March 8, 2007

We have powder rooms rather than multi-stall bathrooms at Workplace, which is usually really nice, except for when I open the door and am greeted with the Ghost of Feces Past, or worse, discover the visual evidence of someone’s digestive system turning a lazy circle in the toilet bowl.

I often wish there was some easy way of communicating to other drivers from my own car, an LED sign on a window somewhere that displays “THANK YOU” or “SUCK IT”, whichever is most appropriate for the situation at hand, and in a similar vein I’d like a sign in the bathroom that lights up once I leave and the next person comes in. It would read, “LINDA’S BUTT DID NOT DO THIS.”

You know what I mean? I hate the idea that somebody else is going to think it was me that left it smelling like a paper mill. Sure, you can spray the little can of citrus crap around, but that really just makes everything smell like someone spent a few hours in there gruntingly passing a lemon through their colon.

As for Turdzilla in the toilet, I have no explanation for this. We all hate to stand around whistling while we wait for Flush #2, if Flush #1 does not finalize the job in a satisfactory manner, but come ON. Don’t leave it for the next person to deal with. I don’t want to see it, I don’t want to smell it, and I don’t want to be forced to acknowledge its presence as I gingerly reach for the handle. I especially don’t want to be haunted by its girth, and find myself idly wondering just how much fiber a person has to consume in order to produce such a kielbasa-sized cylinder of horror.

Once I moseyed into the women’s room, found a Disturbing Remnant and flushed, only to watch in utter dismay as the water rose, and rose, and rose . . . and stopped just below the rim of the lid, while Things swirled ominously. What’s a person to do in that situation? I was panicked and sweaty and all I could think was, that’s not even my turd. There’s a hysterical David Sedaris essay about his encounter with an unflushable turd in the bathroom at a friend’s party, and I remembered how he dealt with it: by breaking it into pieces with the handle of a plunger.

Which I did not try because oh my god. No. Just, no.

Instead, I exited and told the person in charge of dealing with such toilet issues, making sure to defensively state at least 295719 times that it was like that when I got there, I swear to god, I mean I can prove it because all I had for breakfast was a bowl of cereal and clearly this person had a five-course meal with COFFEE AT THE END.

I’m sure she totally believed me. Riight.

In other non-shit-related news, my petri dish of a child gave me a rotten cold, and the only medicine that actually makes me feel partially human is Sudafed, which is now a CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE and you have to show your ID and wait forty hundred thousand billion hours for the clerk to laboriously enter all your information in the secret government database in order to buy it. Suck.

Also, I’ve been washing my face with honey (rub it in, leave it for a minute, then rinse) at night for the last week and my skin feels super soft and awesome. I know it sounds weird, but you should try it out! Bee vomit is the best.

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Beth
Beth
15 years ago

put matches in the powder room at workplace.

Chiara
15 years ago

Honey? On your face?

Mary O
Mary O
15 years ago

Oh my god. You crack me up.

Jessie
15 years ago

This post left me laughing hysterically, and my husband slightly disturbed. In short? You are awesome.

Paula
Paula
15 years ago

I want to print this out, frame it and hang it in my workplace bathroom.

I am weak with laughter.

Jess
15 years ago

Oh my god I did not realize that there were others with the same MORTAL FEAR of leaving a bathroom that smelled before you got in it and having someone think that it was YOUR ass that left it like that. I recount my own similar experience here. It’s not as well-written as yours, but the message is the same: At all costs, for the love of god, wait until you get home to shit.

Emily
15 years ago

Ha! I love that David Sedaris essay, but I always wondered why he didn’t just walk immediately out and yell “EW! WHOSE NASTY TURD IS THIS?” because that is what I usually do, classy dame that I am.

Also, did you know that they make these cardboard glossy signs that come in a book which affixes itself to the sign of your car, and it contains several useful phrases, like “GET OFF YOUR PHONE” and “YOUR LEFT TURN SIGNAL HAS BEEN ON FOR A MILE, DUMBASS” (or something like that). My brother had it a couple years ago, but I can’t remember who makes it, only that it exists in the world.

Emily
15 years ago

Oops — I meant the side of your car, silly me. Guess I got a little too excited over the idea of talking shit to strangers.

