By Georgia Grellier
Welcome back to Story Time with Georgia, where I relay weird stories from members of the CC community and people within six degrees of separation from them. Shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to be Catalyst-column famous.
Who: Me, but in Paris
When: Block 2, second week
What: A French bathroom kidnapped me.
My dear friend Cheli was visiting me from Israel, and we were making the most of the city by binge-watching “The Simple Life” in bed. After a few episodes I needed to pee, so I walked across the small room to the bathroom and, out of habit, locked the door.
I did what I needed to do, washed my hands, and started to twist the lock. There was a small gap between the door and the doorway, though, and I became slightly alarmed when I didn’t see the lock recede back into the door. When I grabbed the doorknob and turned it, the door didn’t move. Refusing to believe that a French door was getting the best of me, I continued to fiddle with the lock and yelled to Cheli through the door that I was stuck.
When someone gets stuck in a French bathroom, the appropriate first step is always to take a video on Snapchat. Hence, Cheli immediately grabbed both of our phones (mine was outside the bathroom) and recorded me whining about not being able to escape. We both laughed about it at first, but after 10 more minutes of me messing with the lock, about when Cheli realized that her face wash was stuck in the bathroom with me, it was time to act.
She called the hotel on speakerphone and reached a woman with an American accent who did not seem especially eager to hear about our predicament. Cheli very nicely said, “My friend is stuck in the bathroom and the door won’t unlock — can you send someone?”
Our new friend on the phone, however, did not turn out to be our friend because she flatly said, “It’s too late to send someone.”
When Cheli incredulously asked where I was supposed to sleep for the night, the woman said, “She can sleep on a towel on the floor.”
This was not hype, and I decided to take matters into my own survivalist hands.
Looking around the counter, I realized that Cheli had used a knife to open the packaging on a skincare product and left it next to the sink earlier in the evening. The end of the knife was pretty close to screwdriver-size and this doorknob was clearly my nemesis, so I decided that bad boy needed to come off. I unscrewed the entire knob from the door, which was very satisfying, and then toyed with the actual lock until the door suddenly opened and I was free from sleeping on a towel all night.
Freedom felt amazing, and we watched “The Simple Life” for the rest of the night to celebrate. Before we left, I hid the bathroom doorknob/lock apparatus so that no one in the future will have to suffer that same issue. I hope the hotel people don’t replace it.
Takeaway: I obviously have bathroom lock trust issues now, but I’m coping, so don’t worry.