Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Bathroon Troubles

I had one of those rare experiences tonight of the type that strike fear into the hearts of even the bravest of men, that challenge the will to survive, test the limits of faith - akin to being buried chin-deep in an ant hill or stretched on the rack or cast overboard into the depths of the sea.

In short, I locked myself into the bathroom and could not get out.

The doorknob, a rusty, dilapidated, reliably useless bit of garbage that had never worked before, suddenly did work - after a fashion, anyway. It worked to the extent that the bolt went into the slot and would not retreat from thence no matter how you turned the wobbly knobs on either side of the door.

Luckily, my son was at home and, also luckily, did not have his ears plugged with his earphones at the time, which would be the more usual case. So at least I had someone to communicate with.

Fortunate, also, was the fact that the landlord, who had promised to replace the door in February 2014, had never done so, and therefore it still retained the eaten away portion at its base. Through this convenient fissure, my son was able to pass various tools - a screwdriver, a hammer, a knife.

He pounded, screwed and stabbed from the outside while I pounded, screwed and stabbed from within. And yet the door was stubborn, unbeatable, proving itself, despite appearances and the unkind judgements of the past, to be the strongest door that has ever been or ever will be made.

I thought then to attack the thing from the flank, so to speak, and remove the hinges with the hammer and screwdriver - yet, again, the door had me flat beaten, for the hinges, over time and under the influence of daily dampness and rust, had been transformed into impenetrable spikes, solid adamant iron from top to bottom. I succeeded only in breaking the head of the screwdriver.

Now, a cubicle sized bathroom gets pretty hot in Bali, such that, within a half hour, I was dripping with sweat and feeling breathless and exhausted. Shall I end my days here, sitting dejectedly on the toilet, exchanging my parting thoughts with someone who really just wanted to get back to his video game?

No! No, it shall not be. As much as I hated to expose my stupidity, it would have to be done. I would send my son next door to Vyt's house. I have long known Vyt to be a man of high intelligence and practical abilities, and, moreover, a man not likely to be surprised at my incompetence.

Although Vyt has been suffering from a cold, he came right over and began to pound, screw and stab with true expertise. At last, he was able to pound the doorknob right on through the door, and I was free at last. My imprisonment had lasted perhaps an hour. It seemed like ages.

His first comment, in customarily sage manner, was that it was a good thing that the landlord had never replaced the door, else I would have had no tools to work with from the inside.

A blessing in disguise, surely enough. Yet, undisguised is the goodness and readiness of my friend.

As a postscript, I could not help but imagine, somewhat later on, what my predicament would have been had my son already returned to America and had my wife been away in Java or Timbuktu, as she often is. Should I have died an ignoble death, sprawled on the bathroom floor, one hand still clutching that fatal knob in its death grip?

Ah, praise God for His attention to the stupid and His protection of the simple-minded!

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