The Day The Toilet Bit Me
In my memory it was just another day, like any other in Florida
during the late summer. Heat blazed from the sun soon after it
suddenly popped out of the water and took command of the sky
with its presence. I was four and a half years old and had
eleven brothers, being the only girl I had tried to hold my own
amongst the boys. To do this was no easy task as they were into
everything. Some of the older ones would go out with Dad
fishing. The younger ones were normally left to mom. Mom had
almost always been busy in the house somewhere and as the
children awoke she fed us and sent us outside to play.
We were all brown as Indians, which was a good thing since we
were part Florida Indian. My hair was almost white from the
constant bleaching of the sun, with green/blue eyes reflecting
the sun's blaze with a curiosity that would not be quenched.
Having finished the obligatory breakfast my brothers (ranging
from ages of a few months to the oldest which was in high
school) scattered to the four winds.
One of my older brothers, Ralph, (being eight) allowed me to tag
along with him. "Bec," he asked "you want to go sploring wif
me?" His pet name for me "Bec" was used because he couldn't say
my name. Even at his advanced age he was still experiencing
I jumped at the chance to be with one of my brothers, "Yes Ralf,
can I ask Steve?" Ralph's wagging head was enough to stop me
from asking again, he meant business. I always seemed to have a
desire to be with my brothers and followed Ralph like a trained
puppy. Ralph headed for the family shed, it was really not much
more than a lean to, and scattered around it were the bones of
cars long since stripped of everything inside. We called the
cars gutless critters since the hoods were up, and all the
insides were spilled out.
The cars sat beneath the largest tree on the property and from
it hung a chain winch used to work on the cars. As we walked by,
the tree wagged its moss beard "no, no" at the two of us. We
both knew we had been in trouble more than once for being near
this part of the property, but that was not going to stop us. It
is odd how space is so expansive when you are a little girl.
Then, I would have sworn on a stack of old newspapers that the
shed was huge. It was not.
As we approached the shed I told Ralph, "We are going to get
whaled on if Mom catches us."
He just smiled, "Skeeredy cat Bec!" He knew this would insure
that I would follow him with lower lip stuck out stubbornly.
When we entered the shade of the shed the sun paled and inside
the confines of the lean to, everything took on the magical
appearance of shadow. Things that were broken were obviously
only wounded in this light, and things that looked useless in
broad daylight obviously had some mysterious use here in the
Ralph quickly began his treasure hunt and I was not far behind,
though I had a little more difficulty navigating the pile of
stuff that was dumped under the shed. Ralph hooted with delight
when he found an old radio, "Hoooowheee, look what I found." The
radio was one that had tubes, and he had twisted the dials and
shaken the tubes trying to get it to work, forgetting even to
plug it up. I was still close to the ground as this climbing
stuff was not for little girls. However, with a determination I
would often show later in life I set out to reach the top. I
watched Ralph as he deftly climbed to the pinnacle of the pile,
perched there like the king of the world he gathered his jewels
I was almost at the top of the pile when it happened; an errant
pipe, sticking out at odd angles, promised a secure grasp. I
reached for its security and the final scramble up the last of
the pile. Ralph watching now taunted me, "Hurry up Bec, you slow
poke." I grabbed the pipe and tried to pull myself up, the pipe
gave way and I found myself without anything underneath me but
air. I didn't cry out for that would have attracted attention
from the house and momma, nobody wanted that. With a decidedly
blonde intelligence I decided the best thing to do was to let
go. So I did, and of-course fell. The distance was not far, six
foot maybe. Still I landed on the only thing beneath me, an old
I didn't immediately know anything was wrong, but tears came
anyway. Ralph scrambled down from the top making it look about
as easy as playing in the sand. He pulled me out of the toilet
where I had fallen neatly into the bowl. "That hurt." I said
eyeing him for sympathy.
He gave me a look, it just wasn't sympathetic. His eyes got huge
and he asked, "Ba Ba Bec, are you alright?" I speared him a look
that in later years would be a signal to whomever that they were
in danger of losing their smiling rights. Ralph for the first
time since I had known him, four years and seven months,
stammered. He was trying to say something and I couldn't make it
out. "You, Your dress, is ta ta tore." It was then that I
realized not everything was as it should be. My dress was torn,
and where it was torn the material had turned bright red.
I knew that the red meant I was in trouble mom was going to kill
me. I tried to twist around to see what the damage was and there
in the toilet sitting in the very bottom was a little bit of me.
Who knows how or what physics came into to play, but the toilet
bowl had been broken. The edge of a broken toilet can create a
ceramic razor. This toilet bowl had been broken and had done
just that, cutting a neat little hole out of some part of me. I
guess I paled, because Ralph took off running for the house.
With him gone I stood there and stared at the toilet. Unable to
understand the whole idea, all I could think was the toilet had
bit me. My mom and brother returned quickly, and by then I was
sitting down still trying to get a look at what the toilet had
done. When I saw mom the tears started. Fearing that I was going
to be punished I pointed accusingly at the toilet and said
"Momma the toilet bit me!"
Mom scooped me up and off to the emergency room we went. As the
family had no car the neighbor was pressed into service. They
had turned me on my stomach and pressed a towel to the hole
during the drive. When the day was done I had twenty one
stitches in my hurt spot. That night I got to sleep in mom and
The scar is still there, round as a quarter and marked by the
stitches. Of-course if you want proof you will have to marry me
first. The scar resides on the right side of my rear. Now for
those of you with a fear of toilet bites, I must say, I don't