Author's Note: From time to time, I have a few posts that never see the light of day. The reasons vary ... maybe in re-reading them, they don't sound like me, or they make me look like some kind of monster, or they are just plain whiny.
But, something makes me keep them in edit. Today, I was going to write something called "This Week In Pissed", but it concerned my Mom, my sister and friends. None of it was flattering. No need to vent it out into the intertubes, since I'll forget about it by the end of the day anyway.
So, I'm going to air this post that has sat around for 6 months or so. We've all had horrifying washroom experiences, both private and public. What I'm going to describe isn't the worst one. That one occurred when I was 15 years old. It was in a gas station washroom in Soledad, California. And no, sexual molestation was not involved. But that story is for another time. I embellish things on my blog from time to time, but I'm not exaggerating any of the following. It actually happened.
So, here ... we ... go ...
Today started out innocently enough. A female acquaintance and I were chatting about this and that, when the conversation veered into the subject of who is more disgusting in the restroom ... men or women. With neither of us having a lot of experience visiting the others restroom, we agreed that it depended on the individual, and that no matter whether they be male or female, some people were capable of some appalling acts.
As I've mentioned here before, I work at a large pharmaceutical house and am surrounded by, what I consider to be, some very intelligent and fairly sophisticated people. Intelligence and sophistication are admirable qualities, but they don't always translate into what I would consider acceptable restroom behavior.
Although my trips to the men's room during the day are usually non-eventful, today turned out to be the Perfect Storm of urinal, toilet and wash sink grossness.
Normally, I'll drink two or three cups of coffee before I go to work, so by the time I get there, I'm ready to relieve myself of some of it. On my first trip this morning, I walked into the mens room and was greeted by the sight of a man using the middle urinal. Absolutely normal, except for the fact that he had his slacks down around his ankles and his underwear briefs pulled down to his knees, exposing his ass. He looked like a three year old boy using the potty for the first time. It took me approximately one and a half seconds to take this all in, at which time I turned quickly on my heels and walked out of the room. The mind can be a terrible thing. It will burn images into your brain, and unfortunately, this is one that will stay with me for a while.
Later on in the morning, I realized that I had to do a Numero Dos. To me, this is bad. There is a laundry list of things in life that I hate to do, and taking a shit in a public restroom rates right up there at the top. So, I have to be pretty desperate before I'll do it ... and I was ... desperate.
In my building, there are three mens rooms. My first choice was the one staller, because it afforded the most privacy, good ventilation and a fair amount of white noise. But it was occupied. My bowels were starting to talk to me, so I rushed off to my second choice, a two stall model with poor ventilation, but good noise.
As I walked in, I noted that one stall was occupied. Almost immediately, the smell hit me, followed close behind by the noise of repeated gaseous mini-explosions and the sound of grunting.
No good. I had to make a break for restroom number three, on the far side of the building. As I hip-hopped down the hallway, my sphincter was going to code red, warning me that it was about to give birth to last night's dinner.
I crashed into the doorway of number three, a five stall beauty. A little cold and too quiet, but this was no time for niceties. Stall One ... occupied. I opened the door to Stall Two and was greeted by a bowl full of unflushed shit, a feces smeared seat and smeared feces and toilet paper on the floor with a shoe print in it.
Gagging, I opened the door to Stall Three ... the bowl clogged with used toilet paper. Stall Four, occupied.
There was no time left. It was Stall Five or shit my pants.
Mercifully, it was clear.
Yes, I made a lot of noise. It was unavoidable. So, I sat ... mortified and red-faced until I heard the occupants of the other stalls finish and leave. I quickly finished my business and moved out to the wash basins, where I found that the former occupant of stall two had not left his atrocity confined to that spot. Apparently, he had shit on his hands and had slopped it all over and around the basin in a half-hearted attempt to clean himself up.
It was at this point that the cold hand of terror reached for me. What if someone walked in and thought that I was responsible for all of this sickening havoc?
So I ran for the door ... and made a clean escape.
I didn't use the mens rooms for the rest of the day. I tried to tell myself that I would never use them again, but of course, that would be impractical. So I reset myself, and tried to forget that the 15 minutes of horror had never happened.
Later in the day, I passed by the young lady who pushed the bathroom cleaning cart around. From appearances, she cleans out the restrooms every day right after lunch. And as I passed her, she was heading to mens room number three.
And the thought flashed through my head ... "May God have mercy on your soul".