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On the Hot Seat

Against my better judgment I’ve been persuaded to write this blog post. It is a very personal story and I wasn’t sure I wanted to share it with the world. My husband and a few close friends reminded me that my embarrassment has made the most entertaining posts. They think they are encouraging me, but I think they might just be mean. Nevertheless, here I sit, about to tell you what happened this week.

Most of us have completely unremarkable experiences in the bathroom; certainly nothing worth writing about, but earlier this week I had an incident in the bathroom that I didn’t expect.  I stepped into the tiny, one-seater bathroom across the hall from my office and noticed it seemed muggier than usual in there. That part of the building is not air-conditioned and it was humid outside, so I didn’t really give it more than a passing thought. When I sat upon the throne, I noticed the seat felt unusually warm, but someone had just come out of the bathroom. Perhaps she was in there for a prolonged period of time leaving behind an excessively warm seat. The really odd sensation didn’t begin until a few seconds later while I was in the midst of doing that which one does on the toilet. I thought something was wrong with parts in my southern hemisphere. I couldn’t imagine why that region suddenly felt so hot. Then I noticed a strange, warm breeze wafting upward onto my backside. After I flushed the toilet, I let my hand hover in the air above the fresh bowl. There was steam rising from within. The water in the toilet was HOT – not warm – HOT – bubble bath hot. Could I be imagining this?

Fearing I had developed some strange, sudden onset, medical condition, I walked up to a female friend and made a very unusual request. “Would you please go into the bathroom and sit on the toilet? You don’t have to actually go to the bathroom. I just need you to sit there for a second, but remember to pull down your pants. I think something weird is going on in there.”

Something weird was going on and now, thanks to me, the weirdness wasn’t isolated to the bathroom. I sounded like a lunatic. Who asks someone to go into the bathroom, sit on the toilet then report their findings?

My friend looked strangely at me and asked, “What’s going on in there?”

I needed her unbiased analysis so I said, “I won’t tell you what it is because I don’t want to influence your opinion of the situation.” Now I sounded crazy and mysterious.

As any good friend would do, she agreed to indulge me. She was on her way, but then her phone rang. I had to get to a meeting and couldn’t wait around to find out how she fared in the bathroom.

Courtesy of my large cup of tea, I had to use the bathroom again later that morning. This time, I chose a bathroom in another part of the building hoping for a different outcome. My experience was different all right. The seat and the water emanating from this toilet were even hotter. It was like having a facial on the wrong end of my body. I was seriously wondering if anyone else was having the same experience in the bathrooms that day.  How could I possibly work this topic into polite co-worker conversation? “Hey, have you been to the bathroom today? Did you notice your nether regions felt exceptionally warm?” There are just so many ways that scenario could go wrong. It was best not to begin the discussion at all.

Later that same morning I was in a meeting  room with the air-conditioning cranking so high the space could be used as a penguin habitat. The cold temperature smacked you in the face the minute you entered the room. I was waiting for the hour-long presentation to begin when the women sitting around me were talking about how cold they were going to be. I saw this as my opportunity to mention the hot potty topic without getting too personal.

I turned to the group and casually said, “If you get too cold you can always go warm up your tush in the bathroom.”

Immediately, there was a collective burst of laughter followed by a chorus of, “Oh my God, you felt that too! I was wondering what that was. I thought I was losing my mind.”

We had all experienced the same odd sensation regardless of the bathroom we had used. Apparently, there was a problem with the water line. Piping hot water was filling the toilets creating the derrière sauna spa treatment.

Usually, I am not one who partakes in potty humor, but what occurred this week, was so bizarre that I felt it was important to make an exception. I did not write this post to be crude or to plague your mind with mental images you’d rather not be able to visualize. I think of this post as a public service announcement. If you happen to find yourself in a similar situation, don’t be embarrassed.  Don’t suffer a steam burn in silence. Speak up! There are others just like you who may be experiencing the same thing.

This warning sign should have been posted in the bathrooms at work this week.

About Paprika Furstenburg

I was born with an overly developed sense of humor and poor coordination. The combination of these two character traits has taught me humility and given me the perspective to find the funny in everyday experiences.

23 responses »

  1. Pingback: Flush With Gratitude « Good Humored

  2. So funny. Aren’t you glad you said something!

  3. Chuckles! I always wondered what it was like to have a hot tush 😉

  4. This happened to me in an old apartment building years ago. All my water, included the toilet was piping hot. It was New Year’s Eve. The custodian was not happy.
    I love your sauna analogy. I guess I should have just held my face over the bowl!

  5. Priceless! We probably all have a bathroom story — I guess when life gives you hot toilets, make laughs!

  6. Thanks for sharing your embarrassing moments!!! It will have me smiling all day when I think about what your face must have looked like when you felt that first warm breeze down below. Oh, thank you for the laughs!!!!

  7. LOL! Love this post because you are right– no one would believe it but true it is! When I questioned one of the custodians I was told that there is a valve somewhere in the boiler room that is causing hot water to be flushed into the toilets instead of cold…….. and they can’t figure out which one it is. Go figure…………..but it did make for a very entertaining post!

  8. Not too many people that call themselves “Smart Ass” have an “ass that smarts”!

  9. Vivian Landsburg

    Your blogs have been great. They’ve given me many reasons to smile and to appreciate your “way with words”. Hope you keep it going. Vivian

  10. Now I’m really curious. Let me know if you ever find out what it was!

    • I’m afraid the closest I will come to knowing exactly what caused the indoor hot spring is that there was some sort of plumbing problem with the water lines. The rest will remain an unsolved mystery. Thanks so much for reading and commenting!

  11. In medical jargon, what you got was almost a Sitz bath! Hot stuff!!

  12. I always knew Paprika was a hot item!

  13. Pap, that was hilarious!! I want to hear this rendition in person, complete with all the hysteria that will go with it!! What a riot!! Glad you wrote about it!!! xoxox


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