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Waterworks in Memphis

It's been almost a year and a half since my husband and I took a trip out to Kansas to meet our new grandson. On the way back, we decided to take the southern route and visit Memphis and Nashville before meandering back to the mountains of Johnson County.
To be honest, I wasn't overly impressed with Memphis. While visiting Graceland and eating at some of the barbeque restaurants was enjoyable, I had begun to long for home. Although I had considered myself a city girl, the mountains were in my blood and Memphis city life was far too hectic for my liking. On the way out of town, we made one last stop to fill up on gas before hitting the road. It turned out to be a stop I'll likely never forget, although I truly wish I could.
Pulling up at the gas station, I toyed with skipping an opportunity to use the restroom just one more time. After mulling it over for a minute, I made my way into the small store. It wasn't the fanciest of places and I quickly discovered the lock on the ladies' room door didn't seem very dependable. I really didn't want strangers walking in on me, so I decided if I just held onto the door while using the facilities that would suffice.
Balancing sitting on the toilet, holding the door and reaching for toilet paper took some coordination. However, within seconds, I found myself on the floor on the other side of the restroom. Startled, I could hear this frantic voice in my head giving me instructions. “Get up! Get up! Get up now!!!” As we get older, sometimes it takes a minute to get yourself up off the floor, but this was not the case on this day. It was if some invisible force grabbed me from the back and pulled me straight up to my feet. I can't ever remember moving so fast in my life.
Quickly rearranging my clothes, I realized the toilet had turned over on its side and was laying on the floor. I kept asking myself how could this happen. I agreed I could lose some weight, but people who weigh hundreds of pounds more than me sit on toilets every day! The floor was soon covered in water and the right side of me, my hair and even my glasses, were wet all the way down to my shoes. Grabbing my quilted purse to save its contents, I saw that not only had the toilet overturned but it hit the water line. My first thoughts were it was a good thing I hadn't locked the door with the miserable lock or I might have drowned before being rescued. It may have taken a while for help to come as the line to buy lottery tickets was practically out the door.
I felt like I was frozen in time. I didn't know what to do about this overturned toilet and the increasing amount of water rising on the floor. To be honest, I considered just walking out and passing everyone by just like it was a normal day. Fat chance of that happening as I looked like a one-sided drowned rat. So there I stood, looking like a ragamuffin, and a wet one at that, and I calmly asked the clerk if she had noticed any problems with the toilet in the ladies room. She barely looked up at me and informed me that it was really loose and I should be careful. “Well, it's not loose any more,” I bravely told her, “In fact, it's on its side and water is spraying all over the place.” I don't think she believed me as she continued ringing up lottery tickets. People sure bought a lot of tickets at this store. By the time she walked into the bathroom, the water had begun to spill out into the main part of the store. I tried to tell her she needed to turn off the main water line, but within seconds she was also drenched.
I frantically went up to one man and asked if he knew how to turn off the water. He must have thought I was a nut case as I pleaded with him to help the clerk. It turned out he knew less about cutting off the water supply than we did. After standing there for a few minutes, I decided I wasn't going to be of any help and mumbled “I'm out of here” to no one in particular.
Practically running out to the car, I jumped in and put my seat belt on and hysterically told my husband “We have to get out of here now.” I wasn't sure if I was going to laugh, cry or do a little of both. After seeing my wet hair, clothes and toilet paper still clutched in my right hand, he knew better than to ask any questions until I calmed down. It didn't take but about a minute for me to begin babbling at him about the toilet overturning and the water line and I'm lucky I didn't drown. Driving across the road to buy some bottled water, my husband obviously didn't sense my urgency on wanting to get out of the area before someone came looking for the woman who broke the toilet at the gas station. Nervously waiting for him, I quickly called my friend, Angie, and began talking a mile a minute, laughing and crying at the same time as this ridiculous situation I was in continued to sink in.
As we hit the highway, all I wanted was to get out of Memphis and find a place to put on some dry clothes. I often wonder if the clerk ever was able to turn off the water before the entire contents of the store was destroyed. I can safely say I will never forget my experiences in Memphis and honestly don't care if I ever visit that area again.