I had an exciting day Tuesday, one that included a train ride into NYC, a trip to the Penguin building, my first ever podcast, a visit with my editor, meeting a bunch of the publicity people, lunch with my publicist, a visit with my agent and checking out a possible venue for my NY launch party in August.
I could write an entire post about it, but I just can’t resist sharing what happened at the very end of the day…
A little background: I’ve made this trip into NYC before and learned the hard way about the train bathrooms. I won’t go into detail, but think men, aim, moving trains and no toilet paper. Bad times.
So I time my liquid consumption and pre-train bathroom visits carefully on these trips. This day goes well in every respect and to top it off, when it’s time to go I score a ticket for the 4:50 express train to Dover. I have 8 minutes to board the train and of course, need to make that last precautionary trip to the bathroom. By the time I get there it’s closer to four minutes. No problem. I zip into a stall, hang my bulging purse (free books, sweater, spare shoes) on the back of the door. I’m in a rush so I don’t look too closely, except to check the seat for anything yucky. All clear.
But the automatic flush thing goes off before I’m quite ready to stand (damn those things!) which makes me jump up and then, as I look down to survey the situation, I see the water rising and rising FAST! And there’s stuff in there that’s got nothing to do with me, Unspeakable Things I did not see in my cursory check. I swear and jerk my underwear up and yank my purse off the door and try to hold my dress up at the same time but the water is milliseconds from the top and I have to move BACK towards the toilet to get around the door because my purse is so massive and I see the water coming for me, Unspeakable Things in it, starting to spill over the edge…
I’m yelping and feel like I’m moving in slow motion. Finally I burst through the stall door with a shriek that jolts the two women standing at the sinks. I hurl myself at the soap pump but look back before rinsing and see the water is, again, almost upon me. I go “Ahh! Ahh!” and leap/hop my way out of the bathroom with a final warning shout over my shoulder to the women back at the sinks who are shaking their heads and rolling their eyes at me like I’m some kind of lunatic.
And then I’m on the run, down multiple sets of stairs, looking for my platform. I know I should tell someone about the toilet but a glance at my watch tells me I have maybe two minutes left to catch my train and not only do I need to get home for dinner with my family on the last night of the trip, I am NOT staying in the station with those Unspeakable Things. (Isn’t there some kind of expression about shit flowing downhill?!) And besides, I might be unmasked as the perpetrator of the heinous flush-and-run. And this is New York where not an hour ago, someone yelled at me just for standing still on the sidewalk. Every woman for herself, I think, and run like hell.
I just make the train and once there and seated, I whip out my trusty Wet Ones and bathe my hands and try to stop sweating and laughing hysterically and saying “ohmygod, ohmygod” over and over, which, again, makes the people around me think I’m crazy— not that they care.
And that was the end of my day in New York.
Good thing I managed to escape those NJ Transit train bathrooms, hunh?
And what about you? Are you for or against automatic flush?
P.S. Thank you to Deb Eileen for swapping days with me this week so I could spend yesterday recovering from my ordeal…and driving back home to Toronto, of course.
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