Original writings by Adrienne Nater

Old Enough to Baby-sit


"No, you’re not old enough to baby-sit you sister and brother, let alone yourself. You wouldn’t know what to do in case of an emergency. We’ve hired a mature woman who advertized in the newspaper." That was the end of the discussion.

A large middle-aged woman arrives. The folks go out for their evening of dinner and dancing. I go up to my room to do homework, Joanie and Richard are playing in their room Alma is downstairs in the den with its adjacent bathroom, all freshly painted that day.

The den was a beautifully wood paneled room, books arranged neatly on the shelves; a place for dad to play cards with his buddies and see clients on occasion. Dad never drank not even a sip in his entire life, but for his visitors, he had a fully stocked liquor cabinet with all the best brands of Scotch, Bourbon, Vodka, Gin, Brandies.

I went downstairs to say goodnight, Alma followed me upstairs to put the kids to bed. All was very, very quiet, I fell asleep.

Then there was this terrible commotion, it must have been after 2:00 am. Dad was on the phone calling the fire department. There was not a whiff of smoke, why was the fire department being called?

Now let me tell you the rest of the story:

Alma was a lush. For hours she had been enjoying the supplies in the Den. So?

She had gone into the bathroom and there she stayed reading a magazine. So?

She was there for a long time. So?

Long enough to get stuck to the freshly painted toilet seat. She could not free herself, Mom and dad couldn’t get her off. She is wailing, struggling and drunk as hell. The firemen arrived with siren’s shrieking. In they came in their full regalia. They couldn’t pull her off. The solution: two firemen, one on each side of the commode, squeezed down between the wall and sink to unscrew the toilet seat. They lifted her off along with the toilet seat attached, bare bottom and hanging underpants and all, draped her with a blanket and walked her bent over staggering figure out the front door with this toilet seat protruding out from under the cover; a perfectly framed pink behind. End of story except, I got to baby sit from then on with proper payment for my time.