So this past Sunday my sweetie-baby-cutie-pie-wifey-pooh, her sister and I all went down to Park City. She had a two-day retreat for her mastermind group and her sister was there to help out. The retreat started on Monday, but since she had a room for Sunday and Monday, so I drove down with her to spend the night so we could spend some more time together before our crazy, busy week got started. Although, I should mention there was an addition reason for wanting to go . . . which I’ll get to in a minute.

I’m not sure what, or why it is, but there is something absolutely delightful about walking into a nice hotel room. It’s a little like walking into a display home and being told that everything you see is yours for the next twenty-four hours. It’s a little like shopping for a possible dream home, but on a much smaller scale.

Some people rate hotel rooms on the amenities, the size of the room, the décor, the size of the television and the number of channels they have access to, how comfortable the bed (which is my number to criteria), etc. For me though, it’s the tub. It can be a sub par room, but if they have a large comfortable tub that I can soak in until my fingers and toes are all water logged and wrinkly, like a prune in a rainstorm, well then you have my full appreciation and recommendation to others . . . Hotel Park City, if I had a hat on, I’d tip it in your honor. Yes, this was the other driving factor for going to Park City for the night, they had an amazing tub. What? My tub at home sucks, so when I have the opportunity to take a bath in a highly comfy and soakable tub, I’m there.

While the hotel was getting our room ready, we decided to head out for dinner, stopping at a local brewpub, mainly because there was a store that the girls wanted to check out that was right next door, but we had eaten at the place before for lunch a few years ago, and this is where this Smirk actually begins. Dinner was fine, not mind-blowingly delicious, but superior in every way to any and everything you might get from some crappy fast food place . . . so, all fast food places.

Now occasionally, after eating a meal, I have an urge to . . . well, expunge a past meals to make a little more room for what I have just consumed. Sunday turned out to be one of those occasions. I excused myself and headed to the men’s room. As I open the door the room remained dark, but as I walk in, a sensor went off and the lights kick on. So I made my way to the only stall in the room and took a seat.

I have dealt with sensor lights before, they turn on when you enter and shut off after you have left. I believe they function based on movement sensors, and as long as they pick up movement they stay on. Once they stop picking up any movement, a timer kicks on and when that time runs out, they shut off. However, as I’m sitting there, dealing with the need at hand, all of the sudden I hear a quick “click” noice and everything goes black.

There are a few things that go through your mind when you are sitting on a public toilet in a place you do not know all that well and all of a sudden all the lights go out. “Ah shit,” were the first words out of my mouth. My first thought was to yell out for help, using that “Hello?” yell that all people use in horror movies when they hear a noise in the dark and instead of finding the others they decide to go investigate the sound. My next thought was to try to get sensor to kick back on. It seemed to me that the stall wall was a little too high and based on where the sensor was located, once I sat down, it could not pick up any movement. I started grabbing handfuls of toilet paper off the roll, wadding it up and throwing it over the stall wall in an attempt to make the sensor go off and turn the lights back on. After my fifth attempt, it was clear that it wasn’t going to work.

I decided to only way to fix my predicament was to stop sitting in the dark and make my way to the sensor. So with one had holding my trousers around my knees, I stood up. I started waving my free hand over my head, clearly above the stall wall, but to no prevail. I then made my way to the stall door, using my hand to slide along the wall, stopping at the space between the stall wall and door. I felt around for the latch and just before flipping it open, one last thought went through my mind.

I was not thrilled at the prospect of making my way to the middle of the bathroom so the light would kick on, but more than that I was rather worried that someone might choose that exact moment to walk in to the men’s room and have the lights kick back on leaving them with the image of me wandering around the bathroom in the dark with my pants around my knees forever burned into their memory, accompanied by years of therapy trying to get it out.

Fortunately, the second I swung the stall door open and peeked my head around to corner the lights kicked back on. Let me tell you, the fear of having the lights go out while you are sitting on a toilet is an amazing motivator to finish your business as quickly as possible. About a minute later, after I picked up the wads of toilet paper I had thrown earlier, I was washing my hands and getting the hell out of that “Loo of Darkness”.

When I got back to the table I kept the events to myself. For some reason I wasn’t in a very talkative mood concerning my little “lights out” encounter. But give me a few days and here I am sharing it with the world with a smirk on my face. Considering how it ended, things could have been a lot worse. I’ll tell you what though, I’m much more cautious now when I enter a restroom with automatic lights, and as a public service, trust me when I say you should too.

Image Sources:
Google Images, keywords: Park City, wrinkled fingers, bathroom stall, and paper stuck on shoe.

© Richard Timothy 2011