By Alex Bottner
Trapped in the Toilet
I have an embarrassing phobia.
I am not afraid of heights. I am not afraid of clowns. I am not afraid of spiders. In fact, I was the designated spider remover in my flat share.
My biggest fear is getting locked in a toilet for the rest of my life.
I know, it’s ridiculous.
My lifelong fear of getting locked in a toilet for the rest of eternity started when I was 7 years old. I was playing tag with my cousins in my grandma’s apartment. Me and my cousin, Leah, were hiding from Aaron and Daniel, my older cousins. They nearly caught us, but we out-smarted them by running into the bathroom, slamming the door, and locking it. We thought we were so clever. They eventually gave up, but we waited it out to play it safe.
When the coast seemed clear, we tried unlocking the door. We couldn’t get it open.
We laughed it off, tried again, and couldn’t get it.
We tried banging on the door, yelling out for help, but no one could hear us. We sat on the bathroom floor, thinking about what we were going to do. In that moment, it felt like we were going to be STUCK IN THERE. FOREVER.
I started looking around at what was in my grandma’s bathroom, thinking of how we could survive. How were we going to eat? How were we going to sleep? What if my parents could never get the door unlocked and they’d have to slip supplies under the door for the rest of our lives?
I was a weird child.
I was snapped out of it when my mom and aunt started calling us out for lunch.
“ALEX!!! LEAHHHH!! Get out of the bathroom now!!”
When they realised that we weren’t playing around anymore, they started freaking out. I could hear my parents, my aunt, my uncle and my grandma worrying outside. No one could figure out how to get us out without getting someone to break down the door.
My brother Jonathan, who was 5 at the time, had been watching a lot of “Blues Clues,” and conveniently had just watched an episode where they had to find a key.
He cried out, “the key!”
My brother saved us, but that experience has scarred me for life. Funny enough, I’ve never asked my cousin if she has a fear of bathrooms now. I think it’s just me.
When I can’t get a bathroom door unlocked easily, my heart starts racing and adrenaline starts pumping through my veins. Thoughts of how long it would take for someone to find me will race through my head before I take a breath and try unlocking it again.
What made me want to write a post about this? Well, I read an article on the BBC homepage today that firefighters have rescued more than 650 people from locked toilets since 2016.
My fear is not entirely irrational.
Last Friday in class, Marc asked us to raise our hands if we use our phones when we’re on the toilet. Everyone raised their hands except for me. I think it’s gross, not o
Maybe I should consider taking my phone with me when I use the bathroom now.
The copy scores 86.3 in the Flesch Reading Ease test