Oh dear, what can the matter be?

stickywicket Member Posts: 27,219
edited 11. Apr 2017, 06:37 in Living with Arthritis archive
One old lady stuck in the lavatory.

Public loos are always a gambol for me. About 50% of the time my fingers can cope with the locks and the rest of the time, disabled ones or not, I'm winging it.

Today I was at my first ever professional baseball game. First time round I got away with just shutting the door of the furthest cubicle and hoping. Second time I didn't. When I tried to get out again by using every grip I could muster on the little lock (the only means of opening the door) nothing happened. It was well and truly stuck. Through the crack I could see people washing their hands. My choice was to wait until my family missed me (?!!!) or shout for help. I abandoned my English reticence and opted for the latter but, of course, the long row of loos in a concrete stadium full of screaming Angels fans was so echoey and noisy, no-one heard a thing.

Plan B. What had I, in my very small shoulder bag, that might stick through the small crack and enable me to lever the door open.? It's a purely essentials bag. My mobile and coin purse were too big.. My hanky and tenalady too floppy. The handle of my RADAR key might have worked but that was in the UK. I tried my strip of cocos but, with only two left in the pack, it was way too floppy. Last chance saloon - my credit cards. I had two, wrapped together in foil. I tried and they worked. The door opened and I walked over to the washbasin as if nothing had happened.

And the Angels won against tremendous odds. As did I :lol:


  • daffy2
    daffy2 Member Posts: 1,636
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I know it's spring Sticky but really. If you go gambolling in the lavatory what do you expect?. Stick to gambling - it might be safer....
    Now that my hands have become a problem I too struggle with things like toilet door handles. It astonishes me (shouldn't really after all they're 'designed' by healthy men/computers who never have to use them) how many rubbish ones there are, including on disabled facilities. I made a comment a couple of years ago to the local big purpose built hospital about the fact that said toilet had a difficult interior handle, and ordinary handles on the cistern for flushing. Nothing has changed since, except that an 'accessible' toilet elsewhere has had a proper handle on the cistern replaced with an ordinary one....I wonder how many in the building are not fit for purpose in that respect - so much for having so many managers in the NHS eh?
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I read your opening sentence and then spent the next few minutes in gales of laughter. You and me are old forum friends (who seem to share a similar sense of humour - tripe anyone?) so I am sure you will forgive me. Daffy was far more tactful in acknowledging the tech spelling confusion (she is very polite) but the mental images . . . . :lol: (Note to self, pack hat with bells, pig's bladder and collapsible stick next time you go out.) Seriously, yet again you found the means to overcome a setback, you had what you needed about your person and you decided not to be beaten. I am now picturing the insouciant wander to the washbasins and am applauding (I utterly refuse to whoop).

    Disabled toilets are a nightmare, designed by the healthy who naturally understand our needs because they once stubbed a toe. (Please don't misunderstand, stubbing a toe is a distressing and painful experience but puh-leeeese :roll: )

    This has set me thinking: how would I design the ideal disabled toilet? For a start it would have to cover many degrees of disability (including company) but one thing it would not include is baby-changing - that need can be catered for in the other facilities. I can feel another thread coming on . . . DD
  • trepolpen
    trepolpen Member Posts: 504
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    there is so obvious solutions in the future for this , on the assumption Mr.Sticky is with you

    get a nice wig , high heels & a long coat for Mr.Sticky so he wont look out of place entering the ladies loe , so you can phone him & he can come to the rescue , long blonde wig would be prefered , sure he wont mind
  • dibdab
    dibdab Member Posts: 1,498
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Oh my goodness, what a predicament, and one I'm sure many of us can empathise with. Thus far I've never actually got stuck in a toilet, but I always slide the lock to and fro with door ajar to check I can do it before locking it. I've had a close call or two when I've struggled to tug the immovable lock and felt the internal rising tide of panic threaten to overwhelm me :oops: , some locks are definitely two handed efforts, and the wonkier my fingers get the more tricky it becomes.

    When out and about with my mum, who has numb fingers due to carpel tunnel syndrome and arthritis, I often find myself stationed on guard duty outside the cubicle so she doesn't need to lock door.

    I shall henceforth ensure I take my handbag to the loo and have at least a couple of long narrow objects to hand to fiddle round in the gap!

    Deb x
  • ruthvictoria71
    ruthvictoria71 Member Posts: 13
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I'm sorry, and please dont be offened, but I'm sitting in the doctors surgery and just burst out laughing!!!

    But you are right. Most disability toilets are a nightmare. Train ones are a lovely size with big buttons for opening, closing and locking the door. Lots of hand rails and bars.....then a stupidly small handbasin with automatic water, soap and drying....

    Oh and the non slip floorcis great until some able bodied people use the loo for a wash, get water over the floor and not bother to clear it up, making it very non slip....

    Sent from my SM-G935F using Tapatalk
  • GraceB
    GraceB Member Posts: 1,595
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thanks for giving me a good reason to smile Sticky. As the others have said, unfortunately the "powers that be" who design such things as disabled loos have no real comprehension what we actually need. One day a miracle might happen - and a designer might ask some of us! :roll:

    I do hope you don't get stuck again.

  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,219
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thank you everyone for sharing in the fun and - dare I say it? - frolics. Laughter is, indeed, the best medicine and, if I've raised a smile or two, intentionally and/or inadvertently, so much the better.

    I was never much or a gambler but even less of a gamboller in loos or anywhere else. Oh for the cartoonist's art!

    Trepolpen, Mr SW once played Widow Twanky in a pantomime and I assure you he makes a truly horrendous, scary woman. He will be on loo guard duty a lot tomorrow though on the plane as we head for home. Not much room for gambolling in there but at least not enough room to fall over either.
  • daffy2
    daffy2 Member Posts: 1,636
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    make sure that the toilet door is locked properly
    It's worth remembering that in this context the 'Close' button is not the 'Lock' button(which will also light up the overhead 'engaged' sign outside), something I learned the hard way.....
    Fortunately it was not a major embarrassment scenario, but it was a very crowded train so there was an audience.
  • mermaid
    mermaid Member Posts: 104
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Oh Sticky, you have started something with your post! So glad you escaped from said loo (RA makes us very resourceful) and can now laugh with us all.Have been in such situations so many times and often have to perform with a foot against the door (very dodgy) and obviously not in disabled loos! When staying away in Italy one time the apartment loo flush was one of those pesky flat buttons, totally impossible, so hubby helpfully removed the cistern lid so I could lift the lever and be independent. At which point the owner​ returned with some further information and probably thought we were hiding illegal drugs! My Italian wasn't up to an explanation. I now have a hairbrush with a round rubber handle which usually copes with such buttons. At my Mum's house with its rather stiff handled​ loo we found a hoover extension section which fitted and did the job! Wouldn't fit in a handbag though. Safe journey home Sticky, glad I'm not the only one with a lurking hubby outside plane loos, mine has had some very interesting conversations with fellow passengers from all over the world while waiting as I have also,so not all bad. Hope you had a lovely time otherwise xxxx
  • Slosh
    Slosh Member Posts: 3,194
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I once forgot to lock the door when using the toilet at work! Cue red face and much embarissment on both sides when the door was opened, luckily by a female member of staff! I am now rather OCD about checking.