Squawk Radio

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Connie Brockway on Travel Travails

On Friday I am off to keynote the Southern Magic Reader’s Luncheon in Birmingham, Alabama. Southern magic is the RWA Chapter kind enough to invite me. I expect to have great time. But then, I always expect to have a great time. I also expect something odd to happen because I am of that category of people to whom “odd” things happen. I always manage to bring back a “this sort of crap always happens to you, Connie” story.

So, for your amusement I am reprinting here the actual email I sent the squawkers the day I returned from keynoting the Harper’s Ferry Retreat.

"Last night, I closed the bar singing pop tunes from the 60 and 70s. Now, I sing pop tunes only after many drinks. I had many drinks so by the time I teeter up to my room, my fine motor skills are, er, compromised. But , good girl that I am, I dutifully perform the required ablutions before dropping down onto the lumpy mattress and closing my bleary little eyes. Except that the toilet is running. Noisily. Very Noisily. And I cannot sleep. So, I get up, grope my way to the bathroom and stare at the offending mechanism until I remember that I do not know anything about toilets.

I try jiggling the handle. Nuthin'. I jiggle harder. More nuthin' and then I remember a time when David took the top off the tank and jiggled something inside. So that's what I do. I take off the top and am confronted by a bunch of rods and tubes and levers, atop it all sitting this big honking rubber bulb which to me looks like a prime candidate for jiggling. I lean over the tank and give it an experimental jiggle. Again, nuthin'. I take hold of it with both hands jiggle harder because I really really cannot go to sleep with the toilet making that sound . Harder. HARDER!

The (word deleted to keep this a G rated blog) bulb pops off in my hand, a geyser shoots up, hitting me square in the face, and water sprays everywhere. And I'm still holding the bulb which I am now desperately trying to get back on the tube whence it came but there's so much water pressure that I can't. I consider calling the staff but by the time they show up I'll have flooded the bathroom so instead I lean over in my now drenched nightshirt and I FORCE that sucker on! Then, holding it down with one hand I flip the 15 # porcelain lid back on, cramming the bulb under it , counting on the weight to hold the bulb in place.

I hold my breath and wait. Nothing is spilling out from under the lid. The noise has stopped. There's one towel dry enough to use the next morning. Victory!"

Except that I am afraid to use the toilet again so for the rest of my stay I creep down the hall and the long spooky stairs before the staff arrives to do, er. the necessary.

Christina was with me. She had the room next to mine. She laughed. A lot. SHe's really not very nice to me.

So, little chicks, share your travel stories. I’m not the only one to whom %^$% happens, am I?
Connie Brockway, 9:28 AM