Mamacita says: I never hear the word “loaf” without remembering the last junior high dance I ever chaperoned. I always loved to chaperone those little dances, even though we were not paid for doing so, unlike the teachers who worked the ball games and got the big bucks. . . .Okay, let’s not go there.
Chaperone for free. That was me.
At this dance, some of the boys came up to the principal and told her that one of the toilets in the boy’s bathroom was stopped up and when it was flushed, it turned into Mt. Vesuvius.
The principal turned to me and told me to go in there and fix it.
You see, our janitor was a man of principle and did not do toilets. Or vomit. We used to wonder what he did with all that time he saved by not doing his job, but there was a tv in the janitor’s workroom that was always blaring so we assumed he was watching educational videos about plumbing and stuff. We knew he must be in there because his other pasttime whilst on the job was shooting baskets in the gym, and that darn pesky dance had usurped the gym.
I knocked on the restroom door, got no answer, opened it a crack and called out a warning, and walked in.
The offending toilet was the one on the end, and when I took a good look I instantly realized it was stopped up and overflowing like Mt. Vesuvius. Oh wait, that was what the boys had already told us. Well, they were right.
I sent the boys to ask for a plunger, but they couldn’t find the janitor. We figured he was watching the tv in the janitor’s workroom down on the elementary floor so nobody could find him and make him do his job so the noise wouldn’t bother anybody at the dance, but nobody would answer the door when we knocked, at either workroom.
Back to me.
The principal now tells me that if I don’t get that toilet unclogged soon, it will flood the hall and we’ll have to send the kids home early from the dance, which was not possible as they were all dependent on their parents for rides, and all the parents were all at Wendy’s, celebrating three hours of freedom, and wouldn’t take kindly to cutting it short because some kid (not theirs) laid a loaf in the can.
I was told to unclog that toilet in whatever way I could.
Cut to the next scene, where Mamacita is kneeling on the sticky floor beside a toilet in a junior high boy’s bathroom, with her hand stuck in the hole up to her elbow, wiggling her fingers to help disperse the, uh, cloggage. My audience was large and ever-growing. Several boys told me it was the coolest thing they’d ever seen. Yes, I like to impress my students with bathroom humor.
Listen, I wouldn’t do that in my OWN bathroom, but I had to do it in a nasty junior high boy’s restroom during a dance. I will never be able to hear “Sk8r Boi” without thinking of that moment.
I got ‘er done. I flushed. Mt. Vesuvius was gone.
I stood at the sink and washed my arm over and over and over. Then I mopped up the bathroom floor and the hallway with a mop made of a wad of paper towels on the end of my arm.
Nothing could happen now to make this night worse, I took comfort in thinking.
On the way home, a tire came off the truck and rolled down the hill.
Hark! Do I hear music in the distance?
“He was a sk8er boi she said see ya later boi. He wasn’t good enough for her. . . .”
The tow truck would have gotten there sooner had it not been for all the ice on the roads.
When I got home I stood in the shower for about three hours. I haven’t bitten my fingernails since that night.
I kind of expected the principal to, you know, THANK me for doing that, but I suppose “it took you long enough” will have to suffice.