Bill Plays Bathroom Roulette

"Bill Playing Bathroom Roulette"



“My head missed the toilet bowl by a hair,” Bill says. “If my head had hit it, it could have killed me.”

Bill has opened the door from his studio that leads into my house. He’s standing in the doorway just looking at me.

He looks like he has a confession. He does.

“Yeah?” I say. “What? What are you talking about?”

“When I cleaned the bathroom yesterday morning,” he says, “the mop fell sideways to the floor, right in front of the toilet. I let it lie. I thought, ‘I’ll remember it’s there.'”

I’m looking at him in wonderment.

“Well, I didn’t remember the mop was there. I got up in the night to pee and in the dark I tripped over it. I fell forward flat out and hit my face hard on the floor.”

I ease through the connecting door to Bill’s place. We both look toward his bathroom, eyeing the big porcelain  toilet.

“I made a terrible crash when I tripped and fell, ” he says. “I don’t know why I  didn’t hit my head on the bowl and knock myself out. I missed the toilet by a hair.”

We look at each other. We are both thinking, “Why did you leave the mop on the floor?”

I’m thinking, “Surely, you must have used the toilet other times during the day? What did you do, just step over the mop, or pee in a high arc over it?”

“I had a middle-aged friend,” I tell him, “who was staying overnight at a man’s house  for the first time. When she got up in the night and went to the bathroom in the dark, she slipped, hit her head on the toilet bowl and knocked herself out.”

Bill has a hand on his chin like he’s trying to puzzle this all out.

“And,” I add, “she never had a period again. I told her she had had the ‘One Day Menopause.'”

Bill says he doesn’t need to worry about that. But, he’s worried about his sanity. He doesn’t say so, but I can tell.

It’s true, Bill intentionally left the mop where he could fall over it in the night. Why did he do this?

I have done similar dumb and puzzling things.

Sometimes we do things that we know are incredibly stupid.  We know they will certainly trip us up (so to speak). But, even though we see it, we don’t remove the lethal object or objects.

Sometimes it’s someone we meet that we know is going to be really bad for us; like a blonde floozy who has eight rings stuck into each side of her fleshy buttocks and  she jangles them all at once and whispers, “Come here,” and we do. Or we believe the man in the white suit who has a plan that will gain us one hundred percent on the only money we have. A perfect plan that could also lose us most of our money or get us tossed in jail.

Or we don’t take care of the squeaking brakes on our car that we know are going to lose their grip someday when we are driving down a slick mountain road. Maybe while gardening we leave a shovel sharp side up on the ground, knowing we may possibly step on the sharp end which will flip the handle right at us and knock us out.

Yes, we get involved with questionable people, questionable situations, and we do foolish things when we know it’s foolish and dangerous.

What is this? Do we enjoy living dangerously? Do we like to gamble with luck? Do we actually think we have our wits in order and will remember what we need to recall when we need to recall it? Or do we think that we’re so clever we can enjoy the ride and avoid the almost inevitable explosion at the last moment?

I think we like to take chances. I think maybe we like to see how close we can come to the edge of dying or losing everything we have, or seeing how much terror and excitement we can bear. Maybe when it doesn’t happen and we “win,” it feeds our inner juices. Perhaps we thrive best on a poison tonic?

Whatever and why it is, we keep on doing it. And we like to do these perilous things in a big way.

It took Bill several months but he finally told me yesterday that it hadn’t been a simple mop that he’d left on the floor in front of the toilet. It had been a big, round canister type of  rolling vacuum cleaner. With a hose.


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