Trina Machacek: Locked in

Although I think some might think it uncultured to talk of stuff concerning the bathroom. I am going to talk about a bathroom incident so hold on to your knickers.
Long ago and far away, OK, like 35 years ago in central Idaho. There is a wonderful lake, Red Fish Lake, where we loved to go camping and fishing. It is a glorious spot on Mother Earth that is full of trees and water and campers and restrooms at each tourist stop. That’s where “it” happened. But! Yes a restroom resting “but.” Before we get to the main event let me recall another bathroom story.
When Family Feud was hosted by Richard Dawson, yes that long ago, there was a question that nobody got the answer to. I find it to this day maddening that nobody got the number one answer to this question. So much so that I think of it about four out of ten times when I get out of the shower. It was, “What is the first thing you dry off when you get out of the shower?” Answer? YOUR FACE! Now that I have said that you might get my mind set and will understand why what happened in Idaho so long ago still, to this day, affects and haunts me.
Camping, fishing, exploring. It was a wonderful mid-summer vacation with friends and dogs and other campers were seen but the Idaho experience does not make you feel like you are being squished by too many people. It is a great state to see and enjoy. We were out and about seeing a wonderful place north of where our camping site was set up. The day’s events included seeing Custer, Idaho and pooping along up a road that leads to an old gold mining dredge. Amazing history and you can spend days just looking and enjoying the area. Taking a picnic, maybe fishing along the creek or even doing a little panning for that huge gold nugget that the last 50,000 people before you missed! Yes, I get Gold Fever! It’s real sparkly and I am a girl after all.
The day was perfect and we had a picnic. We ate, drank and were merry. Soon a bathroom break was needed. We stopped at a very nice pit stop area. There seemed to be a little commotion around the one tan box of an outhouse. A group of three or four people were standing around and seemed to be talking to the outhouse. Well of course they were not talking to the one-hole-er. The group of people were talking to a woman inside. A woman who seemed to have become stuck inside the outhouse. Yes the door was locked and she could not extricate herself from the bathroom.
My other half was Johnny on the spot. HAHA Get it “Johnny!” Moving along. He never went anywhere without a complete set of tools to repair, rebuild or even retrieve women from wayward outhouses. After a few explanations from the worried friends of the captive lady he took a few tools and removed the hinge pins from the door and opened the door backwards to free the poor bathroom hostage.
I’m here to tell you, you have never seen anyone move so fast as that lady when that door opened up. Not a thank you, not a word was said. She just flashed past, taking all matter of embarrassment and maybe extra paper with her. Poor woman.
Now with that story and the one from the Family Feud know this about me. I think about both incidents way too much. Then I get this silly fear that at some point in time I will go into a restroom, turn and lock the door and when the time comes for me to evacuate the area, I will become stuck in there. It’s as real as the fact that when I drive by a Burger King and smell the flame broiled burgers I can taste them. You too?
Just like after a shower thinking of Family Feud, I think of that woman nearly every time I flip locks on stalls or on bathroom door knobs. That’s how sure I am that someday, somewhere, somehow I will be sitting you know where figuring how to blast myself out of somebody’s powder room. Could be at the tire shop I go to. Might be at the gas station I frequent. Just a few days ago I dropped off my taxes and used the facilities. The door closed and it was locked by pushing in the knob and twisting it. Yes I thought, “What if I can’t get it unlocked? What would I do?”
Now come on. It opened. Whew! Another taxing incident avoided.
Trina lives in Eureka. Her new book “They Call Me Weener” is on or email her at to find out how to get a signed copy.


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