Normally I don’t sit on public toilet seats. Something prevents me and I just end up in a low squat. Yet it seems to work, very few problems, until today. Turning to place the toilet roll into the toilet bowl, my jean’s pocket caught on the lip of the lid and there was a little ‘plonk.’ I didn’t think too much about it. Then I paused. My jean’s pocket felt a little lighter. Why? No vaseline, no IPod, no phone – phone. I let out a little laugh and peered into the toilet bowl. Then the conundrum struck. Standing dumbfounded in a cottage toilet still in a half crouched position, I realised: my phone is in the toilet. And not just in the toilet bowl. Due to momentum, it had slipped into the inside bend of the toilet pipe. I laughed. ‘Naaah.’ I didn’t have to put my hand in the toilet. I looked again.
It’s funny, when you re-evaluate the contents of a toilet bowl you forget that its your urine plus the pre-placed toilet water. I looked back at my hand. This wasn’t just a case of fingers being dipped quickly into the toilet. It was my whole hand. I tried the toilet brush, it wasn’t dexterous enough. Obviously I considered just flushing the loo. My phone was about to reach it’s 3rd birthday and it was an ‘old skool’ Samsung that couldn’t even read Multimedia Messages. It was also the exact same phone as my twin [ stop laughing.] Perhaps it had reached the end of its natural technological life.
But then I was in a cottage in the middle of a west-country hamlet. You flush a brick phone down the toilet, there goes the sewage. An image of pipe tunnels being blocked and an explosion worse than the end of Chicken Run flashed across my retina. Next thing I knew, still laughing in the horror of disbelief, my hand was lowering itself into the discoloured liquid. It hesitated before breaking the meniscus. My hand was in a urine filled toilet. Fingers scrabbling up the pipe I felt my devious phone slip into my palm. At this point I had had to use my hand gymnastic skills so effectively the toilet-urine-water was half way up my wrist. Oh-my-gosh.
Whilst the actual foraging had seemed like a freeze-frame from Crouching Tiger, the moment the phone was securely recovered everything moved like Michelle Yeoh on an angry day. My wrist whipped itself backwards, I pivoted with agile speed, and spun the taps. First-things-first:
Soap (there was no disinfectant) + Hot water + Vicious Scrubbing.
Once I felt my skin was fairly exfoliated I then washed the phone.
Soap + Hot Water + Vicious Scrubbing + plus the late knowledge that Water + Mobile = Stupid.
I washed my pee-pee stained phone.. Who washes their phone?
Suffice it to say my phone responded like a cat to water. It hissed, shone a bright light and resolutely refused to communicate to me (or the wider world).
Although the decease of my phone was a sobering moment, the sight of my hands altruistic action is far more sobering. It basically says to me : You were so worried about messing up the sewage and being disconnected you stuck your hand down the toilet – here my mind kisses its teeth – for an OAP Samsung.