You’re probably asking yourself how I could ever hope to become a noteworthy writer, someone whose blog develops a wider readership, if I am always running off to the bathroom (as a source of story ideas that is! ) Well, perhaps I really do have a subconscious inner tendency towards writing bathroom humour. If so, it’s a very mild affliction. I’ve only covered such benign topics as an outhouse makeover, communal bathing, bathtub slip and sliding, bath water baling, and sudsy tic-tac-toe up to this point—my twenty-third day of blogging. And so far I have done nothing I regret, and done no irreparable harm. Some may accuse me of massacring Poe’s Raven, in a bathroomcentric parody, but I think the jury’s still out on that one. After all, parodies of literary masterpieces just can’t be resisted sometimes. So now, on to the business at hand!
As Dylan Thomas once wrote:
“Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should blog and post at end of day;
Write, write against the dying of the light!”
—He didn’t say that? Well, I think I can fix that!
Many tales could be told, focusing on that large bathroom to the left of the stairs, in the big yellow brick farm-house where my father grew up. Unlike the tiny bathroom in the little white house next door, where we lived until my fourth sibling, Kathy, was born, this one was very roomy.Before the installation of indoor plumbing it had been one of four upstairs bedrooms. When we first moved in, its floor was covered with horrible dark brown tiles that repulsed my mother. She complained that my grandmother’s favorite colour in the house seemed to have been brown, as it was everywhere. For someone who liked to know when things were truly clean, especially bathrooms, it was a terrible situation. To change it became my father’s first project in a list of many.
The floor was soon a gleaming white, and the walls and floor-to-ceiling cupboards either side of the tub enclosure were freshly painted a bright aqua.The one thing that Dad overlooked though,was replacing the door handle in the bathroom’s square walk in closet. This closet had become a favourite place to run to when playing Hide and Seek.It had one draw back —you needed to remember not to shut the door all the way, as it had no doorknob on the inside. It had apparently fallen off and been lost years before. Occasionally it happened that you would, in fact, lock yourself in, but with a large number of kids around at all times, rescue was an easy thing; you just yelled. That is, until that fateful day that one of the younger girls, locked the bathroom door, hid in the closet and slammed the knob-less door firmly shut!
“HaHa! No one will ever find me in here!” seemed to be playing out rather well until boredom set in. And then impatience— and then realization— and then panic—and then yelling and pounding—and then howling and sobbing. It was so traumatic for the younger kids that more than one of them believe, to this day, that they were the trapped victim.
The rescuer is known, of course. Several frantic kids ran at breakneck speed to chase down a valiant prince in a nearby field. He jumped from his dusty tractor, and ran to the barn for his extension ladder. He clattered up to the bathroom window, and pushed the screen in ahead of himself. He overcame his fear of heights to step off the ladder and heave himself in through the narrow opening. Ten seconds later he came out of the bathroom with our sobbing sister in his arms. Then he put her down and helped her blow her nose into his dusty red hankie, took a two-inch pencil stub from his shirt pocket, and wrote “door knob” on the bottom of his ever-present list.