Showering in strange bathrooms has never been an easy thing for me. Bathrooms hold a strange place in my life: at once a space of safety and discomfort. There is nothing quite like the feeling of hunkering down on a toilet with the bathroom all to yourself. But how truly disturbing it is to be in need of bowel-emptying shamelessness and find yourself in a crowded bathroom.
Early one morning at Cape Lookout Park in Oregon, I faced my demons and strode towards the bathroom, towel over my shoulder and shampoo in hand, in need of a shower.
The bathroom was deserted. All I could hear was the chirruping of birds echoing on the tile walls. Nature. Strangely, Nature seemed to be pretty darned exuberant this morning. It sounded like whatever bird was doing the chirruping was using a megaphone.
As soon as I entered the bathroom, I discovered why: there was a camp-robber wildly fluttering about the enclosed space. The bird must have flown in through the open door and been unable to find its way back out. I can’t say that I respected the bird’s intelligence, but my better nature won out and I decided to try and help him escape.
I waved my towel and the bird. The crazed animal winged its way further into the bathroom, continuing to make enough noise to wake every dead bird for miles around. I dashed to the sinks and tried to encourage the bird’s exit from that angle. The unfortunate design of bathrooms, with only one exit, made it difficult for me to push the bird towards the door. Every time I moved towards the bird it brandished vicious looking claws at me and retreated further into the bathroom.
Finally, after ducking and weaving and with the liberal use of my towel, I managed to encourage the bird’s exit of the bathroom into freedom. Feeling quite good about myself I began my shower.
The water at this campground is splendidly hot and it has enough pressure to knock you down if you haven’t got a good grip on the floor. I was thoroughly enjoying my shower when I heard an awful shrieking.
The bird was back.
I had been duped. This bird was not a helpless creature confused by its own dim intellect; this cruel beast had designs on my life.
The camp robber came over the door into my shower stall. I was backed into a corner. I have had some close calls in my life, but this may have been a new high. His beady black eyes peered at me while his wings beat ominously and the claws stretched for my soft skin glowing pink from the hot water.
Never let it be said that I am a coward. Rising to the occasion I let out a blood curdling cry: DIE DEVIL BIRD!!
I threw my bar of soap at the animal. It dodged the cleansing missile and came for my eyes. With cat-like reflexes I leapt to the other side of the stall. It was time to counter attack.
Take that! Winged spawn of Satan!
A murderous bird flapping around in an enclosed space is nothing like a fish in a barrel. I reasoned that running like a little weenie was the better part of valor and made a dash for the door. I think the elderly couple parked in the RV out front of the bathroom were a little startled by the naked figure I made sprinting across the campground, but they probably couldn’t even see me, old people’s eyes being what they are.