Thursday, July 15, 2010

Midnight fears

Confession time. I have a fear that is so rare it doesn't even have a name (you know, like agoraphobia, etc). I have had it ever since the first time I saw the movie "Fried Green Tomatoes" when I was about 12.

If any of you have seen FGT, probably some of the most memorable parts are the kid getting run over by a train, or the woman answering the door in saran wrap, or the "Towanda!!!!" car incident. Those are all great moments, and upon reflection it is probably about time to watch the movie again, but none of them inspired my lifelong fear.

So here it is. I fear that a rodent might get into my sewer line, swim as hard as it can upstream to my toilet bowl, and bit me on the bum in the middle of the night.

Probably most of you don't even remember that story from the movie. I do!

Now, I am fine in the daylight hours. A cursory glance at the toilet bowl proves that there's no sewer rat waiting to pounce.

But the middle of the night?

First of all, everything is far scarier at three in the morning. I used to have to actually turn on the bathroom light (every time, since age 12) to make sure nothing was swimming around. Now within the last six months I have progressed to leaving the light off and just listening for a minute. No splashes, I'm safe. Just have to pee really fast!

Second of all, this has actually happened! I thought it must be an urban myth, but then I was listening to NPR, and a guy told a story about finding a sewer rat in his toilet! That really set me back for a while, but I keep telling myself he lived in NYC, not Auburn, Maine, and the sewer rat population has got to be less out here.

There is no resolution to this story, no happy ending. Tonight when I get up to go to the bathroom, I will pause for a moment to listen for the sound of splashing in the toilet bowl. I don't know of a way to get past this, so for now, I just live with it, as I have for 17 years. Perhaps someday I will be able to go to the bathroom without fearing a bite on the bum.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

well, while you're pausing to listen for the splash, the little guy is probably pausing to see if you're going to put a lid on the swimming You need to watch a Twilight Zone I saw a long time ago. It will help you when you wash your hair in the'll think about this spider this guy kept washing down the kept coming back up bigger and bigger. At least that's the way I remember! Aunt Melissa

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