I was in a public bathroom, minding my own business (Hah! I didn’t even mean it like that) when I heard a sound. There are many sounds you expect to hear in a bathroom, and there are some you’d rather not hear and some which are to be expected, but this sound was different. It wasn’t gross, but it wasn’t something one usually hears in a bathroom. If I were to write the sound as a word, I would spell it thusly:
At first it came from another stall, so I was not concerned. If people want to make sounds in the bathroom, that’s fine with me, but then I heard another one, and this time it was much closer. I heard it again in a faraway stall, and then a loud Blooo-ip erupted directly beneath me. I looked down and there, in the toilet, I saw a bubble pop to the water’s surface accompanied by the now-familiar Blooo-ip.
Call it an overactive imagination, but when I discovered that the very toilet I was sitting on was a source of the Blooo-ip sound, my mind produced an image of me flying through the air on a 15-foot geyser. However, as I previously mentioned, I was attending to some rather important business, which presented a dilemma. As far as I know, most men, unlike dogs that can stop at will, are not able to cease fire once the business is in progress. You can’t see a man about a horse and just leave, you’ve got to close the deal.
Such a predicament can make a man feel downright vulnerable, especially if the Blooo-ip sound becomes louder and more urgent. Why, it could make a man want to exit the bathroom in great haste, even though he knows he must stay seated and attend to the business which brought him there.
There was one comforting part: I was not alone in my angst. A pair of blue and white sneakers on the floor next to me shifted nervously each time a Blooo-ip rang out. I don’t know what he was thinking, but his presence assured me that if I were swept away by a torrent of toilet water, I would at least have a witness.
At long last I signed the deal and the business concluded. I quickly flushed, when much to my shock and alarm, the water swirled round and round, and began to rise.
For the uninitiated, when a toilet is flushed it’s supposed to make a whooshing sound while the water swirls down the hole. That’s what toilets do. If the water begins swirling up in a public restroom, there are very few options. The immediate inclination is to hightail it out of there before someone sees you, and that’s exactly what I did.
Well, not really.
I slowly backed out of the stall, not wanting to leave, but not wanting to claim responsibility and wanting desperately to distance myself from the rising water. As I backed up I saw a janitor right outside the row of stalls pouring drano into one of the floor drains. I gestured towards the stall and said there was a problem, hoping he wouldn’t ask for specifics. He replied, much to my relief, that he was already working on it.
I began making my way to the sinks when the owner of the blue and white shoes opened his door with a bewildered expression. He looked at the janitor kneeling on the floor, then turned to me as if to ask if I too had heard the Blooo-ips. My nod seemed to satisfy him and we both turned toward the sinks, grateful to have escaped uncontaminated.