Does my bum look big on this?
500 words: A test of courage
I hear the ccrrackkkk… and I know instinctively that I’m in deep doo doo. Literally.I don’t dare look down – I’m too scared.Oh, come on. Really? It couldn’t be that bad.Maybe just a small crack? A hairline fracture? Like those ones that are so hard to see on an xray.I raise myself up, very very gingerly.I still won’t look down.My mind is racing. How did this happen? Okay, I’m no lightweight, but I don’t consider myself morbidly obese either.And I was being so gentle, so careful, so…so….ladylike.I am perched mid-air as I gently run my fingertips around the plastic rim, tentatively searching for an indication of the damage I have caused. But feeling for it doesn’t work. I really do have to use my eyes to make a proper inspection. Under my breath, I am speed-praying that the damage isn’t as bad as I think it might be. Please, please, please let it be okay.But, it’s not.The plastic toilet seat has cracked all the way down the left side and bits of the right side are crumbling before my eyes.I feel numb. This really cannot be happening.I am on a trip to Malta, visiting my parents’ birthplace and catching up with some relatives I have never met before. One of those relatives is my cousin. Her husband is a car collector and after a wonderful family dinner at their home he has taken us to see some of his lovingly looked-after cars.On an island nation as small as Malta, where space is a premium and car garages are a bit of a luxury, people who want a garage can buy them separately – just as you would a unit or an apartment. My cousin’s husband has a few of these garages in which he stores his cars. We are currently in the second garage, a few kilometres from his home, and he is showing us not only his vehicular beauties but also the huge amount of work he and his grown sons have done on renovating the garage.We’re talking marble tiles, under-floor heating, air-conditioning and all manner of shelves and storage .At the back of each garage, he has added a full bathroom with more marble tiles, luxurious shower heads and tapware and expensive accessories.Unfortunately for me, I need to use the toilet.Everything in this renovated bathroom, it seems, is state of the art – except for the cheap, thin, plastic toilet seat.I survey the damage…again, and wonder what the hell I am going to do.I feel like a total idiot. I have broken a toilet seat! My cousin and her husband have been so kind and welcoming and here I am breaking their toilet seat!I have a fraught deliberation in my mind. Should I tell them…or not?Maybe they won’t notice? Like, how often do they actually use this bathroom?Or, maybe they won’t find out what’s happened until after I’ve left the country and then someone else can take the blame?I have been locked within the scene of the crime for some time now and I really need to leave this loo and stop drawing more attention to myself.I feel physically sick. I exit the toilet in slow mo – I turn slowly and face the family.I know deep down what I have to do.I summon up every ounce of courage I can and tell my cousin’s husband what has happened. His adult son is there with us as I explain the breakage.They chuckle – not in a laughing-at-you kind of way but in a Maltese-shrug-your-shoulders kind of way, saying “So what? Don’t worry, no problem, it’s okay, we fix later, it was cheap rubbish anyway.”I feel only a teensy bit better as we move on to the next garage, the next lot of immaculate cars and the next marble bathroom. My humiliated face is as red as a baboon’s bottom and my head is pounding with embarrassment. But we carry on with our car and garage inspections, enjoying eachother’s company and not mentioning my disaster again. My relatives are exceedingly kind.Of course honesty is the best policy but when it comes to rear ends and toilet seats it really does take a lot of courage to own up to dethroning someone else’s throne with your own fat arse.Perhaps a little white omission mightn’t have been so bad after all?