Friday, August 3, 2012

Surprise Guest

Okay... so here's the story.

There I was, freshly dressed for the day, washing my face and brushing my teeth before leaving the house. It’s a good practice to be in, right? Making sure you’re presentable, clean, with no offensive odors or breath before you go out to meet the world? Or, at least some small part of the world who might care whether you’re presentable, clean, and have no offensive odors or breath?

I thought so.

So I twisted the hot water tap and scrubbed the teeth and tongue (got to get the tongue, can’t forget the tongue, not first thing in the morning) with a mixture of minty froth and slowly warming water. By the time I no longer felt like something had, in the middle of the night and confused by the darkness, mistaken my open and snoring mouth for a lavatory, the water coming from the tap was hot enough for a good wash. I grabbed a washcloth, gave it a good squirt of liquid soap from the dispenser on the counter, and started in.

My technique may be a little different from yours. It has to do with my lack of a hairline — or even hair! When I say I ‘wash my face’, what I really mean is I wash all the skin on, and around my face. Which in my case means my entire head all the way to the back of my neck.

Oh, I may be a cue ball, but I’m a clean cue ball!

So I leaned into the sink and made with the scrub. I paid special attention to the actual ‘facial area’, creating suds aplenty. I rinsed the washcloth, wrung it out, rinsed it, wrung it, (all with my eyes closed to avoid crying like a baby) then soaked it and started to rinse my head. I was rinsing away, making sure to get it all off the back of my smooth head so as not to wind up with embarrassing dried lather on the back of my neck or behind my ears for all the world to see. So I had my head stuck way down into the sink, my face right in there, when I finally felt the soap rinsing off my skin and I dared open my eyes.

Now, some sinks, and you may have one like this in your own bathroom, have a sort of ‘overflow drain’ built into the front of them. There’s a hole in your sink, right there in the front, across from the tap. It’s below the rim of the sink, and it’s there as a kind of safety net in case you forget you’re filling the sink with water. The water starts to get too high in the sink, meets the level of the overflow drain, and the drain takes the water away for you rather than letting the sink just fill to the point where your floor gets soaked and you wind up having to clean much more of the bathroom than you had originally intended. It’s a little hard to see, placed where it is, unless you lean right out over the sink. Or, maybe, lean right down and thrust your head into the bowl of the sink like I was doing — in which case, the drain hole is right there in front of your eyes.

And so was the centipede.

The centipede was poking out of the overflow drain and looking at me from just inches away. Huge and leggy, it stared at me as it stroked the air in alternating rhythm with its antennae, like a slow-moving drum roll. My focus centered briefly on the small dog it held in its mouth, then I gaped at the Schwarzenegger-esque arms with which it grasped the edge of the drain. Schwarzenegger nothing — I’d swear I saw this gigantic beast once in an old movie about Monster Island, where he easily knocked down Godzilla, King of the Monsters, before performing a hundred-legged Mexican Hat Dance on the supine monarch’s atomic head!

Yes, I know that in reality it was hanging out of a drain hole less than an inch across, but in the mind’s eye of someone hanging their head upside-down into a sink, and taken by complete surprise from three inches away? It was huge! Monstrous! Gigantic!

Shut up. Who’s telling this story, anyway?

So, there I was, confronted with this savage vision of a mammoth, multi-legged man-eater that was staring at me and licking its lips in anticipation (yes, I’d swear it had lips!) and I did what I’d like to think any red-blooded, meat-eating American man would have done.

I squealed and beat frantically at the side of the sink with a wet, sudsy washcloth.

I did this for a few seconds, actually. Maybe I was going for one stroke for every pair of legs possessed by my surprise visitor, I really couldn’t say. What I can say is that when the flailing was done and I looked to the drain-hole, the ground zero of my assault, I saw no evidence whatsoever of a mashed myriapoda. Not a spare leg, not a bit of bug juice, not even a small well-chewed dog dropped in hasty retreat. What I saw instead, when I looked around, breathing heavily, was soapy water and suds sprayed and splashed across the mirror, the counter, the wall, and my own clothes.
I sighed and got out a towel to wipe up the mess. As I used a tissue to re-polish the mirror, I’d swear to God I heard a tiny voice coming from the overflow drain, mixed in with the sound of dozens of tiny marching feet.

“Bitch please!”

I ignored the voice, finished cleaning, and went off in search of a quick change into some dry clothes.

It’s a good thing this blog isn’t titled “Proudest Moments”. If it was, I’d have nothing to say…

Talk to you later!


  1. LOL ... based on a true story? ;-)

    1. Yes, Ma'am. Everything here at WYMOP is based on the Truth.
      ...sometimes very loosely, but I'm kind of like the anti-X-Files.

      The Truth is in there.