Bathroom Lock Down

Friday the thirteenth.

This morning started just like any morning. I kissed my wife goodbye, took my kids to daycare, picked up donuts for my colleagues, and arrived to work early. Little did I know, I was soon to have my freedom seized–for a whole hour!

“It’s Friday 13th and I’m locked in the men’s room in the teacher’s lounge. I’m not SUPERstitious, but I am a little stitious.”

I should’ve thought better of it when I noticed the handle askew, the lock engaged even though the door was open, and the black cat walking directly through my path, but I stepped into the restroom anyway. Moments later, I washed my hands and tried to leave. To my dismay, the door was broken. Dun dun dun!!!

Mr. Mersmann, the art teacher, arrived shortly thereafter. I communicated to him, through the thick wooden door, my predicament. Together, we tried to open the door, but it was stuck.

“Get the axe!” I shouted.

“Here’s Mersmann!” I imagined him shouting moments later.

Instead, he went to get reinforcements, and I called secretary Shelly Schap. They began assembling a crack team of door crackers.

Luckily, I had just left my students with a film, It’s a Wonderful Life, and Señora Olivas was monitoring them. “I’m going to hit the bathroom real quick,” I had told her when I left. Now, I had high hopes that I’d still be able to finish the hour with them. However, my hopes, much like my plans to hit the bathroom “real quick,” were soon dashed against the cruel rocks of reality. Even with a half-dozen people on the other side of the door, they were no match for the latch.

“Do you have a screwdriver in there?” someone asked me hopefully.

“Yep, but it’s at the bottom of my toolbox, and that’s beneath my jumper cables and set of spare tires,” I said sarcastically.

“You could’ve just said no,” the voice replied.

“It looks really bad,” another voice said to a passerby in the hall. “I don’t think they’re going to get it open.”

“I can hear you in here!” I shouted back.

Next, they instructed me to hold down the handle while they disassembled the door on their side. I took a quick picture of the door, just in case this was the last step and I was freed before documenting my imprisonment. Then I held the handle in anticipation. My anticipation came too soon. The door didn’t open.

Thirty minutes later, after much banging and pushing, clacking and twisting and praying, the door pressed open just slightly and then eased open. All morning I had been debating whether or not I should eat a donut. The first thing I did with my newfound freedom was race to the box and secure the last powdered donut within.

I had entered that place of tiled confinement at the beginning of third period. Now, as I looked out, I could see people passing in the hall, on their way to fourth period. It was only an hour, but what an hour!

Tom Case was on the case!
Free at last!

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