Leah
15 years ago

I want those signs too. Lots of them. All of them. I’m less embarrassing to myself when I can write instead of speak.

warcrygirl
15 years ago

Firstly: I especially don’t want to be haunted by its girth, and find myself idly wondering just how much fiber a person has to consume in order to produce such a kielbasa-sized cylinder of horror. HAHAHAHAHAHA! Also: I’ll never eat kielbasa again.

Secondly: What skin type are you? Oily? Dry? Combination? Inquiring minds want to know.

nstig8r
15 years ago

someone at my workplace pooped on the floor. and it wasn’t solid. EW!

Shelly
15 years ago

Just plain old, regular grocery store honey?

Cari
Cari
15 years ago

Just curious where you got the idea to wash your face with honey. It’s not the first thing I think of when it comes to skin care, but I’ll usually try anything recommended by someone with fabulous skin, such as yourself.

Oh, and that part about the shit? Too funny; and I totally agree. Who poops at work anyway? Ew.

Gena
15 years ago

You crack me up every time I read your stuff. I was just at a huge fabric warehouse that was having a terrific sale and I, of course, had to use their bathroom. It was a man/woman one and a man came out of there as I was going in. ICK. I felt just like you – I certainly hoped that the lady going in after me didn’t think that I left behind that horrible smell. It was just disgusting.

Also, I’ll have to try the honey. Believe it or not, my best friend’s husband actually has bee hives and I can get plenty of the sticky stuff for free. Honey, I mean.

angela
15 years ago

If it’s the LADIES ROOM why don’t people act like LADIES and flush? I have habit of using too much TP and my BF pokes fun at me for it. He says he can always hear the TP WHIZZZZING off the roll when I’m in there. I say better too much than not enough. But as a result I am always clogging toilets. But I plunge it. It’s the decent thing to do.

Speaking of cold medicine, I was at the market last month buying cold medicine for the first time in five years. My cold was THAT BAD. I guess I was taking a long time picking out the medicine because there was a teenager in the aisle and she started talking shit in that loud, passive-agressive I’m not talking to anyone, BUT I’M REALLY TALKING TO YOU style saying how it’s teenagers like ME abusing cold medicine that ruin it for everyone else trying to buy medicine. I had at least 10 years on her. I was pissed, but I also felt kinda good, like when I’m carded for booze.

K
K
15 years ago

My issue it with hairs. Seriously, the women in my office must totally shed public hair all over the place. It’s disgusting and disturbing. I also hate people who insist on using those stupid toilet condoms and then leave them on the seat. So they’re too good to just sit on the seat (or worse, pee ON IT), but I’m good enough to pick up their toilet napkin? Grody.

Danell
15 years ago

“public hair”…snicker.

Jennifer
15 years ago

This was some funny shit! Ha ha! I love good bathroom humor!

Tell us more about the honey…

jenn
jenn
15 years ago

I was wondering if you had read Big Boy! Hysterically funny. But really no funnier than “kielbasa-sized cylinder of horror”. Chick, you got a way with words.

amanda
15 years ago

David Sedaris and people who call ’em like they see ’em. What a treat this past has been! At my office I think the plumbing that travels from our white bowl must be a series of narrow right angles, the shit, literally, doesn’t flush. I pump milk twice a day, so let me tell you, I have taken my pump and my engorged breasts and driven around the corner in sub zero temps to avoid pumping in the presence of such foul putrification who’s provenance was someone else’s ass. I simply cannot create food for my child under those circumstances, but seriously, 10 below and sticking a nipple in a plastic cone. Bull shit.

kara marie
15 years ago

Honey is super good for you. Super good! I think my facial cleanser from Burt’s Bees has honey in it. Or maybe the conditioner. Maybe I use way too many Burt’s Bees products. But! Honey! Yay. I had a friend in college who made her own facial scrubs with yummy things like sugar and honey and fruit and avocados. Mmm.

Belle
Belle
15 years ago

I agree with a couple of other posters: take your dumps at home. Period. No matter how bad I have to pee, I will turn right around and leave if I see what you saw. I’m the one at work that people gripe at about bathroom conditions, and I hate it. Too bad, I ain’t goin’ in!

