My Very Own Lucille Ball Moment.
They say that life imitates art. Well, a few years back I had a single life event which made me realize just how life, God or the universe likes to remind us of how the smallest of things can have a huge impact on our lives.
At the time I was working for a politician. Our office had been organizing a big event at a local hall to honor and thank local volunteers. Everything was ready for the arrival of some very, and I mean very, important dignitaries, politicians and hundreds of volunteers.
The food had arrived, the cups and saucers had been all cleaned and ready, the chairs put out and all the certificates bound with bright red ribbons.
One last thing to check before the guests arrived
There was just one thing left to do – check the toilets. I sent a male colleague into the gentlemen’s loo, while I went into the ladies.
“Check there is enough toilet paper, the cubicles are clean, and there is enough soap,” I called after him.
Soap – if only I knew what was about to happen.
Well, in I went and sure enough the toilets were clean and spotless. I couldn’t have wished for nicer facilities. I was just about to leave when I thought I’d take the opportunity to wash my hands and freshen up before all the guests arrived.
I turned on the tap and pushed the liquid soap dispenser button.
I pushed it again. Still nothing.
I didn’t want to be delayed so I gave it a hard bang with the side of my fist.
Oh, dear – the whole ‘button’ broke off and fell into the sink.
Liquid soap has its day
As I stared at it, I noticed it was about to be joined by the liquid soap which had begun to run out of the container and down the wall. It made its way to the sink and began to pool over the plug hole where the pieces of button lay.
I quickly scrambled into action and grabbed the button bits. They were sticky with soap, but that didn’t stop me. I fiddled and I fumbled. I pushed and I prodded, but I couldn’t get the tiny spring to sit with the tiny pressure plate thingy, and go into the hole from which it had all fallen.
I began to panic.
The sink was filling up with soap, and time was ticking.
I tried one more time to unsuccessfully reassemble the pieces before I became even more agitated and threw them in the bin.
“Not to worry,” I told myself. “I’ll just clean up the soap.”
Then I made another fatal mistake.
I turned the hot water on.
Bubbles, bubbles, bubbles
Within seconds the liquid soap was replaced with bubbles. Thousands and thousands of bubbles all growing, and multiplying out of the sink and back up the wall.
I gasped and turned on more water.
The bubbles just grew and grew!
I swirled my hands into the mess and tried to wash them away. That didn’t work.
I tried to gather them up and put them into the garbage bin. I can’t tell you how uncooperative they were.
The more I handled those bubbles, the more they grew. The dripped between my fingers and oozed over the side of the bin.
I turned off the taps and was about to grab some paper when I head the latch go on the door and I quickly turned around.
I didn’t recognize the lady’s face; she was just probably a volunteer who had arrived early.
I stood still with my back to the mountain of bubbles while she walked into the cubicle.
We exchanged pleasantries: It’s a nice day isn’t’ it? But, we could do with some rain, couldn’t we?
That sort of stuff.
The sweat was dripping down the side of my face.
I turned back to my bubble mountain and turned off the taps and stepped out of the toilets very quickly.
I headed into the kitchen to help make the tea and coffee, and there I stayed for the whole day.
No one ever mentioned the fact that the liquid soap dispenser in the ladies’ toilet had been emptied that day or that there was an awful sticky mess in the sink.
I never mentioned it to my boss either; I hope she’s not reading this.
About the author – Susan Day
Susan Day is a children’s author and writer. Her blog, Astro’s Adventures Book Club, is full of ideas and tips for grandparents, parents and teachers to support them in helping children become better readers. As well, Susan has created a guide to help grandparents build a more meaningful relationship with their grandchildren through their love and passion for books.
If you enjoyed reading this short story and would like to know when more true stories, essays, and poems will be posted more please sign up for the mailing list. We don’t sell emails and we don’t engage in spam.
Susan lives in country Australia with four dogs, three boss cats, three rescue guinea pigs, and an errant kangaroo. And, apart from blogging, writing and reading; she loves coffee, painting and learning to box.