Apron Strings

I volunteer at the indigent care hospital in Oakland. When I tell people, they usually go, “That’s nice” in this automatron voice I don’t like with subtext floating above their head in a cartoon bubble saying, “My mouth is spewing stuff that’s appropriate for this society, and my brain is not engaged.” Sometimes their automatron mouth is so heavily programmed it can take a second step and ask, “What department are you in?” I volunteer at the gift shop. OK? The freakin’ gift shop.

I would leave the gift shop and graduate into another department, but I can’t. The entertainment value it too high. The gift shop is a located by the main entrance, next door to the sheriff’s department and beside emergency. Sometimes I sit out front of the shop and sell candy. I can’t get over the feeling I’m a Southerner, sitting on my front porch and watching a busy roadway.

We have hospital employee bathrooms that are fairly clean. They have electronic locks on the doors. I can use them if I want, except an electronic lock broke on an employee. She was stuck in the bathroom for some ungodly amount of time. They never would have found her, but the poor gal slipped a note under the door like, “The bathroom has eaten me. HELP!” I don’t use those electronically locked bathrooms any more. I use the really nasty ones that the general populace uses. They have destroyed the wall trashcan. They built a bird nest on the toilet seat out of the paper ass protectors one day. They do anything and everything to those bathrooms but at least the bathroom can’t swallow you whole.

Yesterday, I went to the hospital and for some odd reason I decided to wear a gift shop apron. I don’t like the aprons. I don’t like wearing them, but I remember thinking I needed to look more professional. I remember thinking I needed to set an example for the kids. After all, I’m older, more mature, more responsible. Mid-morning, I raced to the bathroom with my gift shop apron on. That bathroom has automatic flushing toilets. Not only did I pee on the apron strings, but while my back was turned, the auto flusher sucked the strings into the bowl of the swirling toilet water. It was trying to suck the whole thing down, probably me too since I was still attached. The toilet water was strong. Really strong. I had visions of going to the ER with ass laceration. A stall battle ensued. I screamed and jerked the wet chords out, but the noises that toilet made were something from the devil or a cat.

When I came out of my stall, one lone Hispanic woman stood at the sink. She was not washing her hands. She was not brushing her hair. She smiled at me and stared until I walked out the door with my toilety stringed apron roll. I presented the apron to my manager in a plastic bag and told her the apron should be burned. Then, I went to the second floor and rewarded myself with a piece of chocolate cake from the cafeteria. Did I mention volunteers get free food?

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4 Responses to “Apron Strings”

  1. worldphotos Says:

    Great post. Sounds like an interesting place to give a few free hours. Free food, where do I sign up. I recall reading about someone getting glued to a toilet seat with super glue. Damn, that had to hurt. I suppose someone somewhere has created a blog about toilets. Probably lots of interesting and sick stories. I remember a bus trip we took to Paris in the 70s. No toilet on the bus back then. We stopped at a highway eatery and I needed to use the toilet. When I went in, it was like a French truck driver convention in there. I couldn’t pee and was I relieved to get to the hotel in Paris.

  2. Super glue? Sounds like something someone would come up with in the restroom at the hospital. Thankfully, no one reads my blog. I’m sorry, Steve, I laughed at the French truck driver convention remark. You must have run in the bathroom and back out. I bet that was a miserable bus ride.

  3. What is it with fabric and toilet water, I had a very similar experience with overall shoulder straps. I realize when wear my overalls that if I have to make a pit stop I’m gonna have to deal with the shoulder straps, but I’m relatively intelligent I should be able to drop trou without dropping my shoulder straps in the toilet or drag it on the floor of a public restroom — NOT! I was wearing olive green overalls, and while trying not to knock off the ass protection sheet, hold on to my purse, hold both of my overall shoulder straps, all this while I’m lowering my delicate behind down onto the toidy. Well, I managed to hold on to everything, I thought, and as I relieved myself, did they appropriate wipe, I stood up and realized I’d just peed on one of my overall shoulder straps! Crap! So I fish my shoulder strap out of the pee/H20 mixture, wrap a handful of toilet paper on the soaking wet strap, then attempt to clip the one shoulder strap to its button without dripping pee water on myself, my purse, and whatever else I shouldn’t have pee water on. I go to the sink to rinse off my shoulder strap and dry it with some paper towels. I managed to get myself put back together, but you know how wet fabric is about nine times darker in color than the very same material that is bone dry, well I’ve got to walk out of the restroom and pretend that nobody is going to notice that one of my coverall straps is dark OD green, a veritable neon sign flashing “PEED ON HERSELF! IDIOT PEED ON HERSELF!

  4. LOL! That is hard to disguise that you have peed on yourself when you went in dry and come out with a wet strap. Waay too funny. Sorry I know it was not funny at the time. I used to wear those hogwashers all the time when I lived on the farm, but once I left I don’t think I ever wore them again. I think I used to buy them from the coop and I don’t think I went to the coop much after I left the farm.

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