The Real World ... Blogger Style: My Experience Falling Through a Bathroom Ceiling

Sunday, May 27, 2007

My Experience Falling Through a Bathroom Ceiling

In high school, I was a member of the speech and debate team. All the regional high schools would compete against each other every Saturday morning and a different school would host the event each week.

One Saturday, after our competition was finished (I never excelled in any of my events, so I rarely had to attend the final rounds), I was walking around with two other team members, Yoder and Baker. All three of us were bored, so we went exploring the host school as we would do every Saturday.

While we were hanging out in one of the men's restrooms, we noticed the ceilings were made of a grid-like pattern of styrofoam panels held into place by a very light aluminum frame.

For whatever reason (probably for no reason at all), Yoder and I decided we should push out a couple of panels and crawl around up in the ceiling. We each walked into a stall, stood up on the backs of the toilets, and pushed out a couple of the styrofoam panels. At this time, Baker was washing his hands in the sink and he commented we might be able to look down into the girls' restoom once we were up in the ceiling. He stated that if we could see into the girls' restroom, he would come up and join us. Heartened by the prospect of looking into the girls' restroom, Yoder and I began pulling ourselves up into the ceiling.

At this instant we heard people outside the door. Yoder instantly jumped off of his toilet and down into his stall. I, on the other hand, instantly climbed up into the ceiling and replaced the styrofoam tile.

It was so dark up there, I couldn't see anything at all. I did manage to find a cement block which I sat on right by the edge of the tiles where I climbed up. I heard Baker laughing below and he said it was all clear. Nobody entered the restroom. Yoder said he was going out into the hall to see if anybody was coming in. There was still a lot of racket out there.

I put out my leg to stand up, and it went right through the styrofoam ceiling. I immediately pulled it back and shifted my weight, then everything is a blur. I heard the sound of snapping styrofoam and then an enormous CRASH and the sensation that I was falling through the ceiling.

Luckily, I did not rack myself on bathroom stall dividers. I fell straight down into a toilet stall and landed right on the toilet as if everything were normal. Except my pants were on. And my ass was sore from the landing. And my arms were sore from whacking the top of the stall divider when i fell in. And there was a ton of broken styrofoam in the stall with me. And a long twisted piece of aluminum divider was stretching from the ceiling (now missing about four styrofoam panels) down into the stall where I was sitting.

The crash was still ringing in my ears and I wasn't sure i could stand when the stall door opened and there stood Baker laughing and crying at the same time. He said, "Get up! We have to get out of here"! I stood up and part of the toilet seat I landed on fell to the floor. I hit it so hard, it broke. When I exited the stall, Baker was laughing so hard, he couldn't stand up. I looked in the mirror and I was covered in a white powder which I somehow acquired while falling through the ceiling. It really looked out of place because I was wearing a suit and tie, so I obviously was not working with powder for any legitimate reason. I also had long hair at the time and was trying frantically to get the powder out of my hair. Baker was brushing it off my suit as we exited the bathroom.

I was still dazed and remember pausing for one last view of the toilet stalls. They looked like they had been bombed. There was a huge gaping hole in the ceiling above them and a long strand of mangled ceiling frame descending into one of them (the one with the broken toilet seat).

We left the restroom and the hall was packed with people! They were arriving for some school sports event. Yoder had his back to everything. He was standing by a locker pretended he was trying to open it. He was obviously laughing because he was shaking like crazy and had tears running down his face. When he saw us exit the restoom, he fell down on the floor laughing.

We immediately returned to the cafeteria where the speech and debate teams were preparing for the day's awards presentation. Later accounts state that we all came walking in seperately, but our enterances were all in close proximity, so it was instantly suspicious. Yoder walked in first. He was bright red and had a big smile on his face. Baker entered next. he was also bright red with a big smile on his face and he was crying. Then I entered and I was looking uncharacteristically serious and limping. There was white powder in my hair and all over my suit.

People were asking what happened, and I replied, "Nothing"!

As soon as we left the meet though, I couldn't resist telling everybody, for the sake of comedy.

On the busride home, I heard Baker's and Yoder's perspectives -

Yoder was out in the hall at the time. He saw the wave of people approaching for the sports event, then he heard a huge CRASH from the restroom. He opened the door to see what the calamity was and saw a huge gaping hole in the roof above the toilet stalls, which were surrounded by a cloud of white dust. He shut the bathroom door and walked toward the lockers in an attempt to disassociate himself from the spectacle.

Baker had walked toward the door to act as lookout man. He claims he was telling me it was ok to climb down when he saw my foot pop out through one of the ceiling tiles. He thought to himself, "oh no. We have to get out of here before we get in trouble". He then saw the ceiling collapse and saw me falling through in a sitting down position waving my arms around frantically. I disappeared into a stall with a horrible CRASH. He fell on the floor laughing and tried to leave, but couldn't get up. Then he thought he should check the stall to make sure I was alright. When he opened the door. I was sitting on the toilet covered in powder. He claims he repeatedly yelled for me to get up, but I was ignoring him. I stated that my ass hurts. Then I jumped up and said, "We have to get out of here".

It's a miraacle we never got in any trouble for that. They probably thought it was a freak act of faulty engineering or that it was somebody from the sports event.

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