.  I’m full of water, but in exactly the wrong place.  Amazing.

So I considered my options.  As near as I could tell, I had two:  I could suck it up and deal with the embarrassment that came when the maintenance guy finally showed up, even though everybody pees, and really the only thing that should be considered embarrassing would be if I peed anywhere but the designated place for it.  But I still would have been mortified had it come to that.  The other option was that I could continue to hold it, which frightened me unendingly because I still remember a story someone told me in the 3rd grade about someone who’s bladder burst on them and they DIED IMMEDIATELY.  Negating the fact that 3rd graders are prone to elaborating stories and what probably happened was someone just got a really bad UTI, drank some cranberry juice, and were back to breakdancing later that evening.

Someone is going to read this and say, “Why didn’t you just pee in the shower? DUH.”  Okay, okay, first of all- NO.  Secondly, unless you have means of accurately directing your stream, guys, you’re pretty much just trying desperately to avoid having splashback on your feet.  Plus, I’ve been around you dudes long enough to know that even though you possess the incredibly amazing ability to be so dexterous in the process that you can write your name in the snow in cursive, you also somehow manage to screw it up… a lot.

Then I had a thought.  There is a public restroom/changing station right outside my apartment’s pool.  It’s always open and although I despise using public bathrooms, at this point my brain was being steered by what I would imagine a 9 month past-due-date pregnant woman with twins would feel like.  I’ve heard about pregnancy brain, and suddenly I think I’ve got a much better understanding of it.  If your every thought was wired around having to go that badly, you’d forget to pick up the dry cleaning too.

So I ran downstairs and surveilled the area.  There were a couple kids playing in the pool with their mom reading a book poolside and a guy weed whacking toward the back.  Not that bad, little chance of public judgment: go for it.  I hadn’t been in there for 10 seconds before I heard someone else come in and take the stall next to me.  Whatever.  Misery loves company and so on and so forth.  But what happened next will haunt me for the rest of my life.

It’s something to pee in a public restroom.  It’s entirely another to take an ex-lax deuce so virulently loud that it makes your pee story seem like you were simply late for tea.

I finished up and exited as soon as I could to avoid eye contact with the bullhorn-ass, also because I was laughing so uncontrollably that I was having a hard time keeping it quiet.  I ran out of there and did what you all know you would do too had you been there; I looked back out to see who out of the four were the guilty party.

But they were all still there.  The kids, still in the pool with their game, the mom reading quietly nearby.  Weird.

And then I saw it.

The weed whacker.  Laying on the ground.  Without its operator.  And a sign on the men’s restroom saying it was out of service.

And goddam, man.  What kind of crazy diet are you on?  Do all guys take massives in public restrooms and we just never knew it before?  I felt like I was let behind the velvet curtain of some disastrous secret I never, EVER wanted to know about.  And just, ugh.  Dear lord. Just… Eeech.  I give up.  I give the fuck up.


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