Port-O-Captive: One of My Embarrassing Moments

Per request, I am reposting this blog. I have had many embarrassing moments, but this one really did deserve an award. (And to spice it up, I’ve included some blast-from-my-past cheerleading photos)


It was Friday night, junior year of high school. I was a cheerleader for Hamilton High, and we were at an “away” football game. Fourth quarter came to a close with our boys taking the win. It was time to pack up and load the buses for home. I knew it was a distance and should use the restroom before we left. But they didn’t have proper toilet facilities.

They had Port-O-Johns.

Stepping inside, two things automatically greeted me. Stench and Darkness. Only a little ray of moonlight peeked through a vent at the top. I plugged my nose, got the job done, and hurried to get out. Turning the lever to unlock, I pushed the door. It didn’t open. I shoved harder. Still, it didn’t budge.

I turned the lock the other way, wondering if I had done it wrong. Giving the door the old heave ho, I slammed my hip into it. It didn’t open…not even a crack. Sweat formed on my brow, and my heart increased its beats per minute.

I listened to see if anyone was around. I didn’t hear voices. Everyone would be loading the buses and what if they didn’t notice me missing? Between the horrid smell and the fear of captivity, a wire tripped inside my brain and the craziness kicked on. At the top of my lungs, I yelled, “Help! Help Me! I’m stuck in here! Please, help me!” I listened for an answer, but didn’t hear any response. I kicked the door, pounded it with my fists, and screamed for help again.  Still no one came.

My eyes darted around the John, looking for another way out. I studied the vent. It was small, but maybe I could push it out and stick my head through it. Then, I could see if anyone was still here. Standing on the toilet lid, I prepared to punch the screen when the door clicked and swung open. There stood Angie, a fellow cheerleader along with other members of my cheer squad. I rushed out of the potty prison. “Oh Angie, thank you for helping me. I can’t believe you got the door open.”

“It wasn’t hard.” She crossed her arms and grinned. “How did you manage to lock yourself in there?”

“I don’t know.” My eyes were wide from the horror.  “It wouldn’t budge, and I thought you guys were going to leave me.”

The girls broke out into heaps of laughter. “No, we didn’t leave. Everyone heard you screaming.”

I didn’t find it amusing.