Yet more humiliation for shivering Steve Canavan
I seem to be dogged by misfortune. If something embarrassing is going to occur, it usually happens to me.Â Other people '“ normally good-looking folk with excellent teeth and large friendship groups '“ seem to saunter through life without a care in the world.
Then there's me.
I write this because of the many embarrassing episodes I have endured since first setting foot on the planet, this week came the worst yet.
After playing five-a-side football during my work lunch hour, I nipped into the shower. I work at a university and they have a shower in the gents; a shower which, interestingly, always has the aroma of a fillet of haddock that has been left on a radiator for several weeks.
The shower was pleasant enough '“ I had purchased some very nice Red Berry and Mango Oil bodywash, so strong it was like bathing in a fruit salad.
But then came the issue: I couldn't open the door to get out.
I'm not sure why this occurred for it hadn't been a problem to lock the door.
Indeed it was a very simple mechanism. All I had to do was slide it to the right, a big red line appeared and it was locked '“ so in theory all I had to do was slide it back left to unlock it and get out.
However, it would not budge. I wasn't too concerned at first and gently pushed at it, thinking it would give at any moment and I would be free to leave the shower area and be reunited with my clothes, which were in a plastic bag in the changing area on the other side of the door.
But it didn't give and as seconds became minutes, I started to panic.
Several people came in and out of the changing room, but I was too embarrassed to say anything. Eventually, after a quarter of an hour of desperate tugging at the lock '“ plus the fact that I was starting to shiver with cold '“ I realised I had to pluck up the courage and ask for help.
'Erm, excuse me,' I ventured when I heard the door open and someone enter. 'I think I've, erm, well (nervous laugh), I seem to have locked myself in here. Would you be able to help?'
An impatient sounding man, in I-haven't-got-the-time-for-this-you-absolute-clown tone, uttered the words: '˜Okay, but what do you expect me to do about it?'
Now, if I'm being honest, I was a little cheesed off with this response, but I was also aware that I was in a position of weakness, so thought it best not to antagonise the miserable sod. '˜Well,' I said ultra-politely, '˜I was hoping you might try to pull the door from the outside to see if it will open?'
After tutting, the man reluctantly gave it a half-hearted pull. At that moment the door of the changing room swung open and someone else walked in.
'˜You all right mate?' said the newcomer to the fella he'd caught pulling at a locked shower door.
'˜Yes, I'm fine,' replied the first chap, sounding grumpier than ever, '˜but there's someone inside who isn't. He's stuck.'
I can't begin to tell you how unsettling it is having two people you don't know and can't see talk about you, especially when you're stood in a small shower cubicle stark naked.
As I stood there, there ensued around three minutes of grunting from the other side while my two would-be rescuers tried to force open the door.
They failed, so they decided to get security.
A couple of moments later there was an announcement over the tannoy. '˜Can Red Five go to the gents toilets on level one, repeat Red Five to gents level one.'
By this stage '“ 35 minutes after I entered the shower '“ there were around a dozen or so interested spectators.
The door opened again, there was the sound of heavy footsteps.
'˜Security here pal. We've got a spare key so we'll have you out in a jiffy.'
'Thank you,' I said '“ then suddenly realising my naked form was about to be seen by a rather large gathering of folk, added: 'Would someone be able to throw my towel over the top of the cubicle please? It's in the orange Sainsbury's bag on the bench.'
I heard some rummaging before a voice said, '˜got it', then he paused and added, '˜it's quite small isn't it'.
He flung the towel over, at which point I discovered Mrs Canavan '“ who had sorted my gear the night before '“ had packed a hand rather than bath towel.
It wouldn't even stretch round my waist so when the lock clicked to green a few seconds later and the door opened, 15 men were looking at a shivering and naked nine-stone man holding a small cloth over his groin.
And to cap it all, I got reprimanded for being an hour late back from my dinner.