I drew the above picture as a mock movie poster awhile ago. But I am starting to believe it has the potential to be a real film. Today’s post is dedicated to my fine friends at #DessertIsland on Twitter who are colossally creative, but do not (yet) wear colostomy bags. I am so glad I know you.

My readers probably think I live in a toilet.

And I suppose there is a very real basis for thinking such a thing. I am always encoding the world around me in bathroom language. It is as if the swirling whirlpool that materializes in the toilet upon flushing also exists in my very soul, pulling everything around it into the realm of scatological humor.

Monday night, that same whirlpool stole my cell phone momentarily.

It was nighttime, and I had to go to the bathroom. Usually I lower the dimmer switch in our bedroom bathroom so the light does not flare out from underneath the door and wake up my wife. This time, however, I used my cell phone as a temporary torch.

I always use my cell phone to help me see the urinal at work when the power goes out and we are left to urinate in bathroom blackness. This happens more often than any of the higher-ups at work would like to admit. When a cell phone sets a urinal aglow with ghostly light, it is downright creepy, by the way. It is as if the urinal is haunted. Realizing that one of your coworkers is unloading freight in the dark in the stall across the way is even creepier. Everything pales in comparison to dumping cargo in the dark in a communal bathroom.

Did I mention that I have no legitimate excuse for talking about poop all the time? My friend Amanda (@thebookprincess), with whom I am currently writing a book, has a one-year-old who makes Wookie noises when he poops. He is Poobacca, Chewbacca’s infant cousin, and he is Virginia’s resident Duke (or rather, “Dook”) of Dirty Diapers. She has an excuse. I do not.

But I digress (as usual).

So I was using my cell phone to light my way in the bathroom on Monday night, which was a mistake. I had to take a twilight tinkle and, midstream, the cell phone slipped out of my hand and went “Plip!” into the toilet bowl.

It took my brain a moment to process this. I kept right on tinkling into the twinkling toilet bowl, which was alive with the light of the cell phone. I remember thinking, “Oh wow. That cell phone is really lighting up the toilet bowl.” It was like a miniature hotel swimming pool that lights up at night.

Then I realized I should probably remove the cell phone from its new aquatic dwelling place. So I reached in with my bare hand to remove it. Call it fatherly cell phone instinct. Call it an aversion to paying hundreds of dollars for a new phone. I mean, my phone is anything but a Smart Phone. I do not need to my phone to knit afghans or calculate the bacterial content of a sushi roll in a public restaurant. I only use my cell phone to talk to people, Alexander Graham Bell-style. But a new phone is always costly, regardless of whether it is “Smart” or stupid. For the moment, my phone was decidedly smarter than its owner.

I reached into the bowl and removed my phone from its new commode abode, and proceeded to clean it off as best as I could. I did not look forward to talking into it. Seriously. I knew it would be like talking into a urinal. But at least it would not be like talking into a haunted urinal.

The next morning, after tweeting about my predicament, I received multiple messages from people who all said, “Just put your cell phone in a container full of rice and it will dry out! It really works!” I half expected the ghost of Billy Mays to pop up on my screen and endorse rice as a newfangled product fit for unclogging waterlogged cell phones.

I would have taken these suggestions seriously, but my phone actually seemed to be working well enough. Then I noticed my phone was getting warmer in my pocket at work. It was like having plutonium in my pocket. My cell phone was melting down. Chernobyl was happening in my pants. All I could think was, “Uh… something about cooling rods! Gotta’ enable the cooling rods!”

I looked at my phone and it was dead. The toilet had taken its toll.

After talking to my coworker Elizabeth, who is the shortest person I have ever met (measuring 1′ 7″ when standing on a stool and stretching upward), reiterated the rice strategy for drying out soggy cell phones. Mom always taught me to listen to the little people, so I decided then and there that I would heed her advice and go to the store in the middle of the workday to buy a bag of rice. It was on sale – 16 cents off the marked price.

“It’s a good day for rice!” said the cashier, unaware that I planned to cram my cell phone, which was apparently filled with toilet water, into the rice I was purchasing. It’s a great day for rice if rice happens to enjoy toilet water, I thought to myself.

This morning my cell phone is working. Surprisingly. The rice did the trick. Now I am wondering if rice can mummify people. Might be a great investment for funeral homes. Maybe the Egyptians used rice to dry out the bodies of their dead pharaohs. Maybe they spilled rice all over northern Africa and accidentally created the Sahara desert.

I have decided to see this toilet odyssey as a graduation of sorts. You see, in high school I accidentally dropped my parents’ cordless telephone into the toilet. This was in the prehistoric era in which only Zack Morris on Saved By the Bell had a cell phone, and it was the size of, well, a urinal. He might as well have been talking into a urinal himself. My parents’ cordless phone was about the same size. You should know that it is difficult to drop a urinal-sized phone into a toilet. It’s like trying to put a camel through the eye of a needle. But I managed to do it. This week I graduated from cordless phone self-sabotage to cell phone self-sabotage.

I have met the future, and it is flooded with toilet water. Heaven help us all. Or at least help me.