AidoEllaMomma
AidoEllaMomma
15 years ago

First time commentor, but avid reader…At my part-time place of employment there is a shared bathroom, which I hardly ever use, and they put up a sign urging everyone to “Please make sure your transaction is complete before exiting the bathroon.” Maybe that could help at your place. Hilarious post, one of the funniest I have read in a while.

Christine
Christine
15 years ago

While I agree wholeheartedly with your comments on basic bathroom etiquette, I’m so glad I did not read this while eating.

Jan
Jan
15 years ago

OH, My God, it’s nice to find someone else (and apparently others as well) who have those lovely, comforting, shared experiences. I thought I was the only one who felt defensive and, like, should I say something? or just ignore it? when I walked out from a stinky afterglow and someone else walked in. Let’s just channel Jim Carrey and shriek at them not to go in there!!!

Em
Em
15 years ago

Holy crap (no pun intended)! I have a terrible experience like that too!

During my big important internship at the place that I’ll be working full-time next year, my team and I traveled to middle-of-nowhere midwest. We were eating in this Arby’s and I made the mistake of trying to flush someone else’s filthy calling card…and it backed up and started to overflow. I finally found the knob to turn the water off, but by then the water had overflowed and some of the YOU-KNOW-WHAT had reached the floor. Next to my shoe. And my pant leg, which was touching the water. I gagged and ran out and told the chick at the counter, who proceeded to yell at me for not jiggling the handle first. I managed to usher my coworkers out before they were aware of what happened.

kate
15 years ago

I lived briefly in the mountains of El Salvador and the toilets were man operated, you dumped a bucket of fresh water in after you “went” and that caused the toilet to flush, sometimes it didn’t work so well and you did not want to waste water so we all got used to the idea of seeing floaters, we even held a kind of “Turd Olympics” to see who the best “swimmers” were. That is a rare thing to share with strangers, but we had no TV and no Bar.
I have seen some scary public toilets in my time, ones where the idea of even pulling down your pants is inconcievable, but that was nothing compared to the crack pipe and torch I once found in my office toilet.

Mrs. Breedorf
15 years ago

Here’s something my mom taught me: If you want to make your honey face-wash a scrub, you can add brown sugar to it. Mix up a batch on the stove in a sauce pan over low heat so that you can warm up the honey enough to allow you mix the brown sugar in (but you don’t want it to be so hot that it is boiling). Store it in a container and let it cool before trying to use a glob of it on your face. It may be a little harder in consistency than just honey alone, but as you rub it into your face, your body heat warms it so it spreads easily. The brown sugar granules make for a nice scrub. And it is WW friendly because it is really damn hard to lick your own face even though it smells divine.

Jem
Jem
15 years ago

ThinkGeek has just the thing for you, Sundry!

http://www.thinkgeek.com/gadgets/electronic/8e9a/

I SOOOOOOOO want it. The second I saw it Nate was in bed and I had to wake him up to show him it, I was so amused. I swear one of these days I will get around to buying it!

Jana
Jana
15 years ago

I got nothing for you regarding the floaters. Regarding the smell though…my colleague introduced me to a product she swears by. She gets it at the Asian grocery…something called “One Drop”. You put one drop in the toilet before you do your business, and there is no residual odor nasty. It sounds goofy, but actually works. Maybe purchase a bottle for your office and leave it on the back of the stool?

laughing mommy
15 years ago

At my last workplace (a hospital) there was a women’s bathroom on the first floor that smelled so bad continually that the smell would seep out the door and the office workers would complain about it. Apparently, that bathroom was discussed in the managers meetings, the smell was so horrific.

I don’t know what went down in that bathroom every day (well, I can guess) but it smelled like death. I would use the bathroom on another floor because I didn’t want anyone to think that I produced that smell.

Jem
Jem
15 years ago

PS, if someone walks in as I walk out and it smells awful because of someone before me, I say to them “It smells awful in there.” Like I am as offended as they are. They totally think it was me, don’t they.

Lesley
Lesley
15 years ago

There must be a special place in hell for people who don’t flush their own feces.

Or a hole out back they can use.

Here’s what my sign would say: Contrary to the mythical opinion that women don’t shit, but if they do their shit must smell like Prada, they actually do and no they absolutely don’t. On behalf of the rest of us who can face the truth, Please Flush Yours.

