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Click any letter for a look at my prize-winning essay from the Erma Bombeck Writing Competition. You don't even have to buy a vowel.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Bathroom Safari

“Morning, Mom. Don’t go in the bathroom.”

Nothing says Rise and Shine like a warning not to use the facilities.

“What’s wrong?” My early morning detection system could use a little work. I totally failed to miss the large “Do Not Disturb” sign resting on a stack of towels the size and shape of the Statue of Liberty. We huddled in a mass and peered in at the terrycloth statue on the checkerboard tile.

“Um, there’s a creature under there.”

“Oh.” My intelligence meter doesn’t top out until after my morning muffin. If my IQ points rose as fast as my blood sugar, I’d be smarter than a fifth grader every morning before the sun came up.

As I blinked to focus, I made out a crude but clever early detection system rigged up in the bathroom. The Towel of Liberty was balancing one of my crystal goblets on the peak. If anything in that statue moved, the Waterford would be water under the bridge faster than you could dam it.

Son Two, the Bugophobe, takes after me. There could be anything from a honey bee in pre-sweetened larva stage to a winged Komodo Dragon under that towel, and the reaction would be the same. No need for facilities—all bodily functions go on automatic pilot.

“What is it?” I’m trying to conjure a worst case scenario. If best case is of the Cricket Is Our Friend variety that I’ve bested in the hundred meters dash before, I won't panic until I hear chirping over the household intercom. But worse case, which includes any type of predatory animal or insect capable of defending itself with teeth, claws, stinger, or obnoxious Lysol-relling odor, would find me dialing 911 from a payphone inside the Animal Control Office.

So far, I’m thinking that towel is going to stay put for the eight and a half hours it will take for Bill to get home. I’m considering hanging out a sign that says “National Monument” and charging admission.

Bug Boy is not big on accurate news reporting. “I’m not sure. It was huge. And it looked mad.”

Great. An irate creature possibly under the influence of growth hormones under a few flimsy towels in my bathroom. How long until it gnawed through the barricade and launched a Rambo-like manhunt for the person responsible for its untimely entrapment and incarceration. It probably had some sort of advanced tracking system embedded in its tentacles.

Oh the positive side, I didn’t have to outrun the creature, only the other person in the race, whom I felt I could outdistance if a natural disaster or a free-flying chair impeded his progress. I was eyeing the furniture for ease of transport, when the goblet shook. We looked at each other.

Out in the yard, we continued the conversation.

“Geez, Mom,” Son Two rubbed his shin. “Why’d you hit me with the recliner? I almost dropped the grill.”

“You were trying to trip me up.”

He dropped the baseball bat and the laptop. “I was just trying to save some of the valuables in case the monster wiped out the house. You know, like Godzilla did to Tokyo.”

About that time, Son One called to us from the bathroom window.

“The coast is clear. You can come in now.”

“Did you kill it?” I imagined crafting shoes for the entire family from the monster’s hide.

“No, I let her out.”

“Her? What was it?”

“It was a lady bug.”

“A lady bug?” I glared at the Bugmeister.

“Mom, that may have been a bug,” he sniffed indignantly. “But she was no lady.”

“And how do you know that?”

“Well, she landed on the jelly glass by the sink."

"Gross, but okay."

But she never even touched the crystal.”

That's my boy. You can't judge a ladybug by her spots, but anybody who rejects lead crystal can just fly away home.

5 comments:

colbymarshall said...

Haha- you have to hate those ladybugs of doom! :-) Funny story! Thanks for visiting my blog, and I'm happy to have discovered yours. Stop back by any time!

Carolyn Erickson said...

And just what was a Waterford crystal goblet doing in your bathroom? Are you summa tem rich Southerners what likes to rinse the toothpaste outta yer mouth with the fancy-pants stemware?! :)

the Bag Lady said...

The Bag Lady shares your distaste (fear?) of anything of the creepy-crawly variety, so saw nothing funny in this post at all -- she would have been right there in the yard with you! :) Well, except that there are creepy-crawlies in the yard, too, right? *full-body shiver*

Actually, this was too funny, and I can seriously relate! Had a spider the size of Manhattan in the toilet once and had to have the Cowboy come in and deal with it. When he asked why I didn't just flush the toilet, I mumbled something about he might have been a strong swimmer...

Amy Mullis said...

colbymarshall--Thanks for stopping by. I'll be visiting you again.

Carolyn--I very carefully cultivate fine china and crystal--that I find on the clearance table for 75% off. I can't afford full price class!

Bag Lady--If I'd found a spider in my toilet, my reaction would imimediately turn it in to an outhouse. (The toilet, not the spider.)

plaidearthworm said...

I love it! Sounds like you could sell the story to Sci-Fi--the movie would definitely be better than 'Mansquito' or the one about the killer ice spiders. :)