Thursday, August 9, 2012

Growing Up "Country"

I grew up in a small town out in the sticks.  The kind of place where it took twenty minutes to get to a road that wasn't made of dirt and gravel...  Where everyone knew everyone and the majority of the town was comprised of three main families.  Chances are, you or your best friends were related to at least one of them.  Country living had its perks, and I wouldn't change a thing about growing up in a small town, but there were times when the "city girl" of my early childhood proved that she was still alive and kickin' in me.

It happened one afternoon when I was in college.  My parents had left that morning to go out of town for the week, and I had come to spend the weekend at the house so my 17-year-old sister wouldn't be alone.  I remember it clearly...  I was in the living room when Christy came running out of the bathroom.

"Oh my gosh!  You have GOT to go look in the toilet!!!"

My first reaction was to look at her as if she had lost her mind.  "Aren't you a little old for that, Christy?"  I mean, toddlers are all about having people look at what they've done in the potty, but Christy was 17-years-old!  I told her I'd take her word for it.

"No!  I'm serious!  You have got to go look in the toilet."

I rolled my eyes and grudgingly made my way into the restroom.  The lid was down, and I just knew she was playing a horrible joke on me at this point.  I looked at her and ever-so-slowly lifted the lid when I saw exactly why she came running out of the bathroom in a frenzy.  Spread out along the inside of the toilet bowl was a Gigantic Toad of Massive Proportions!  (If I knew the HTML to make that statement blink in neon colors, I would do it in order to stress the seriousness of the situation.)  I swear, the thing was huge!  And I just knew he was coming after us.

"City Girl" let out a shriek that would call dogs, slammed the lid back down, and if I remember correctly, put something on top of it in order to prevent the massive beast from opening the lid and getting loose in the house.  Then Christy asked me what I was going to do about it.

"What I'm going to do about it?!?  Why me?!?  You found it!!!"

"You're the oldest."  (Figures she would have chosen this exact moment to solidify my place of authority over her. ;-)

My first thought was to call my grandparents.  They lived across the street and had chickens and horses and stuff, so they were more "country" than we were.  But they weren't there!!!  I will admit that I was highly tempted to call my parents and have them come home.  They hadn't been gone that long.  It wouldn't shorten their trip too much, right?  But I decided to be a grown-up and find a solution to our predicament on my own.

I called 9-1-1.

Yep.  That's right!  I called 9-1-1 because there was a massive amphibian in my commode.

Okay, so I didn't actually dial "9-1-1."  I called the police station dispatch office.  My best friend was the dispatcher there (which also meant he was the 9-1-1 dispatcher), and I knew he could handle any emergency that was thrown his way.  Hence, my call to 9-1-1...

"You have to help us, Tom!!!"

Tom put on his "calm, professional 9-1-1 dispatcher voice" and tried to talk me down from my panic attack.  Although, to this day I can still hear the laughter in his voice.  He was kind and didn't laugh outright though, so for that, I am thankful.  And I am even more thankful for what he did next.  He called his younger brother and had him drive the 20 minutes to our house in order to save us from the Gigantic Toad of Massive Proportions.

When Eric pulled up the drive, Christy and I went running out to meet him.  I'm certain we were falling all over ourselves with cries of gratitude.  Our hero had come to save us!!!  Eric, bless his heart, did his best to stifle his chuckling as well and set out to remove the monster from our home.

We followed him into the bathroom.  We didn't necessarily want to have contact with the beast, but we wanted to make sure that no harm would come to him as well.  (We're compassionate like that ;-).  We prepared ourselves, and Eric opened the lid.

You could have heard crickets chirping it was so silent in that bathroom.

Sitting on top of the toilet seat, having made his way from inside the toilet bowl, was a teeny tiny little frog about the size of a quarter staring up at us with his super cute itty bitty little eyes.

Huh...  How 'bout that?

"He looked so much bigger before...  He's kind of cute!"  Christy and I proceeded to talk to the adorable little froggy.  "Hi, little froggy!  How cute are you, little froggy?!?"  Poor Eric just stood there shaking his head in disbelief.  "Do you still want me to take him outside," he asked us.  Um, yeah!  Little Froggy might be cute and all, but I still don't want him in my toilet!

So Eric picked up Little Froggy, carried him out the front door, and off of the patio where he leaned down to release him.  Christy and I quickly suggested he maybe take him a wee bit farther away from the house.  Little Froggy was clearly a smart one.  If he was able to find his way inside once, we wanted to make it a little bit more difficult for him to find his way in again.  Eric humored us and took our new amphibious friend into the pasture.  He managed to maintain his composure and not laugh at us, but I can only imagine the conversation that he and Tom must have had after he had left!

I no longer live in the country, but I do still check my toilet before sitting down.  Some things you just don't get past.  And a Gigantic Toad of Massive Proportions in your potty is one of them.  :-)


Andrea said...

Thank you for the nightmares. Love, the girl with a frog phobia!

Heather said...

Hahaha. I found a snake in my room the other day. We are country, too. With four under age 8 in the house and no big people but me at the time, I had to go get it myself.

I thought I had it wrapped up good in a blanket and that blasted thing got its head out and bit me. I popped it into a clear container with a lid (blanket and all) and since its eyes were cloudy and it was stripey, I wasn't sure if it was non-poisonous, so I went to the ER.

Obviously, since I made it to the ER, it was fine, but it took them a good while to identify the thing. They finally figured out it was molting, thus the stripes, lighter skin, and cloudy eye. It was just a black snake.

All the EMTs and nurses had a fine time examining the snake in its box. It looked dead, but when one guy opened the lid and poked it, it woke up quick! They asked if I wanted to take it home. I just stared at them. Not on your life. It found its way inside once, it will again. So they took it out for me. Thank goodness.

Funny thing is, that now that I know what it feels like to be bitten (albeit by smaller fangs than a venemous snake has), I am not so scared of snakes anymore. At least, not black snakes.

And by the way, when his teeth were coming at my hand and I was trying to get it out of the way, they looked huge, too. I think he retracted them on purpose just to make me look silly. I think your toad shrank on purpose. Cute post.

Diane said...


Joy Kinard said...

No joke... when I was about 9 a little old lady that lived up the hill from us sat down and a SNAKE was in the toilet. She hadn't looked before she sat and felt the snake on her leg. It was a HUGE snake and it had come up through the pipes. OH MY WORD!

Meg said...

I just stumbled upon your blog today (hubby and I just started PRIDE classes in TX to get licensed to foster/adopt) and couldn't believe this post! Not because I can't actually believe it, but because the same thing happened to me a few years ago! I lived in a smallish town by the coast then, and woke up in the middle of the night to use the restroom - sleepily made my way to the loo, and thank the good LORD that I actually looked in it first, because there was a toad the size of my palm in it! I was so freaked out I just closed the lid and went back to bed! I was happy to find that it was gone in the morning - I don't know if it made it's way back down the pipes or climbed out into my apartment, but it was gone! I, like you, do NOT sit on a toilet without looking first now! (thanks for your blog, btw, I'm enjoying the little nuggets of knowledge to put back for later!)

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