Just Call Me “Lefty”

I now have another item to add to my ever-growing list of: “Reasons I may need to someday saw off my own arm.”
I checked in to the hotel in downtown Seattle late Wednesday night because our plane was delayed, the car rental company couldn’t find my Hummer, the hotel had me sharing a room with my co-worker, and so on.
So after a very long journey, I finally got into my room, hung up my clothes, changed into pajamas, went to the bathroom, flushed the toilet, and heard… nothing. You know, the usual routine.
With the sense of dread and frustration that always accompanies a malfunctioning toilet, I quickly tried to assess the situation. When I pushed the handle down, it just kind of loosely jiggled back and forth, clearly serving as nothing more than a decoration. I could see that this trip was starting out really well.
Fortunately, I’ve seen a few episodes of Extreme Home Makeover, so I took the toilet tank cover off and noticed that the little chain that is supposed to be attached to the handle was curled up nicely at the bottom of the tank. Beautiful.
It was late, I was tired, I had to flush, so I did it. I pushed up my sleeve and dunked my arm – up to the elbow – into the toilet tank water.
Hotel. Toilet. Tank. Water.
With the speed of a ninja, I grabbed the chain and looped it back onto the handle, so the toilet once again functioned as god had intended it to.
This bears repeating: my arm was submerged up to the elbow in hotel toilet water. Oh sure, I tried to convince myself that the water in the tank was actually clean. It was the only thing I could do in order to build up the courage to dunk my arm in there in the first place. I knew it was a lie then, and I know it’s a lie now. Exactly how much antibacterial soap do you think it takes to kill the germs of 100,000 previous guests?
And now that I look more closely, I may not even have to saw it off, because it seems to be dissolving into a smooth little stump pretty well on its own. Guess I’d better start learning how to type with one hand. Dammit! Why didn’t I think to dunk my left arm in the water?

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