I was thinking, with my last blog post about the Trick to Motivation talking about my distaste — loathing, really — for public bathrooms, and the brief touching on the topic of diarrhea that I alluded to in the post, my next blog might as well tie up a few loose ends. So there’s no ‘Be Inspired’ catch to this post; just a simple look back to a time when things went awry. So sit a spell and enjoy yourself.
When I was fifteen, I worked at Wendy’s. God those were the days. I didn’t have any expenses other than gas; my sweet ol’ mother had bought me this 94′ standard Honda Accord, which had a muffler on it that made it sound like a sickly dragon was coughing up phlegm down the street. Basically, every paycheck I made came home with me and I was but a sophomore in high school with his whole life ahead of him. I enjoyed my time at Wendy’s, for the most part. There wasn’t anything stressful about assembling a burger and fries, despite what the employees lead you to believe. The worse thing I remember happening in my 3 years at that establishment, was when the transaction register broke and we had to count back cash so as to maintain accuracy. Big effin whoop, right?
Oh, and then there was the bathroom…
Now, yes, I worked at a Wendy’s, which is a public establishment, so you all can imagine what happens to a bathroom — in a place where there is no accountability to govern the people who use it. But that’s not what I’m talking about here. Cleaning bathrooms is simply a part of the job to me, and in all honesty, it wasn’t that bad; usually.
I still remember the look on this gentleman’s face. His eyes were watery, like when you experience a really good yawn; he was sweating liberally; his face looked as though he were experiencing a heart felt sorrow; clothes disheveled, put plainly, he was a wreck. The way he walked up to the counter, I thought he was about to tell me that he had been jumped in the parking lot and needed a number 7 to alleviate the shock.
“I’m sorry, man,” he says to me, reaching his hand over the counter and resting it on my shoulder.
The hell? I thought.
“It’s bad in there, but I had to go,” he continued on. “I tried to clean… but…”
And then he walked out of that Wendy’s forever, or so I presume.
I watched him leave the store, unsure of what he was actually talking about. There were two of us running the register at the time, so I looked to my co-worker and asked him if he knew what… Before I could finish he had left the register and headed in the direction of the bathroom. I was slowly beginning to put the pieces together, even though my co-worker had evidently already solved the mystery. And then I heard my co-worker yell from the bathroom. I’m not even sure what he said was English, but whatever he saw, it was bad.
When he came back to the register, he was taking off his apron and heading to the manager on duty.
“I can’t clean that. I won’t.”
He was literally ready to quit that job in order to keep from going back in there. The manager went and checked it out and came back out with a demeanor that suggested he was about to throw his power around. Everyone working that shift went into the bathroom and returned to the register with a countenance of defeat and surrender, each one of them ready to forfeit their title at Wendy’s rather than clean whatever had happened in there.
This is where I come in. Though I will refuse to poop in a public stall, feces has never really bothered me that much when it comes to cleaning. Obviously, I would take the precautionary measures and wear gloves and be careful not to get any on me, but all in all, as long as nobody vomited in the bathroom, I had no real problem with cleaning it. So I stepped up to the plate and volunteered to face this monster at our door.
For a brief moment in that Wendy’s store, I was a savior.
I was a hero.
I was God.
As I peregrinated toward the bathroom, I imagined a slow clap starting behind me. I knew that I would have their eternal thanks and as I looked upon the Mens sign, with the little stick figure symbol of masculinity drawn upon it, I thought to myself, it can’t be that bad.
The smell hit me like a feculent disheveled unclean revolting putrid odor of squalid begrimed foul impure slovenly mucky and miry and muddy dung. I was unearthed by the stench alone. The tang with which this emanation had perfumed the bathroom nearly tore my psyche in two, as I contemplated walking out of the Wendy’s and sparing myself the shame of failure, by simply quitting without mentioning it to any of my superiors. It was precisely what I never would’ve imagined, what I thought it couldn’t be; what I, perhaps, feared the most: It was that bad.
At this point, I must’ve slipped into what is known as inductive reasoning, which is the reasoning in which the premises seek to supply strong evidence for the truth of the conclusion. Now, while the conclusion of a deductive argument is supposedly certain, the conclusion of an inductive argument must be a probability, and based on the evidence that is already given — working backwards, if you will.
So the evidence, or the given if you will, was this: shit was everywhere. Now, I will use my inductive reasoning to fill in the blanks as to what I believe happened. There was human excrement on the side of the toilet closest to the toilet paper dispenser. I can only reason that he went to unbuckle his pants, with the timer going off as he pulled them down, and then lost control. What might have started as an attempt to unleash into the toilet ended in him pooping on the toilet seat, the dispenser, the wall, and ultimately the floor until he simply gave in and just let go everywhere. In the corner, were his boxers, which I can only assume that he couldn’t get clear of the blast before the fireworks started. And no, this wasn’t the solid poop that normally comes from cheeseburgers and fries; this was the slushy stuff that can only be the result of a good meal gone wrong.
This gentleman had gone rogue in our bathroom stall.
For whatever reason, when I finally mustered the focus to start cleaning, I began with the toilet itself. I figured, might as well start where he was supposed to drop the load and then work my way down from there. So I cleaned the toilet seat, lifted the lid and began wiping down the toilet itself.
Ever heard of automatic flush? Well, I have too. When I tell you that my face was about four inches away from the toilet when it flushed and splashed toilet water onto my semblance, you’ll understand why I jolted, slipped and fell. No lie. I slipped and fell into shit wearing the red Wendy’s polo and black slacks.
Just when you start to feel like you’re number one, God throws a blue turtle shell.
I went home that day.
You ever sat in your car wearing only your boxers, with the moist feeling of someone else’s excrement soaking through the fabric touching your everything?