Last week, I had a doctor’s appointment at the medical center. (No worries. I’m fine.) As I’m a heavy water drinker, I used the facilities during my visit. Whilst in the facilities, a poster caught my eyes.

I had never seen this type of poster. Indeed, I’m used to posters at healthcare facilities advising me on the benefits of drinking water or exercising or washing my hands.

This poster advised against sticking your hands in the toilet.

The poster certainly achieved one of its goals. It grabbed my attention.

Of course, as I had no plans to stick my hands in the toilet, I can’t say it achieved its ultimate goal of preventing me from doing so.

Anyway, the poster further advised patients and/or visitors to contact someone at the medical center in the event the toilet became clogged. (By the way, I can only surmise that-there restroom is not the only one that contains such a poster.)

I’ve happened upon a few clogged public toilets in my time. I have to say I’ve never been tempted to unclog them on my own. When this unfortunate event occurs, I unleash a stream of expletives and vacate the premises as quickly as possible.

Since that poster is on that-there wall, I can only surmise that at least one visitor to at least one medical center restroom has attempted to unclog a toilet … with the visitor’s hands.

I believe in helping people when we can, but this would not fall under the heading of when we can. Or helping.

Nevertheless, I have something of an imagination. In fact, I have been accused – with good reason – of using that imagination to create “scenarios.” So, I’ve created a couple scenarios to explain why a person would attempt to unclog a public toilet.

Here’s one. Perhaps the attempted unclogger was a secret agent or an embezzler or an adulterer who was trying to destroy a paper trail. No one would think to check the medical center’s waste system for state secrets, bank records, or text messages. (Why would the unclogger have printed copies of these documents? Don’t question my scenarios.)

After the attempted unclogger ripped the paper to shreds and flushed the shreds down the toilet, the paper suddenly gurgled back to life. He or she couldn’t risk letting the wrong eyes see those papers.

Hence, the poster.

Here’s another one. Perhaps attempted unclogger was an embarrassed parent who was trying to retrieve a kid’s favorite stuffed animal after said kid dropped the toy in the toilet at the wrong time. When you have a kid screaming in your ear about Uni the Unicorn drowning, you don’t have many options.

Hence, the poster.

This post originally appeared in the Appalachian News-Express.