Monday, November 13, 2006

In Which I Get Trapped in a Bathroom and an Elaborate Rescue Ensues

"Girl" readers will recall that on Friday, Oct. 13, I stood up for my college roommate Vic at City Hall as she wed a fine young gent named John.

On Saturday, Vic and John held a party at their home to celebrate their marriage and invited such folks as me, Chebbles' Mama and a host of interesting, attractive and -- as we shall see here -- intrepid guests.

At some point during this evening of revelry, I felt the need to use the ladies' room. I located the empty facilities and, not wanting to be caught with my knickers down, locked the door and went about my business.

Everything was going smoothly until I got up to leave and tried to turn the lock in the old-fashioned door. It turned a tad, but the door wouldn't open. Several tries later, I realized that I had no option: As humiliating as it was going to be, I would have to knock on the bathroom door and call for help.

Usually, people are knocking on the bathroom door to get in; I would be knocking on the bathroom door to get out. I sucked up my pride and, fueled in small part by my mild claustrophobia, knocked on the door and yelled for Vic.

At first no one heard me over the voices and the music. And then, all of a sudden, I could hear a group gathering outside the door. "Sue's stuck in the bathroom!" someone cried. Vic's new husband called to me try the lock again. I did -- still not budging.

Useful suggestions began coming: "Check the medicine cabinet!" my date yelled, apparently suggesting that I might find some good drugs in there. "I did! Her Chanel makeup is gone! There's not even anything for me to DO in here."

Tools were obtained and before I knew it, John had the door knob out of its socket. This did nothing to affect the lock, however. It simply provided a peep hole through which the crowd could peer at the trapped quarry. (I thought it best at this point to stop picking my nose.)

Potential tools started being slipped underneath the crack in the door. John's driver's license, with which I was supposed to try to jimmy the lock. However, I was too distracted by his picture. "You have long hair!" I said, staring at it, transfixed.

A hammer and nails were promised, with the thought that I would try to remove the door hinges from the inside.

And then: A wallet-sized photograph of Chebbles. (I guess this was offered to give me something to live for?)

John's best friend, also named John, began shouting instructions on how I should mete out my extremities for the long wait. "Consume the tip of your left index finger," he yelled authoritatively. "Consume nothing more -- only the tip until midnight. Fill the bathtub with water ..."

C., my date, yelled, "Climb out the window." The window! Of course. I opened it up, hoisted myself over the sill, and looked down. Drat. Definite ankle-breaking height. (see above photo)

By the time I looked out again, a ladder had been procured and propped against the building. Within minutes, Vicky's John appeared at the window. I turned around again, and right behind him was the Other John, who immediately took the opportunity to use the facilities himself. Yet again I turned around, and here comes Chebbles' Mama, camera in hand, climbing into the bathroom, recording the event for posterity.

It was like the clowns climbing INTO the Volkswagen!

Next thing you know, handyman John has the door unlocked, and four people emerge from the bathroom.

One wonders if a girl will ever be invited to a party again. But here's the good news, Vic! I didn't go hide in the laundry basket! (OK, I did get into an argument with my date later and hid in the back yard til he came to find me, but that's another story ...)

Friday, November 03, 2006

Marilyn Monroe Wins Me Peanut Brittle

The winning entry:

(Note the "decorated" -- nay, not carved! -- pumpkin by my 4-year-old clown head.)

When I was a kid, we never carved pumpkins. We decorated them. I'm not sure if my mom didn't want to be bothered, or if she decided (wisely) that with six kids running around, knives would be best kept in the drawer.

I carved my first pumpkin my junior year in college. From that experience, I learned you need to angle the knife when you cut out the pop-top so it doesn't fall in. I also learned that if you leave it up on the TV too long, and you wonder in a few weeks what that stink-ass smell is filling up the dorm room, that you should look at the pumpkin first before rummaging around trying to find out what died, or blaming your roommate for the foul odor.

I've gotten pretty good with pumpkins, especially due to my old pottery tools and the now ever-present pumpkin-carving kits.

The office holds a pumpkin-carving contest each year, with five categories: Most representative of department; Most comical; Most original; Scariest; and What the hell is that?

This year, when the 15 pumpkins were laid out for the taking, there was one white one. I guess technically it was some sort of gourd and not a pumpkin. Thinking that starting off with a differently abled pumpkin would automatically give me a step-up, I spirited it off to my desk. Thereupon began my second-guessing: WHAT would I make out of a white pumpkin? And it seemed pretty hard, whereupon I enlisted everyone around me to come tap on my pumpkin and advise me whether I was being foolish, and whether I had chosen an uncarvable pumpkin.

The jury was split, but I went with my friend T., who said, "Come on, take a chance!"

At the flea market the Sunday before the Halloween-day contest, I picked up a curly-haired blond wig along with a pink fur neck wrap. On the way home Monday night, I stopped at Walgreen's and purchased some false eyelashes.

When I got home, I soon found that the naysayers had been right: Once I carved the pop-top (at an angle!), I discovered that the walls of the white pumpkin were about three times as thick as a traditional pumpkin. So I cleaned it out, popped back the top, and began to draw.

Thus my Marilyn Monroe pumpkin was created: Complete with false eyelashes, wig, fur stole, earrings. I sat it on a box draped with an old white slip and placed a fan beneath it, causing the slip to flutter a la Marilyn in "Seven Year Itch."

And I won the Most Original category!

The prizes were 1.5-pound boxes of See's Candy. I chose the peanut brittle. I am so afraid of what it will do to my diet, it is locked in my car trunk.

I won! I won!