“Be nice to Bernice!”

That was written on a sticky note next to the phone when I worked at the college radio station, WREK. Her story changed depending on who was telling it to you, but the consensus was that she was an older woman who lived alone and spent her time in front of the tv. One day she misdialed a number and got the WREK call-in line, discovering a phone number which almost always had someone there to answer she saved the number and began calling it frequently.

I remember clearly the first time I had a call from Bernice. I was playing some beautiful classical music and the phone rang, the latter being quite unusual during my show because I did the morning shift, 6am to 9am. It was quiet and let me play classical music, low stress, nothing big. So when the phone rang, I answered it.


“Can rats climb up your drain pipes?”

That’s how the conversation opened.  She had an odd question and called WREK for some reason. I realized it was Bernice and so I let the conversation go on, I had another 10 minutes before the music ended.

“I think so… why?”

And off we went through her babbling story telling about finding a rat in her house and how it must of come through the drain pipes, the evils of rats and such. It was an unusual question and I genuinely tried to be helpful in answering it, I did think rats could climb up drain pipes. That story came back to me this morning after sleeping very deeply.

Yesterday K and I were in transit for approximately 13 hours, from Atlanta down I-75 to US-82, which crossed Georgia to drop grand mom off before getting on I-95 and taking it down to Titusville to pick up Mattie from K’s mom, then heading into town to try and pick up a CD for next week’s episode before finally heading home.

K and I had been getting ready for bed, both in the bathroom (which I had used previously when we first arrived home.) I lift the toilet lid to throw away a tissue, and both K and I jump back in surprise as a frog stares up at us from the bowl. I drop the toilet lid again and K and I just stare at each other in surprise.

I don’t know how he got into the toilet. There are a few possibilities:

  1. He hopped into the apartment when we were unloading the car and the door was open for periods of time, made his way to the bathroom and leapt into the toilet.
  2. He has been in the apartment and found his way to the toilet over the past few days.
  3. Teleportation.
  4. He came up the pipes somehow.

In any case, the frog was quickly removed from the toilet via a plastic bag and a hand. To be released outside, leaving K and I to laugh about it as we finally called it a night and fell into a deep sleep.

I stand by my answer to Bernice: animals can come up drains.

3 thoughts on “Ribbit”

  1. I returned from the UK last month to find a squirrel in my toilet… the said rodent was quite evidently deceased and — once photographic documentation was obtained — left my apartment by similar means as those used on your frog. Drain pipes, indeed!

  2. Believe it or not, after 30+ years, Bernice still calls WREK. A LOT. Her questions are still completely off the wall. About half the time they are about TV culture detritus, like “is Captain Kirk still alive?”

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