Hello Readers! Something happened Sunday that I have to Just Write about. Because shit like this only happens to me.
Do you remember the humor writing class I took in October-November? Well, the instructor of the class, Dave Fox (noted humor and travel writer) was in Denver this past Sunday, and he posted on his website, Globejotting.com.,that he and his wife were hosting happy hour at a downtown pub. Any and all readers of his blog/ travel books or former students in the vicinity were invited to come meet them, have a few brews and chat.
This was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up, even though it was way out of my comfort zone. An hour-long drive in frigid weather? Check. Meeting total strangers, perhaps many of them? Check. Pressure to make intelligent and witty conversation with an admired and rather famous writer? Check.
Gaa, I was a wreck.
Thank goodness hubby agreed to join me. He’s gotten quite good at “hand-holding” me through social situations, and that man can chat up a fire hydrant.
When we arrive at the pub, I immediately spot Dave and his wife; we exchange pleasantries and are ushered into a room reserved just for “friends of Dave Fox.” I feel important already. Soon the room is teeming with strangers. We toast to Dave, swill beer and mingle about.
After one (quite strong) craft beer, I’ve loosened up enough to strike up a conversation with Dave and his wife. They’re jet-lagged (they live in Singapore) but still manage to be hilarious and warm and completely awesome.
Orders go in for round of beer #2. I become completely lost in discussion with a couple who, several years ago, decided to sell their home and all of their worldly possessions to travel (and write about it) all over the world.
They seriously live out of a suitcase. No home base AT ALL. No car, no stuff, no frills. The idea freaks me out and appeals to me at the same time. How brave are they? I’m in awe of their vagabond spirit.
I become so engaged in conversation that suddenly, I realize that I have to pee really bad. We are talking emergency here. Two craft beers threaten to spill out of my person at any second. And remember, I’m the kid who earned the nickname “Leaky” as a child.
I race down the corridor in search of a bathroom. The first one I see is a free-standing single bathroom with a placard that reads: Handicapped. I don’t see any wheelchairs in the vicinity and Hell, a bladder like mine is a handicap in my book, so I go for it.
Doing the pee-pee dance, I lock the door, dash to the toilet and baaaarely make it. Whew.
I wash up and turn the lock to exit the bathroom. The lock won’t budge. I use more force. Nope. I twist the heck out of the thing. Nada.
I resort to banging on the door, hollering, “Hey! I’m stuck in here! Help! Help!” It’s noisy in the bar and I yell for five minutes until someone (from the “friends of Dave Fox” group) hears me and assures me that help is on the way.
By now, my husband wonders where I’ve gone, so he wanders down the corridor and hears me screaming and banging. I’m screaming and banging and suddenly I hear the sonorous sound of his laughter. Jerk is in stitches and doing zippo to help me, which pisses me off.
Two male staff members arrive at the scene. “Turn the lock! Turn the lock to the right, Ma’am,” they yell.
“Oh please! I know how to open a fucking door!” I screech, furious now. “The dang lock won’t move!”
“Okay, uh, sorry for that. Umm, are you able to push on the door? Are you in a wheelchair?”
“No, I’m able to push on the door,” I admit. So I push. And push. And push.
“Are you pushing, Ma’am?” they ask.
“Yes, dammit, I’m pushing but I’m not a big person! I’m…oof…small! Oof.” Push. Push.
“Okay, uh, don’t panic, Ma’am. We’re just going to round up some tools. I think we’re gonna have to take the door off the hinges.”
By now, word has spread that some foul-mouthed, idiot woman has locked herself in the handicapped bathroom, so a crowd begins to form, and from the sound of it, they find my predicament amusing.
I can still hear my husband, who by now is in hysterics.
“Piss off, you fucker!” I holler at him through the door. “This isn’t funny!”
More laughter. “Oh yes it is,” he says. I think he might have even snorted.
The men return, tools in hand. They take the hinges off the right side of the door. No luck. That lock is jammed so tight that the door won’t come off.
I picture myself wasting away and dying, stuck forever in the handicapped bathroom.
“Okay, Ma’am. Ummm, that didn’t work. Can you kick the door? Hard as you can?”
I’m fuming, so kicking the door is no problemo. Sure, I’ll kick. Kick. Kick. Kickkickkick.
“Can you kick any harder?”
Argh! Wham! Wham! Whaammmm–and the door flies off, almost crushing the dudes trying to help me.
I look out at the faces of the “friends of Dave Fox,” including Dave, all in various stages of mirth.
I am the incontinent girl who pilfered the handicapped bathroom and then broke it. In front of people she wanted to impress. Awesome.
As I scurry out of the bathroom, one of the friends pipes up, “you know, it’s even funnier because she stole the handicapped toilet. That’s like, the icing, you know?”
Only me, I swear.