Lesley
Lesley
15 years ago

i blew the syntax in that sentence but you get my drift.

christen
15 years ago

straight up honey? really? please email me and tell me the truth, because i have been breaking out hardcore. i would greatly appreciate it as i am a loyal reader, and i know i have a password protected myspace, but i love your blog and greatly value your opinions. :)

fifi
fifi
15 years ago

I’ll try the honey wash. The rest of the post was really funny, except it is upsetting for those of us who have a son who regularly produces Turdzillas which the next person sometimes has to deal with, eeew. He also denies that it was his, despite the fact that nobody else in the family has this ability to produce monster poo.One day, I swear, I’m going to stick a little paper flag in it, bearing his name and address, so that the sewage plant people can trace him, and give him an award for producing the largest poo in the land.

Dee Dee
Dee Dee
15 years ago

The best is a year or two ago when everyone in my house was sick and I tried to buy infant cold medicine, children’s cold medicine and adult cold medicine. I was denied. They only let me buy two so I had to prioritize who was the sickest. Totally ridiculous.

Dawn
15 years ago

So, I am intrigued by this whole honey thing, but all I can think is, “Isn’t that sticky? Wouldn’t you need to use scalding hot water to really get it rinsed off? And then wash your face again because, you know, sticky?”

Robin
Robin
15 years ago

That’s some funny shit!

Sadie
Sadie
15 years ago

O
M
F
G
!

I am dealing with the same exact issue at my office…there is one stall in the ladies’ room that has a slightly touchy flush lever (you have to push it down a little harder, is all). Well, someone who takes her um, ‘daily constitutional’ in that stall apparently hasn’t figured that out and she must wander off before making sure the “transaction is complete.” Therefore every day when I am frantic to pee, I scurry around the corner and am assaulted by the floater. Monday I finally posted a sign in that stall:

“For the love of all that is good and holy, would the person who uses this stall for her ‘daily constitutional’ please make sure it gets flushed! I know this toilet flushes a little harder than the others, but seriously! FLUSH YOUR POOP, LADY.” The sign had a picture of the Snuggle bear on the crapper, too. Several officemates have thanked me for putting it up, as there have been no unflushed poop sightings since.

TwoBusy
15 years ago

I wasn’t afraid of ghosts before, but I’m terrified of yours.

Ang
Ang
15 years ago

Oh my god. This post cracked me up! We can all relate to that.

Joan
15 years ago

I was quite impressed how you took the post from shit to honey. Smooth.

Cate
Cate
15 years ago

OMG you are so so funny. Kielbasa-sized cylinder of horror! Haaaaaa! But how lucky am I, people: where I work the potties automatically flush once you stand up (or even, annoyingly, if you need to shift around a bit for anything). It’s to the point where I think places are cheap if they don’t have that perk.

I don’t think I’ve ever commented here (of course it would take a poo post to get me to put both hands on the keyboard to type, instead of slouching with just one hand on the mouse). But for the record I think you are awesome and look forward to reading your post every day. And I love your photographs, too!

Deon
Deon
15 years ago

Right on the money. What bothers me even more is when a turd is in the bowl with no toilet paper! C’mon people didn’t your parents teach you how to wipe? What are you, a dog? That means there’s someone around the office with nasty ass. Lord knows if they even bother to wash their hands.

kendra!
15 years ago

I started to dry heeve at keilbasa…but thank you for this treatise on taking care of business in Workplace. Your candor is always admirable and amazing.

Sarah
Sarah
15 years ago

Dude, isn’t honey bee butt juice? Just sayin’…

Gentry
15 years ago

Honey is made in the honeysacks on each of the bees six little black insecty legs. The pollen mixes with an enzyme that the be secrets from inside these leg pouches.

And then you fools eat it or rub it on your face.

I refuse to eat anything that is a biproduct of a bug.

And have you ever noticed how the handicapped stalls are always worse. Are handicapped people especially messy shitters, or are other people out there messing up their stalls just to give them a bad name.

Caitlin
Caitlin
15 years ago

No way, pooping at work is wonderful! Leave no trace, of course, and only in a one-person bathroom. But I’m definitely not gonna sit all day with fidgety butt and a pinched constipated look on my face. Oh, hell no. But people who don’t flush–that, I just…what? Who DOES that? And yes, I also fear the pre-stink, though my officemates are excellent at the actual flushing part, thankfully!