Monday, April 30, 2012


     Yesterday at work I had two spaz episodes I thought I'd capture in words.
     The first was whilst I was in the bathroom, on the toilet.
     Don't worry, it's not THAT kind of incident. But let me explain that the bathroom adjacent to the library is of the one-seater unisex variety. One toilet, one urinal. There's a sliding sign on the outside that you switch to "OCCUPIED" before going in and locking the door. The real problem is that since this bathroom is between a classroom and the library, once in a while, even though they're not supposed to, a student will use that bathroom. So it's VERY important to use the "OCCUPIED" sign and lock the door.
     I live in fear that I'll THINK I've locked the door, but it won't really be locked. Even if I'm in the stall, I will peek out several times just to make sure the latch on the bathroom door is clearly in the locked position. I get totally OCD about it.
     So yesterday I was sitting there on the toilet doing my business and the STALL DOOR swung open.
     It flashed through my mind that I must have forgotten to lock the bathroom door, and someone had walked right in and opened the stall door. My hand shot out lightning-fast to jam the stall door shut with a bang so hard it made the stall wall reverberate hard enough to knock something off the wall. Whatever it was clattered onto my head and I thought the sky was falling and my public social ruination was all happening at once.
     I honestly don't recall what I said or yelped, probably just some defensive animal sound. I know it wasn't anything as sensible and calm as, "I'm in here!" or just, "Occupied!"
     In the frozen moment afterward I slowly grabbed the fallen thing off my head. The cardboard dispenser of tissue seat covers. My eyes were wide, my breath stopped. I peered between the door and the stall wall, fearing to see a sliver of some student already tweeting the incident on their iPhone. Mr. Kovac on the toilet, pants down, nearly knocked unconscious by tissue paper seat covers.
     I slowly eased the unlatched stall door open to find the bathroom empty, the main door indeed locked. I realized I had merely forgotten to latch the STALL door securely, and it had merely come completely unlatched and creaked open. I was still blessedly alone in the bathroom.
     But I had made a banging, clattering ruckus in there, and I'm sure someone in the classroom just a few feet away must have heard it. My heart thundered with narrowly-avoided shame for minutes afterward.  
     The second incident was when I was leaving for the day, passing by a few students hard at work at one of the tables. Under my arm I had clamped my large drawing pad, in which was carefully (I thought) concealed a cartoon I was nearly finished with. It depicts a man in the forest getting his penis caught in a bear trap, while a monstrously huge Slavic woman charges out of the trees yelling at him for this. (See it HERE) Very high-brow.
     Anyway, as I was bustling by the students with my messenger bag and my drawing pad, a piece of paper shot out onto the table and landed right on top of what the students were working on. Luckily, the students were so startled they immediately looked up at me, which gave me time to snatch the penis-in-a-bear-trap cartoon away before they realized what they were looking at.
     But I was HORRIFIED in that brief instant that I looked down and saw my crude cartoon landing right on top of the students' homework. I would NEVER have lived that down.
     I muttered, "Oh, sorry!" and dashed out the back door.

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