Here I was in Guatemala with another day seemingly coming to an end. It’d been hot one as with all the other ones, and the humidity was through the roof as usual for this country. I was off duty and closing in on that time of the day, so… I headed to one of the trailer bathrooms to utilize it. This was about 4 days or so into our two week mission we had with a couple other Army units, and an Airforce group. Everyone was still getting adjusted to this exotic area. I get to the trailer and manage to find an empty one. The lock on the inside was broken although not thinking much about this, I dealt with it and did my business.
At one point someone knocked, and I yelled out it was occupied. There was a brief sound of was appeared to be someone bumping the door then went away. It was probably 20-25 degrees hotter inside each of the 6 separate bathroom stalls per trailer. To say the least; I didn’t want to spend more time in there than what I had to. So that’s what I did, or… would’ve done. After washing my hands I was eager to get back outside to the ‘cooler’ 85 degree weather as it was about 7 PM, and the sun had already set.
I reached to push the door open but it wouldn’t budge. What the hell is up with this? I sure didn’t lock it! I kept struggling to get the door open, but the damn thing wouldn’t give. I’m sure you’re wondering what type of moron I was to get myself locked inside a bathroom trailer stall. Well I don’t want to appear cliche when I say it wasn’t my fault,…. but it wasn’t my fault! Here’s why: these bathroom stalls on the trailer each had a lock on the outside as well as the inside. These locks on the exterior keep the doors from opening while pulling the trailer.
Locks on the inside to give you the ability to get out in case of the outside one getting locked mistakenly. This would’ve worked great for me, but my interior lock was fucking broken! I tried to twist the mechanism to get it to turn but it wasn’t wanting to budge. It was jammed and I couldn’t get the leverage for it to move,(I spent 3 or 4 minutes trying to turn it). Now I was in a bit of a panic mode with it appearing to get even hotter the longer I was in there. I did the next sensible thing and began banging the hell out of the door and yelling for someone to help out.
I kept this up for nearly 10 additional minutes and still no response. The bathrooms were away from the tents in which we stayed therefore they couldn’t hear me from that area. It wasn’t the busier part of the night either when people brushed their teeth and prepped for bed. Luckily I had my phone on me while suddenly remembering one of the guys in my group had service too; I possessed their number within my contacts. I send them a hurried message asking for help; notifying I’m locked in a bathroom. I’d been in this damn thing for almost 25 minutes at this point (counting using the actual bathroom), and sweat profusely ran down my body.
Two minutes pass; eventually I get a response back. Yes! YES! I’m going to be freed from my toilet cell of doom! The actual response was a very lively stating, “Are you fucking serious?” I replied back, “It’s locked from the outside.” He asked which one trailer and stall. I gave him the best instructions I could and he found it about 6-7 minutes later. I had been continually banging on the door the entire time so he could find the right one.
Outside, I could hear someone faintly approaching through the noise of the generators. Suddenly, the lock on the outside makes a clicking sound and it’s unlocked. They open the door. The nice, cooling 85 Degree breeze rocks through the opening. He look at me and asked how in the hell this happened. I explained defiantly that someone accidentally messed with the outside lock. At this point I had sweated so much (Certainly I looked ridiculous) that it looked as if I’d just taken a shower. I hadn’t yet, but definitely needed one at that point in time!
Overall, I spent nearly 35 minutes in this likely 115-120 degree trailer and at the end I’d been virtually exhausted from banging on the doors in that kind of heat. I took some crap for the incident a good remainder of the mission, but it was all in good fun. I was simply happy someone was able to help me and that I didn’t die from heat exhaustion in there. Not dying is always the scenario I prefer!
If you have any opinions or questions on this article, comment below. As always, thanks for reading!
~J. A. Ross
© RossJ781.com 01/24/2017