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Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Ever Been in the Wrong Bathroom?

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While I was looking for a cool writing exercise to do this month, I came across this one, on WritersDigest.com:
You head into the bathroom at work, walk into a stall and close the door. Moments later, as you leave the stall, you notice two people standing there and there’s one major problem: They are of the opposite sex. On the spot, you make up an excuse as to why you are in their bathroom.
The prompt called for a response of 500 words or less. I thought it sounded like a really fun challenge, and my mind immediately started racing with cool ideas. Many of them were rather risqué though, so the challenge was going to be coming up with something safe for work! Here goes:
I pulled up my pants, turned, and pressed down on the toilet handle. The water rushed satisfyingly from the cistern into the bowl. As I placed my hand on the lock, I heard voices. While this would normally not be a problem, I noticed with horror that they were women's voices!

Oh crap, I thought (and excuse the pun), I must have turned right instead of left! At four in the afternoon, it had been a long day, and I must not have been thinking clearly.

I decided that maybe if I kept completely quiet, they wouldn't notice me.

“Sarah? Is that you?”

It was Lucy, one of the sales ladies. She was probably with Marie. They must have arrived back at the office late, after visiting a client.

“No, it-it's John,” I stammered, realising that the jig was up and I'd only make a bigger fool of myself if I kept quiet now.

This time, Marie answered. “John? My word, what are you doing in the ladies' bathroom? Get out here!”

Slowly, I turned the lock on the door, pulled it open, and stepped out. I could feel my face hot with embarrassment, certain that I was blushing. The women had their hands on their hips, staring at me expectantly with smirks on their faces, obviously trying hard not to burst out in fits of uncontrollable laughter.

“Well?” said Lucy.

Well, indeed. What was I to say? Should I tell the truth, that I'd just been on auto-pilot and entered the wrong door? No, I decided—that would just expose me to more ridicule. I had to think quick.

“I-I thought there was nobody left in the office,” I said. “There is no toilet paper in the men's, and I figured there'd be no harm in using some of yours. I'm really sorry!” I was slowly turning towards the exit, wanting to get out of there as quickly as possible (I could wash my hands next door, in the right bathroom), but also not wanting to appear rude by running away.

“Shoo-wee!” exclaimed Marie. “John, don't you spray when you finish? What on earth have you been eating?”

I'm sure my face turned an even deeper shade of red than it already had been. Mumbling an apology, I turned back toward the stall and reached in to grab the can of air-freshener. The women laughed as I lifted it in the air and pressed the nozzle down for three seconds.

After they had composed themselves, Lucy replied, “What do you mean there's no toilet paper? I saw Tabs going into both bathrooms at lunch time, with toilet rolls under her arms. She must've put paper in there, then. Why do you men use so much paper?”

I smiled nervously. “Yeah, I'm sorry,” I said. “I guess we do.” I walked closer to the exit, and turned expectantly towards the two, waiting for an indication that I could go.

“John?” said Lucy. “Aren't you even going to wash your hands?”

So, what would your reaction have been? Let me know in the comments below.

Oh, and if you liked this story, and want to read more of my writing, click here to find out about all the books that I've published, and maybe pick one or two of them up!

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