Friday, June 29, 2007

I'm locked in tight, I'm out of range

I am no McGyver

Yesterday I had the worst day of my life.

In the morning I have a routine as many people do. I get up, turn the radio on, lie in bed for about half-an-hour, get up, put my dressing gown on, gather my towel and head to the shower via the toilet.

Yesterday I did all of this as normal, except when I went to unlock the door, the key snapped and I was trapped inside my toilet. Four white walls, a small window with bars across, a toilet and a cork-tiled floor. I don't think I realised quite how difficult a position I was in for some time. My housemate had already gone to work for the day.

I tried and tried with the end of the shaft to unlock the door, when this failed I even tried to smash the door down, but it opens inwards so I couldn't and I was trapped. I had no watch, did not know what time it was. I sat on the toilet and pondered my situation: what was I going to do? I had nothing to read. There was no sink, bath or shower, just a solitary toilet.

I knew that there was a good chance that my flat-mate Jamie would be back in the evening, however there was even the possibility that he would stay round his girlfriend's for the night or even the entire weekend...this was something that I didn't even want to contemplate. I heard the door-bell go a few times (one of which was my colleague who was worried that work had had no news of my whereabouts), I heard my phone go off every half-hour or so. I was trapped and couldn't do anything.

I had a sudden MacGyver moment and tried to create a device which would help me, but you can't make much out of an empty loo roll and a broken key. And I always was crap with handiwork. Then I thought about using the electricity from the lightbulb wire to burn through the bars but realised that this was a dangerous and stupid thing to do. And it probably wouldn't have worked.

When you're in this situation weird things happen to you. You try to think about interesting things. You think about all the small details and you make an action plan. I was going to wait until my flatmate came home and if he didn't I was going to attract the attentions of my neighbours leaving in the next morning for work (for them to call the Fire Brigade or Police or something) by shouting and stamping at the top of my voice. This was my plan and I was sticking by it. If they didn't hear me then the water in the toilet would sustain me until my housemate was to show up.

Without a watch I could not work out what time it was so I spent lots of time listening to the what was going on outside - I heard the cheers of children - school was over, I heard the construction work stop (it must have been the end of the day, say 5.30pm). I heard the distant rumble of tube trains deep below get further and further apart (it must be towards the end of the tubes).

Finally at 12.30am, when I had lost all hope that my flatmate was not coming home, he returned and I shouted and shouted. He eventually handed me some pliers through the window and I managed to grab the end of the key shaft and turn the key. When I was out I was a trembling wreck and stumbled to the kitchen for a long drink of water and some food. I had spent over 16 hours trapped inside my toilet and my legs were shaking all over. But my ordeal was now finished. Never before have I been so happy to see Jamie come home, even if he was completely drunk. I checked my phone - 4 messages and 36 unanswered calls. Oops.

On the plus side me and Paris Hilton now have something in common. I'll use this blog to send her a message. Come and talk to me baby, we've both been through solitary confinement and we both share a common bond: that of stupidity.

But what have I learnt? Never to lock the toilet when I'm the only person in the house. I'd laugh if it happened to anyone else. I'll gradually learn to laugh at this story, but what a day!

Things have Changed


Will said...

If I still lived there, you would've had shitloads to read!

* (asterisk) said...

What a nightmare, James! Shit, I'd have eaten my own arm or something. I don't do hunger very well... Still, at least you were able to go to the loo.

James K said...

* - good job I didn't get locked in a cupboard or something...I would have had to have gone to the toilet in the corner and hoped for the best.

Will - tomorrow I'm putting a whole collection of books, magazines, CDs, a mini-hifi, maybe a PSP and getting a phone installed in the toilet !!!!!!!!

Paolo Vites said...

thats one of my current usual nightmares, expecially when i'm away from home in some unknown place... gosh what a story

Mark said...

Thats so funny I'm actually crying. At least it wasn't the whole weekend. 16 hours in a toilet,it's not entirely true to say you had no means of entertaining yourself then...

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