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Back to Civilization

By Barb Wilkie © July 21, 2000; 10 p.m.

One of our daughters returned home after a week on Idaho's Selway River and is here now and with a heck of a story ... well several, but this one I will title, Back To Civilization.

Liz had a full day of flying and arrived tonight at Oakland International. She called us to say she had arrived safely, albeit about a half hour late, and she would take BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit, a light rail system). We hung up.

She called again asking to be picked up at our nearby station. Hubby did the honors and brought her home to eat ... leftovers.

During her dinner, we joined her at table to hear some of the tales. A couple of stories ensued about adventures on the river, and then she told of her return to the big city of Boise, in preparation for returning to the Bay Area.

Back TO Civilization

Liz rinsed out undies this morning and then dried them out, tied on to the vehicle, as the truck of friends giving her a lift, headed to the Boise Airport. When she got to the airport she quickly slipped into her now dry undies for the trip home on the airplane ... Afterall, clean undies are part of one's attire when one is "back in civilization."

Flight went well enough, landed a little late, but what else is new? She landed safely! and at least her flight wasn't canceled. She called us, then nature called her ...

As she got ready to use the facilities, a dead grasshopper dropped to the floor from her "freshly" washed and air-dried-as-vehicle- traversed-the-highways-of-Idaho undies. She had no idea she had carried a stowaway on board ...

Not knowing what else to do with the grasshopper, she picked it up and deposited it in the john ... to give it a watery, whirlpooling burial.

As she completed her actions, which took care of her need to use the facilities, the auto flush toilet not only started to flush, but also filled ... and continued to fill ... and fill ... too full.

Someone before her had obviously caused a backup. Liz watched it for a minute. Fortunately, it did not overflow, thank goodness, but the grasshopper was floating around in circles on the surface of the water.

Once the water started to slowly recede, Liz left the cubicle. As she washed her hands in the basin, she decided to return to the john ... it was a long day of flying and she wanted to be prepared for about an hour's worth of transit ... So when she returned to the facilities, she made sure to avoid "THE" compartment, and instead, used the one next to the one that wasn't functioning properly.

Much to her dismay for she had not put up a sign another woman went into the poorly functioning compartment, set down her luggage and then started to exclaim to her friends who remained just outside the door, "OH, there's a dead grasshopper in here ... How did he get in here?-poor thing! ... How DID he get in here?... He's JUST floating around!" Friends are laughing uproariously outside her stall, and in response to that laughter, she says: "NO, REALLY! ...come IN here and TAKE a LOOK! ... there REALLY is a dead grasshopper, ohhhhhh-noooooo, the toilet is starting to flush... and overflow... oh, I better get my luggage out of here, ohhhhhh, the grasshopper ... ohhhhh ..."

Liz, next door, and fortunately "upstream," could do nothing but suffer the belly pain that comes with her extraordinary attempts to silently guffaw, as she looked under the divider to see the women whisk her luggage out of harm's way, and exit, just in the nick of time, as indeed the self-flushing toilet did overflow.

Liz stayed in her compartment until the exclaiming woman and her boisterously laughing friends left the premises, as she thought her outfit bespoke of the wilds and would give rise to suspicion that she brought in the grasshopper, dead or alive.

The ultimate fate of the already-dead grasshopper remains unknown.

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