Thursday, April 16, 2009

Why Me (Incident # 2684982)

I had an Anamika episode this morning. That's about all that can explain the "why me" feeling I frequently experience.

I eventually reached office, unscathed, a free woman - my dignity creeping back to normal. Thinking, "Well, of course I will blog about it, but I don't have to go out of my way to tell Anando." And I get a call from him. The man actually snickers on the phone and says "tsk tsk...chhee chhee...". And I know. Word has got around. Oh well. I wait. "How did you find out?" I ask.

"I was in the gym, and the guy at the reception came and told me, 'Sir, your wife is stuck in the bathroom.'" Of course, Anando in his oh-my-god-my-poor-wife sympathy (NOT) asked "still?" I can just imagine him barely blinking or missing a step on the machine as he received this report. His only concern, is the ordeal over? And, how many of the fellow gymmers heard this guy make my wife sound like a 2-year-old?

I plead guilty. Here's what happened.

Anando and I usually get to the gym around 7.20 am. This being Dubai, there are separate halls for men and women. I walked in, smiled at the lone girl in the gym whom I see sometimes, and walked ahead to the locker area. She was not wearing earphones, I noted. And that knowledge helped when I was screaming my lungs out about 80 seconds later.


Aside: It's a boring gym. Very few people come in except for the aerobics sessions in the evenings. Mornings, especially Thursdays, are very quiet. The music player only works when the staff handle it, the air-conditioning makes a lot of noise, the water heater is often out of order, but in these recessionary times I guess we'll take what we get.

Okay, so I got to the locker, put away my bag and stepped into the toilet (got to get rid of that 500 ml of water I drink first thing each morning). Now, I have a horror of getting locked in a public toilet so I always check the door lock before shutting myself in. Did that too. Then I turned towards the toilet and realised it wasn't quite usable. (Let's just say the previous user had poor civic sense.)


So I turned to get out and enter a different cubicle, only to see that I was locked in! Hmmm....Let's try this one more time. No, it really doesn't work. So I am actually locked in.

First thoughts: embarrassing.
Second thoughts: thank goodness that girl is on the treadmill outside.
Third thoughts: She may have walked out.
Fourth thoughts: Her bag was in the changing room, so she will come back.
Fifth thought: EXCUSE ME....
(As you can see, by now I was thinking aloud. Very very aloud.)
The fifth thought turned into a sixth, seventh, eighth, ninth...nth....And finally I heard someone approaching.

Anyway, it was all under control after that. The guy at the reception was called in. He took a look at the door and me (there's a crack between the door and door frame) and said "I'll just be back." (I thought then that he went to fetch help, but now I think he went to tell Anando.) He came back with a spray (no label) and sprayed it at the lock from outside. I couldn't believe it. I thought it might be some sort of acid that just magically, MI-3' ishly melts away metal. But then he passed it to me through the gap between the door and the roof, and asked me to do the same. I still don't know what he planned to do with that. When that didn't work, he went off again.

Eventually I rescued myself. I discovered that the knob was loose. So I pulled it out entirely. And went at the screw below it. And a few seconds and half a fingernail later I was free. Just as the mechanic was walking in. Hah! I dusted my hands and looked a bit aggrieved in an "it's okay" effect. And said nonchalantly "You had better put an 'out of order' sign on that door."

Profuse apologies followed from the staff. When they left I admitted my desperation and offered profuse thanks to my knight in shining armor. (Okay, so she was a girl in stretch pants.) She said she had barely heard the sound over the noise of her treadmill. (Next person who calls me loud please take note. I can't be loud to save my life. Ahem) And first thought it was coming from outside. I am so glad she chose to stop, catch her breath, and investigate. If she hadn't been at the gym this morning I'd have been stuck in the loo till I don't know when. And it wasn't even a clean loo. If I'd been there all day, I might even have cleaned it. My office would have missed me. But I don't know if they'd have called Anando. And so I may have been there till, let's see...tomorrow's Friday and the gym is closed on Fridays....

Okay, I'm alive. Let's celebrate that this weekend.

And oh, these embarrassing things have happened before. Enjoy.

12 comments:

OrangeJammies said...

you poor, poor baby. I was locked in a restroom cubicle for a full 20 minutes right before my first date with the Boy. There was no one within screeching distance, so I could only text him and struggle frantically. Thankfully, the loo was sparkling clean. Always pays to date in fancy places. ;0)

Thinking Cramps said...

Hey OJ...how did you finally get out? 20 minutes is scary! But you know, if it hadn't been a fancy place, chances are there would have been a long queue waiting to use the restroom and they'd have arranged to let you out!

OrangeJammies said...

Now that's a very valid point! But I'm weird that way. I prefer clean over crowded. I jiggled and pushed and thumped my ample hip against the door and finally the latch gave way. I was so nervous about the date that I was almost relieved I could call it off due to a bathroom malfunction.

Tagore Town said...

Imagine !! I avoid washrooms in flight for fear of getting locked and no one being able to hear me with the buzz of the plane...I can almost feel ur plight..scary to the hilt...but very well written...despite the fear cud not help giggle.

eve's lungs said...

Poor you . But all's well that ends well . I'm terrified about toilet locks . I was once in a train loo and couldnt unbolt it . For about 5 minutes I struggled with the rusty catch till it bloody gave away . Im sure it will happen again .

dipali said...

Anamika, I've had three such experiences, the first when I was about seven years old, in school, trying to open a new kind of latch. Second time and third time I got locked into ladies rooms in hotels- the first time I had a friend with me, she called someone, and I had to endure several minutes of banging while they broke the lock. On the other occasion they managed to open it with less scary sound effects. At least these loos were clean!

Thinking Cramps said...

OJ: I'm with you on clean over crowded! You called off the date? You were nervous? Nah...

Tagore Town: Oh, that is another of my fears Chan didi, I have to keep reassuring myself that they WILL check the washroom when the plane lands :)

Eve's Lungs: Shubh shubh bolo...may it never happen again!

Dipali: So many years down the line, but you still get my sympathies!

Anonymous said...

hey how come i didn't hear about this when we met?!! lol

g

Thinking Cramps said...

G: Blame the vodka shots :)

A Muser said...

My pet fear is the lock giving way when I'm in the middle of doing the deed. I always check and double-check the lock and hope it holds...

Diligent Candy said...

i should have read this before meeting you :)

Ketan said...

Didn't you think, trying to break open that lock was merely meant be an anaerobic exercise session for you?