A Different John

A Geezer’s Notebook, By Jim Foster

I found a rather interesting bit of trivia in Uncle John’s Heavy Duty Bathroom Reader. (Please Lord, not another column based on Uncle John’s weird observations. I’m sorry, the answer is yes.) There are 40,000 toilet-related injuries annually in the United States.

Now that would be a good conversation starter for a young man on a first date especially if the lady had to slip into the powder room.

“Be careful in there, Mary Jane, and don’t forget to take your health card with you.”

Uncle John was kind enough to pass along a few reports taken from hospital emergency room files. It seems to me it would be bad enough to actually have the accident; but to have someone write up all the sordid details and then send an accident report to the Health Ministry (or Uncle John) seems like adding insult to toilet bowl injury.

Some of the accidents reported just couldn’t be helped. A case in point is the poor guy who strained his abdomen. Lightning came through the bathroom ceiling while he was on the toilet causing him to fall on the floor. Actually he was lucky he wasn’t welded to the floor.

An interesting aside here – had he been standing under a tree when the lightning hit him it would have been classed as an Act of God. No doubt his homeowner’s insurance adjudicators would disqualify him as they are inclined to do whenever the Almighty has a hand in it. Whether the Lord has shares in the insurance industry is unknown but it seems highly likely.

Or how about examining the case of another poor soul who sustained a right shoulder fracture? This time the patient was using a Port–a-Potty in the park and the wind blew it over? Not only did his shoulder hurt, but the nurses wouldn’t let him into E.R. until someone hosed him down and sprayed him withFebreze.

If MGM ever does a remake of The Wizard of Oz there will be thousands of Port-a-Pottys with people hanging out the door as they sail by Dorothy’s bedroom window. Whenever I see a line of Port-a-Pottys at a festival my first thought is not, ‘I have to go to the john’ it’s ‘I hope God isn’t in a playful mood today if I do.’

That type of accident can’t be helped, but as you may expect, many more toilet related incidents are caused by sheer stupidity. Here is a prime example: ‘Patient drank half a gallon of rum and took Xanax last evening; today while sitting on the toilet felt dizzy and fell off, bumping head.’ That damned Xanax will do it to you every time.

And my personal favourite – ‘Patient sat on end of a plunger left in toilet.’ It must have been an uncomfortable ride in the ambulance, him being face-down and all.

I wrote a column many, many, moons ago about an outbreak of Toilet Bowl Narcolepsy. As you might expect TBN is the term used when some poor soul falls asleep whilst on the john. Usually they sit so long their legs go to sleep and they spend the next few minutes wondering why they are face-down on the bathroom floor.

I know I shouldn’t be using Uncle John as my sole source of medical information but the man is nosy and over the years he has found so many strange stories and reports, some are so weird that hospitals have had to list hundreds of them just to amuse doctors and nurses in the wee hours.

Hence: ‘Patient, 31, was playing sex games with wife, had belt around neck, jumped over something and got hung up. Also fell down stairs.’ So the next time you are feeling frisky – never mind.

I don’t know whether this was the same guy or his brother but ‘patient had wrist pain after sex and bowling.’ What isn’t explained was whether it was a mixed league, what nights they play, and are they taking new members?

Some accidents are understandable like, ‘accidentally swallowed guitar pick.’ My friend Gary plays a guitar and I can’t count the number of times Faye has driven him to Emergency. Now she just knocks on the door, calls out, “He’s done it again!” and leaves him there. How he gets home is his problem.

Finally, ‘insect bites on lips while riding a go-cart.’ That isn’t all that interesting but it reminded me of an old joke.

How do you tell a happy motorcyclist? By the bugs and butterflies on his teeth.

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