I was born with a unique hidden talent. But like all strange powers, it's more of a curse than a blessing. It is the power to clog and flood toilets. I think I showed a knack for this fairly early on. It was getting to be quite a problem, until my brilliant mother taught me the art of multiple and strategic flushing. Also, how to grab the float to stop the bowl from overflowing while you yell for help.
It's better now that I'm a grown-up and all. But not perfect. Every now and then I regress. Like the time, a couple of years ago, when I caused a deluge while cleaning out the cat litter box. Oh yeah, that was a great day. Even though I've got this Gnome mostly under control, I still suffer from the emotional effects. I avoid using other people's bathrooms because I'm terrified of clogging their toilet. Oh my gosh, how embarrassing would that be? Like the most humiliating thing ever. How could I look the person in the eye after that?
*Note: In fiction, we would call this foreshadowing.
In my non-writing life - or the real world, whichever you want to call it - I work for a small, independent business. My Boss's office is set up right in his house. I was in the command center the other day, answering phones and grappling with stomach issues, no doubt brought on by a strawberry binge the night before.
Oh no, Maegan, you say. Please tell us you didn't . . .
Oh YES. I totally did.
Cue mad search for the nearest plunger, which I finally found in a downstairs laundry room. I plunged and flushed. No luck. I tried again, and then a third time. Still, the water refused to flow. I removed the top of the toilet, poised to grab the float should the need arise. Aside from Pizookie and Mallory (a cat and a black lab, respectively), there was no one in the house I could call for help. I found myself at a crossroads. Either keep plunging and risk the Dreaded Flood in the Boss's newly-refurbished bathroom, or walk away and fess up.
I walked away. And it went like this:
Me: "So I think I may have clogged your toilet."
Boss: "Okay. Which one?"
Me: "The one upstairs. I tried to plunge it, but I was afraid it would flood, so I stopped. Sorry!"
And that was it. He didn't get mad. I didn't dissolve into a quivering puddle of shame. It was all very anti-climactic. Turns out that facing one of my biggest fears wasn't so bad after all.