Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Wherein Tweezers Save My Life

So, these saved my life.

No, seriously. A pair of tweezers. Let me explain.

I got stuck in my bathroom and I only made it out because I had a pair of tweezers in there.


My first weekend staying here, I was trying to sort through some basic boxes and figured if I had the bedroom, bathroom and kitchen done first, I'd be good to go.

In unpacking my bathroom, I noticed there wasn't a hook behind the door anymore, so I went out and bought one of those "hang over the door" hanger hooks.

I put it up and wanted to make sure the door could still close in case a visitor came over and needed to use the toilet.

It's actually one of the things I was looking forward to being back in my own space; the ability to go pee without having to completely shut the door.

Or, for that matter, to shower with the door slightly open so the air can vent out and not fog up the bathroom.

I pretty much never shut my bathroom door living here, there's just no real point unless there's someone else in the house.

So when I pushed the door closed, with the hook hanger on top, I was pleased to see that the door did close, even though it'd been repainted and sometimes that causes things to stick.

So I opened up the door ag. . . well, I *went* to open up the door again but the door knob wouldn't turn.

Now, before you tell me the trick of undoing a bathroom door, I'd like to point out to you that this apartment was built sometime in the 1950s so the door knobs and handles are old. Cute, and quaint, sure, but old.

So I went to open the door back up and, well, it was fully closed, and I wasn't getting out of there.

Which was when I started to panic.

Like, I could feel that there was no oxygen in the room and that I was gong to suffocate and die.

I knew that I didn't have any neighbours above me or next to me or below me and that the only people in the building right now lived on the bottom floor on the opposite side and was that the contractors van I heard pulling out of the parking lot? Yes, yes it was. So there went the only hope I had of someone being able to hear me yelling for help.


I stood there, talking myself down. I told myself that I could feel cool air coming under the door so I wasn't running out of oxygen, I was fine for air and breathing. I told myself that come Monday morning, by 9 or 10, my work would see that I hadn't called in sick and they'd somehow find a way to get to me. So that meant I just had to stay in there for maybe 20 hours?

I told myself that there was water to drink from the tap, and I could go to the bathroom if I had to and that, yes, I was starting to feel really really warm, so I could take off my clothes if I had to, that was all just fine.

And before I got into a full blown panic mode (I would say I'm mildly claustrophobic, can be in a smallish space if I know I'm getting out of there soon or can exit easily if I want to, so this was really really freaking me out. Like, a lot. I've also had a fear of being locked in bathrooms since I was a kid and got locked in a bus bathroom at Disneyland.) I told myself to see if there wasn't some way I could get myself out of there.

I could see that there was a screw on the doorknob and some part of me remembered taking apart a modern type doorknob and figured I could at least attempt the same here.

Except, what would I turn the screw with?

There wasn't a knife in my bathroom... I needed something flat.

What was flat... what could I use.



So I fished out my purple Mr Tweezerman tweezers and I dug those puppies into the groove of the screw.

And it turned.

I turned it and yanked off the doorknob and.... it didn't get me anywhere.

I turned the inside turny thing but nothing moved and the door remained shut.

Then I figured maybe the knob wasn't tight enough on, or had slipped out of a hole or something, so after searching for a non existent hole, I slid the knob back on the (dowel?) thing and tightened on the screw with my tweezers and hoping for the best, turned the knob.

Which OPENED! Bringing in the best rush of fresh air I've ever felt, and the biggest sense of relief and pride I've known in a while.

I was pretty shaken up though.

Which was when I discovered that I don't have any booze in my place.

So I lay on the couch and had some chocolate instead.

Seriously, it was one of the scarier things I've had to deal with. Being stuck in that tiny room, living one of my long-term fears, and knowing that there was no way to get anyone to come rescue/help me. (Even if someone had been there to hear me, my front door had its chain on and they'd have had to break down the door.)

I knew that when I told people, they'd find it pretty funny, so once I felt better, I went over to my Mom and Dad's and told my Mom because I knew she wouldn't laugh and I'd be able to cry about it.

The next day at work, I made extra sure they had a contact number for my resident manager so that if I ever don't show up for work, I know they know who to call. So now at least they can call them and then can come knock on my door and help me, rather than me being discovered two weeks later, dead and decomposed in my bathroom.

Dudes, seriously. Don't close your bathroom door when you're home alone.

Not worth it.


Just Sayin... said...

omg! I feel so bad for you but couldn't help but giggle! This happened to me when I was painting this summer. I locked myself in the bathroom after putting on the new knobs. I managed to get out with the screw driver and jamming it in the hole and turning it.

Mild panic set in, and same as you, I suddenly realized I had to booze in the house. lol

Glad you got out unscathed.

Dateafrenchman said...

Wow, I would have seriously freaked out. A got stuck in a very tiny bar bathroom a few months ago - I immediately pulled out my cellphone and realized the battery was dead. Which was when I started to hyperventilate. I knocked on the door and screamed I can tell you.

narami said...

Had never thought about shutting myself up somewhere while alone but yes, this can potentially freak me out from now on.

Allan R E said...

Your line about thinking you didn't have a knife to turn the screw as opposed to a screwdriver made me laugh!! my first thought was "women and tools makes me roll my eyes"!!

I thought of the time I went to a buddy's house and I noticed there were a couple of woodworking files/rasps staking up tomato plants in his garden...his wife said she couldn't find the bamboo stakes so, she figured the fileswould do! And, don't get me started when I came home to find my ex prying a nail out of the wall with one of my razor-sharp chisels!! LOL

Way to improvise, I'm glad you got out!! I too am slightly claustrophobic.

Keep a little screwdriver in the medicine cabinet and maybe a couple granola bars, just in case! LOL

Thank you for the chuckle!


Jules said...

my chest got really tight reading this!!! i've been stuck in a bathroom before and had no tweezers, NOTHING...horrible...But look at you all resourceful and smart! Super kudos!

Victoria said...

Oh, don't worry JS, I knew (by the time I'd calmed down) that everyone would find this pretty funny. But yeah, that feeling of panic is no fun!

Yeah, I barely held it together Datea. And yeah, I would have done the same thing in the bar bathroom. Yikes!

Nah, don't freak out too much narami... just don't close the door completely. Or take your cell phone! ;)

Oh Allan, I have an entire toolkit, it just hadn't been unpacked out of boxes yet and knowing this, my brain went "what else is flat?" Knife?

Oh man Jules, that would have been awful! Gah.

Mizkay said...

Oh gosh, I'm not too claustrophobic about small spaces (when I get drunk, I like to dare myself to squeeze myself into things like dog crates and cupboards!) but feeling stuck somewhere is terrifying.

Reminds me of when earlier this year I locked myself in my basement. There's an exit door to outside and it's a plenty big basement, but A) it was nighttime, B) I wasn't fully dressed, and C) A pizza was baking in the oven. My first thoughts were, "Holy mother, I'm gonna burn my rental home down and my cat's gonna die of smoke inhalation!"

I used my brute strength to bring the door down. Hahaha~ Not only am I a strong little woman, but it's one of those flimsy artificial wood doors so I was able to bang my body against it enough to crack it around the door lock. Yay me!

But it is definitely a fear that something could happen to me when I'm in my house alone, and no one will know unless I miss work or something. The risks that come with being single are sometimes terrifying to admit...

Victoria said...

Oh, Mizkay, I'm totally inviting you over to get you drunk and have you try to climb under my sink or something! lol

And good for you getting out of your basement!

narami said...

Leave it to me to ponder about this and then have this

happen. Locked myself in a room AT WORK. >_<

Victoria said...

Oh no!