Monday, June 18, 2012

Rest STOP!!

Nory was driving home from the shore and decided to call a friend who lived halfway home to see if they were up for company.
When she  got  the voice mail she figured; so okay, not going there, but in front of me is a gas station with very cheap gas, and I really need some. While I am there why not use the bathroom if it is not too gross and there is no giant key on a boat paddle to drag around?  There was no key and it was a large tiled room with a sink, toilet, hand dryer and a urinal.  When getting out of the car, she thought, should I take the keys? And she answered herself in her head; how long am I gonna be in there?  I'll just take the phone.  It was not the fanciest, but today one does not leave the phone.

How did this make sense? The car was worth way more than the phone, and the radio was still on,  but she had confidence in the young Indian looking man who spoke very good English, and sported a navy sweater vest over a white T-shirt.
The vest was kind of odd, but so is life, and Nory  kept her bag over her shoulder so it would not get all germy on the floor or walls or sink or anything.  It was pretty clean in there not really clean but then again not gas station dirty.  She washed her hands, dried with the industrial leaf blower in the wall and then tried the door handle.

When she came in she had wondered, should I lock this door?  She did not know where that came from.  Of course you lock the door!  Who wants someone walking in on you?  You can't stand up, you cannot push the door closed.  It was not a stall, it was a room you could put a roller rink in and have room for the disabled seating as well.  Now she was going back over her previous thoughts.  I told you not to lock this door!

There is a button on the wall behind the handle of a mop.  It says something like: push button if rest room needs attending.  That's odd, am I in an elevator?  Nory is more than perplexed.  She is locked in the rest room, and though it is not too dirty she does not wish to touch any surfaces not previously touched by herself  in the last few minutes. She pushed the button.

The young man comes to the heavy metal door, and like a man asks "what have you done?"  "Turn it to the right!"  But she has turned it to the left, right and in the middle and the bolt in the door frame is just plain not moving.  She tries to call her friend who lives right down the road, but the room is metal and she cannot call through, though later, she sees that a call has gone through.

There is much jimmying, shivvying, juking, shaking and banging on the door. The echoes of the tile walls are incredible and Nory covers both ears with her hands, making sure that her purse does not leave her shoulder. Bam bam Bam Bam, he is hitting the metal door with a hammer, and the sound is deafening!

She tries a nail file like they do in movies, she inserts it into the crack and lifts it and it hits the bar just as if it were a deadbolt, no business card or credit card was going to do the trick.  Her Swiss Army knife was too heavy to carry, and she had taken it out of her bag years ago, plus, she could never get it on a plane, but if she had it, the screws for the doorknob were on her side of the door, as were the giant hinges.  The hinges would need a hammer and a very big screwdriver, but the gas jockey, between continually running out to fill people's tanks, slipped the tip of a screwdriver under the door.  It was too short to get any leverage.
She slipped it in her back pocket.  And stands away from the door, should he somehow push it into the room.

They are getting tired.  "Should we call 911?" he asked.  "I really don't think I want to do that yet," Nory tells him, thinking how embarrassing that would be: headline news: Woman Stuck in Jersey John!

Finally, in a move where he completely misunderstands Nory, he decides to hit the doorknob, which is the cheapest part of the assembly and which, eventually bends and falls to the floor, but the lock mechanism stays stuck in the round hole of the door.  It is some time with both of them pushing pulling and scraping at the metal bar, but at last he gets some purchase on it, and it falls to the floor, and the door swings open.

Nory walks out and hands him back the screwdriver wondering do I really have to pay for the gas now?
"You are pretty good from that," he said, "Some customers would be terrible".  Nory's mind is asking: is this not the first time this has happened?  She asks how much for the gas, and it is the same 40 dollars she told him not to exceed. She suggests taking a photo to commemorate the occasion but it seems too awkward. She did not even look at the pump to check the amount as she got into the car, still slightly shaken by the small misadventure, but she did get a receipt for the forty dollars.

She called her friend so that he would not come running over with tools when she was already gone. " Nory, I'm really busy here, honestly," he said.
"I'm sure you are" she said, and hung up.  He was not listening to me at all, she decided, now I just look like some kind of nag for calling 3 times.
 The hell with it, she considered, I'm going to get a doughnut at Johnson's farm and go home.


  1. At least it's not the "Hellraiser" version where the walls rotate and she finds she's in a porcelain tiled hell instead of the world's largest unisex toilet.

    Or is the guy who let her out thinking, "Ha, third one today!" as he reassembles the mechanism for the next victim?

  2. I'm gonna have to rethink that. It could be good.


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