Back in June 1999 or 2000 I was still living in a suburb of the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota. My friend and former roommate, Cheryl, and I were going out to dinner to celebrate Flag Day aka Cheryl’s birthday. We decided to go to TGI Friday’s in Bloomington, MN off of Hwy 100.
We started with a couple of beers, an appetizer and then had our meal before the waitress brought out some cake and ice cream for Cheryl. Right before the dessert came out I excused myself to go to the bathroom. What should have been a quick 5 minute pee turned out to be a 20 minute adventure.
Now before you run off thinking I’m going to post some disgusting bathroom humor (which automatically makes me think of the bathroom scene from Dumb and Dumber…a movie I hate by the way), let me reassure you that there is NO disgusting bathroom humor. So just relax and sit back down. 😀
The bathroom stall doors were actual doors with doorknobs which nicely afforded more privacy than your standard bathroom stall doors. However, this design did have a bit of a negative. When I went to open the door, I turned the knob and nothing happened. If this had been a standard bathroom stall, I could have climbed over the top of the stall (assuming I had the upper body strength of John Cena, which I most definitely do not and certainly didn’t back then) or, as disgusting as it may be, I could have crawled under the stall door. No such luck with floor to ceiling walls and door. I turned the doorknob again and pulled on the door…..nothing. I continued rattling the doorknob, completely in denial of the fact that I was indeed locked into the bathroom stall. The doorknob had broken.
As I continued to rattle the door, a woman asked if I needed help. I explained that evidently the knob mechanism had broken and I couldn’t get the door open. She said she was going to get help and left. I’m unsure of how much time passed, and then another woman heard my distress and said she would go and get help as well. Soon I had the female bartender outside of my stall as well as the male manager trying to get me out of my accidentally self-imposed prison. I’m not sure how many people were congregated outside of my bathroom stall, but it sounded like a small crowd had gathered.
After quite a bit of banging and hammering, the manager was able to knock the knob off the outside of the stall door and remove the entire mechanism, leaving a hole where the knob used to be. The door finally opened and in the hand washing area of the bathroom were stood a good 5 or 6 people checking out what was going on while the bartender held the evil doorknob in her hand and the manager wielded a hammer. I can’t quite equate my rescue with, say, the rescue of a trapped miner, but at the same time, I was incredibly happy to see them! I could have been dramatic and blinked at the bright light when the stall door finally opened, but truth be told there was a light on in my stall the entire time I was locked up. So yeah, not anywhere near as dramatic as being rescued from an underground mine. And I was a lot cleaner, too.
I returned to Cheryl, her cake and her melted ice cream. Kindly the bartender made some more drinks just for me and Cheryl, and the entire tab was on the house. TGI Fridays continued to be one of our favorite hangouts and I still used the bathroom there after this incident (because sometimes you just gotta go). I just never imagined that this could possibly happen again in a completely different location…….
TO BE CONTINUED………..