Do you ever wonder how you’d handle an extreme situation? Will you panic? Will you stay cool, calm and collected? Will you be the hero, or just another schmuck? Will you, in fact, stick your hand into a bowl of your own urine to retrieve your wedding ring?
My wedding ring has always been a little loose. In fact, my first full day being married I lost it for twenty minutes when it flew off my hand while I was shampooing my hair. (After more than one complete panic attack, I found it lodged in the folds of my towel.) Generally speaking, this isn’t really an issue. But if I get cold, then my ring gets really loose. Then it feels like I’m trying to keep a hula-hoop on my hand.
It was a bit chilly recently, and I was in the bathroom making a quick pit stop. When I heard the clink-sploosh sound mid-stream, I knew what had happened without even looking. My ring had pulled a Houdini and escaped my finger for decidedly more damp and urine-rich environments.
Now I like to think myself a smooth and worldly character, up to any challenge. But when faced with my ring at the bottom of a soiled toilet bowl, all I could think was, “That’s not good.”
Apparently my inner-monologue is the king of the understatement.
To my ever-diminishing credit, I never once considered not retrieving the ring. (Though I may have had a fleeting thought of trying to hold the ring in place with a stick while flushing the toilet clean repeatedly.)
When you sit back and Monday morning quarterback the situation, you can come up with hundreds of solutions that don’t involve sticking your hand into that self-made quagmire of ick. But in the moment, I was convinced that if I so much as took a step away from the toilet, my ring would slide out of site and then I’d really be up a creek without a plunger.
So, like a mindless Gollum leaping after his precious, I took a deep breath and plunged wrist deep into the toilet. Mentally, I was splitting my time between reminding myself that human urine is sterile and being thankful that I hadn’t had to take a dump. And while it seemed an eternity, I had my ring back in my grasp in an agonizing 3 or 4 seconds.
What followed was a flush, followed by about 5 minutes of the most intense hand washing that a sink has ever seen. 15 gallons of hot water and half a bottle of hand soap later, my ring was back in place on my finger.
I only tell you this in case you happen upon me in a public restroom, hands balled tightly into fists and held to the sky whilst I urinate. No need to be concerned that I’m urinating angry, or that I’m experiencing some sort of seizure.
Nope, just playing it safe. Some of those public restrooms can get mighty cold.