Before she realized what she had done, she flushed.
After several minutes of eerie silence, during which she felt inexplicably disconnected from the outside world, she reached for her back pocket, just to check. Her hand met an unusual emptiness, which prompted frantic digging in her pockets, while her eyes wildly scanned the floor.
Listen closely, and you can hear the shower scene music from Psycho, and a blood-curdling scream.
My babysitter retraced her steps, and wound up in the bathroom, standing over the toilet, listening to a faint ringing sound.
"No one use the toilet," she emphatically, dramatically commanded her charges, in a voice that sounded as if her throat was closing.
Having forgotten how to use such a contraption, she fumbled with the phone attached to wall in the kitchen and called her mother. "Mama," she cried hysterically, "my phone is in the toilet. I heard it ring. Joanne is trying to call me to tell me Bobby says he likes me but I don't know if I really like him, even if he does, but I need to know, we might meet at the movies tomorrow night, but Joanne was going to find out if Leslie is coming, because if she is I'm not going ..."
When the teenager paused to breathe, her bewildered mother interjected, "I'm not sure what all you just said, but I think maybe the Adams need a plumber. Where are the children?" A dial tone answered the question.
The three boys, wild with curiosity about what disasters swirled the toilet bowl, decided to test drive the indoor plumbing. To their immense glee, the babysitter melted down. All the cookies in the kitchen were now theirs for the taking.
Meanwhile, this young lady's mother managed to contact my husband and relay the story, minus the part about Joanne, Bobby and Leslie, whom she deemed minor players in the scenario. After a moment of tense silence, my amused spouse put her on speaker phone, and then asked if she would please repeat herself.
Waves of laughter erupted from an unseen audience.
"Mary didn't think it all that funny," said the mother, to buffer herself. More laughter exploded.
Nevertheless, my superhero handyman arrived to save the day with a wax seal, wrench, and plumber's snake. Removing the throne from its foundation and hauling it outside, he said, "Yep, I see it in there. It couldn't quite make that last turn."
He knocked the cell out with the plumbing snake, along with a Hotwheels car, and a watch I had lost two years previous.
Indiscriminate hands snatched up the car. My husband carefully wrapped the watch in a paper towel and properly disposed of it. And the phone began ringing on re-entry into the atmosphere; but all parties involved, some more reluctantly than others, agreed it needed time to dry.
As our young employee apologized profusely, it dawned on us exactly how naïve and inexperienced she really is. It never occurred to her to report the phone missing and ride it out a few days, until our toilet clogged. Then blame the whole thing on the children.
After all, that was my plan with the watch.
I guess the drawback to that scheme, however, is that she may have had to wait two years to find out if Bobby really likes her, if Leslie is going to the movies too, and that Joanne won Bobby's heart by talking to him when she couldn't contact her friend to relay the information.
(Lucy Adams is a Columbia County native and a McDuffie County resident.)
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