And this is how I got into this little predicament.
I am staying in what is quite possibly the best billet I’ve had on this entire tour so far. I mean I’ve connected with a few of my hosts more so than my current ones to be sure, but the accommodations are just unbelievable. I have my own room on the main floor that is decorated with artwork from what looks to be artifacts brought back from international vacations, (or IKEA). I have a bed, a real bed that is almost the same size as my own back home and just as comfortable. I have more space in this room than I’ve had in the last two homes I’ve stayed in combined. I find myself waking up some times and leaping out of bed, just so I can stand in the centre of the room as the daylight floods the room with its light, and I find myself twirling around in one spot, just because I have room enough to do so.
Quick note, that’s a really dumb way to let the neighbors know you are staying there. So I’ll be keeping the blinds closed for the rest of my stay now.
The folks who are staying here wasted no time in giving me the lay of the land. Bathroom, kitchen, laundry room, living room, bedrooms and children. The first one I meet is their 3 month old son. Potentially, this little guy is going to be my new alarm clock. The other child is a 3 year old little girl who is not familiar of the rule, “Don’t talk to strangers.” Because I am now her best friend in the whole world. The mornings don’t start with the usual, “Good morning mommy,” phrase anymore. It’s now, “Where’s Jason?”
Her parents quickly made the new house rule of, “If Jason’s bedroom door is closed, that means you shouldn’t disturb him.” And this little cutie is nothing if not a good little soldier when it comes to parenthood law. But her new favorite hangout is right outside my door, so as soon as she hears the door slightly creak, she’s ready to pounce!
Another great little feature that this place has is wireless internet. Sweet! No more internet cafes for me! The trick of it is to actually find where the signal is the strongest. Because at any given moment, the signal will decide that it is getting bored staying in one area of the room and will get up and move to the opposite side of the room, losing all your progress in a story you are trying to tell in an email that you stupidly did not write on Microsoft word first and then copy and paste it into a message like you normally do.
And in the few days that I’ve been here, I have actually begun to map out the “hotspots” on my bed spread. Thankfully the blanket is composed of squares so it is really easy to coordinate. Otherwise it starts to look as crazy as it sounds to the untrained eye. One day while I was home alone, I took my laptop out of the bedroom I’m in and tried to find a really huge “hotspot” in the house. Somewhere in here there has got to be a trail of bandwidth that could just throw my little PC into light-speed. It just so happens that it was located in the bathroom.
So I sit on top of the toilet seat and begin to read emails I’ve failed to respond to in a timely manner, begin to download yet another episode of “Kids in the Hall” and “Twin Peaks”, (strange combo, I know) do all the little updates on my computer that I’ve ignored for the longest time, and yes, I ran a virus scan. The really “deep” ones that could take an hour. I Figured I might be in there for a while so why not? Now as I’m sitting on the toilet, I’m not actually using the toilet. And it’s while I’m sitting there that Pavlov’s theory of classical conditioning had a real world application in my life that I can recognize. Try it sometime when you don’t have the urge to go to the washroom. Just sit on it with the lid closed for a few minutes and before you know it, BAWOOM!
Here’s where the imagery gets a little comical. As I am sitting on the toilet, I realize that my feet don’t touch the floor. I know I’m not known for my height and all but I’ve never stayed at a place where this was actually a problem for me. I felt like a child sitting there, if only because I was able to swing my legs back and forth as if I was back on the swing set in my childhood. And then something occurred to me. Even though I had the “urge to purge” sitting on the throne, I couldn’t make it, you know, come out. I pushed and heaved and rocked but it was as if I was just a little shy for some reason.
I felt my legs begin to shake a bit at which point a thought occurred to me. What if it was some sort of psychological fear? Stay with me here, this is how my mind works while I’m on the toilet. I thought, what if the reason I can’t produce is because my feet aren’t flat on the floor? Like it’s some sort of fight or flight response for not being secure on the ground? Sounds ridiculous right? But I’ll tell you this; tucked away beside the bathroom sink was a little plastic purple and yellow step for the little three year old girl to stand on so she would be able to wash her hands. Looking at it I wondered if I was to put that under my feet as I sit here on the toilet that would raise my legs up slightly enough that it will feel like I am on level ground again and maybe, just maybe, that will give me psychological and physical…release!
Well, it worked. My first ever experiment in the field of Psychology and Physiology in one go! And truth be told, with the little stool under foot, I’ve never known this kind of ease and comfort even in my own bathroom. I propped up my laptop upon my lap and began typing away this little discovery when…BANG BANG BANG!!!
“Jason, come out and play!” And you really have to imagine that being said in a high-pitched, sing-song kind of way to get the full effect. Which is borderline cute and scary as hell at the same time. As luck would have it, I was on the toilet in case it was the latter of those two options. So now I’m in a jam. I am sitting on the toilet with my pants around my ankles, I have a plastic stepping stool under foot, a laptop that is most certainly giving off a light that makes this whole scenario look all the more suspect, and the only thing that separates me from the outside world is a door, which at that very moment I discovered did not have a lock on it.
I’m now staring at the three year old standing in the open door. Apparently it’s no big thing for this little girl to barge into the bathroom when it was just her and her parents. She has a look that conveys in no small way, “Ooh…you are so my bitch now.” Because all she would have to do is call out for her mom and I either stay seated and have them discover this whole suspicious scene the way it is, or I try to get up and pull up my pants as their small child looks on in horror at the half naked bald man with a computer in tow.
In a voice that sounds too far off in the distance to be my own, I asked this little angel, very kindly, to close the door and I’d be out in a minute to play with her. She giggled manically as she slowly shut the door again; never taking her eyes off of mine the whole time it creaked to a close. Fucking. Freaky.
Now I have to figure out how to get out of the toilet, while trying to hide the laptop, lest the parents are now waiting outside the bathroom door, just like their young daughter in the mornings, in order to confirm that I am indeed a pervy creep who does things in the bathroom when they are not around.
You’ll know the outcome if my next little Misadventure is titled, “Funny things I learned while being arrested.”