Okay, so you know that feeling that you get maybe an hour or hour and a half after eating that gives you a first faint inkling, a small surge of fear that maybe the food was bad? It's followed by cramping, then watery tidal sounds from below the equator. Then by recalling everything you ate - fish, fries, lemon, malt vinegar...TARTER SAUCE! Shit! I bet the tarter sauce was bad! Oh hell, I'm going to blow from every orifice any minute!
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Now, I am not one my first lap in the pool of life, so of course, I immediately implemented Emergency Response Plan Shitstorm:
1. Immediately make any plausible excuse to step away from the client.
2. Ask the lovely new coworker you're secretly crushing on to take over with the client (double benefit - she is glad to have the opportunity, and she will be nowhere near the desk the newest person has been given right next to the bathroom).
3. Now feeling the second wave of cramps; sweat and beginning to taste a little metallic in the increasing saliva that is rising in your mouth, you begin race-walking to the can. Race-walking has two benefits: it is a bit quicker than walking, and it allows you to clamp firmly on your sphincter while you rush to the relief station.
4. Say a quick prayer to the porcelain gods that all stalls will be unoccupied.
5. As you reach the door to the bathroom, begin unclasping belt and buttons.
6. Scan for open stalls while completing step 5.
7. Dash to a stall while lowering trousers to half mast. Shout warning to anyone else present - "Save yourself! Get out NOW!"
8. As you pivot and begin lowering your butt to the toilet seat, flick the stall door shut and the lock with it. Combining these three moves saves time! Precious time...
9. Sit, relax the sphincter and ride out the storm.
Properly implemented, this plan should save you just enough time to get your ass in place, with a good seal to prevent blow back just as the gallant sphincter gives it up.
Unfortunately, because I stood that extra second or two after my instincts told me I had hideous diarrhea on the way - I was arguing with myself that maybe it was just gas - I didn't quite get a good seal before Vesuvius Crapitanus erupted.
The one other person in the room was heard to exclaim, "Holy Shit!" and "Oh my God, man!" This last was heard from the hallway just before the door slammed shut.
Once the eruptions slowed, then stopped, I began secondary response procedures - look to see if there is toilet paper...YES! Did it spray forward onto my pants...NO! Did it...oh fuck! A two foot high, glistening wall of brownish green slime covers the back of the seat, tank, wall and my white shirt. That two seconds of denial had kept me from getting a good seal. I'd have to improvise a new secondary response procedure to clean up. Remove shirt and wipe seat and wall. Clean self as best possible with toilet paper. Soap and water at the sink.
Having cleaned as best I could, I knew I only had minutes to get to my apartment before the nausea hit. Calmly as possible, I exited the bathroom, hoping to sneak shirtless down the back stairs. As I left the bathroom, another guy walked in. A second later, he came back out, gagging "Call 911, someone died in there!" I was on the stairs, then out the door, then in my car.
I made it home, spent the next 36 hours with my porcelain savior, and hoped that the new woman had made a sale. Or at least hadn't heard about the bathroom disaster and the wild-eyed, shirtless coworker seen running from the scene! I'll know tomorrow.
I did everything right, followed the playbook perfectly, but that one hesitation - the one that made me too slow - kept me from getting a good seal. And that little hesitation may just keep me from enchanting my crush, or it may even mean I need to get a new job, depending on the nicknames they've come up with for me. Still, I give myself a 9.6 because I did everything flawlessly except for sticking the landing. The other judge, who is from Romania and is a janitor when he's not judging, might give me a lower score. Damn.
(Aside to Romanian judge: Dude, I did the best I could with just a shirt. I'd have done better with a disinfectant cleaner and a mop. There'll be a bottle of pear brandy in your cart on Monday.)
Moral: "Good instincts usually tell you what to do long before your head has figured it out." Trust your instincts. Oh, and get a good seal.
- Location: Didn't get a good seal
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