Trapped in the Bathroom for 30 Minutes

help me, R Kelly


The doorknob to my bathroom wouldn’t turn so I did what any man would do: I turned it harder. I had just finished showering so I was still wet, eager to get out of the bathroom and make coffee. I turned as hard as I could, because you know, brute strength always solves problems—but then the damn knob just… fell. Now I didn’t have a way of turning the door. I was trapped in the bathroom, R-Kelly style.

My roommate was out of town for Thanksgiving. My phone was in my room. I couldn’t call for help. It doesn’t take long at all for your thoughts to go wild when you’re trapped. Thoughts like: Am I going to have to kick this mother-effa down? But that would make a lot of noise and I’m pretty sure my neighbors would call the police. How long will I be trapped here? My roommate wouldn’t be back until tomorrow night. I have plenty of water so at least I won’t die of thirst, but damn I might get very hungry in here. Is soap edible? What? You’re not eating soap, idiot. Should I yell outside the window and call for help? That is an option, but maybe wait until I have no other options left.

Survival instincts rarely kick in when you’re living in New York City—amenities and apps are everywhere. Well that’s not entirely true, they come in through other ways. Like when you’re on a train and a crazy person sits across from you, yelling “Oh god why me? WHY MOTHERFUCKIN’ ME?” and the nice old lady sitting next to you gets up and changes to the next car, but you have too much pride so you’re like, nah I’m going to sit this one through until I get home even though he’s saying increasingly crazier things and in the back of your mind you’re like, this dude is drunk and capable of anything, I might need to kick him if he lunges at me. Or perhaps in other ways—like when you have to pee really badly and it’s 2am but you’re on the street and there’s no bathroom nearby so you go to a corner alley and let it go, but then a man comes out of nowhere and goes (Nigerian accent) “Hey, what are you doing? Get out of here!” and you have to stop mid-stream and start running. You know, those kinds of things?

I’m not kidding myself though: this isn’t like the movie 127 Hours. I’m not cutting my arm off. Now that’s true survival. This is more of an inconvenience, boredom that could possibly last 48 hours until my roommate gets back. I was determined not to let it get to that. Since R-Kelly wasn’t coming to help me, there was only one way to get out of there: I had to MacGyver that shit.

Let’s look around. What do I have to work with? Toothpaste. Okay, maybe I can use the bottom of the toothpaste the way you’d use a credit card to spry the door open. Nope. How about this hairpin? Maybe I can pick the lock. Okay, that didn’t work, the lock isn’t the problem, it’s turning the door. Okay, there is soap! I could eat the soap! No idiot! Stay focused! Okay, what do I have? Feminine bath products that my roommate uses. Oh, I could take a long hot bubble bath and think of Ryan Gosling or whatever it is girls think about when they’re bathing. But I just showered, so that’s out of the question. It’s hopeless!

What if I had left the stove on? Oh my god, this whole building is going to burn down. I may have to kick this door like an FBI agent. Or I could just yell for help. No way, I’d look like a little bitch. I’d rather let the building burn. I wanted to make coffee. Did I leave the stove on though? No I didn’t. Calm down. Don’t eat the soap.

Then I opened the mirror cabinet. I looked around. Stuff for your eyes, mouthwash, lotions, until… I see it. Nail clippers. I take the nail clippers and turn the top part away and shove it through the doorknob. I turn the nail clippers and it worked. I can’t believe it. I’m free.

It was only thirty minutes, but man, I’m still wondering if soap is edible. Off I go to Home Depot!


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