Eat Before Reading. – By @SergeantPluck
By Tom Flynn
Eat Before Reading.
I really can’t keep baring my soul in these scabs lads. People are going to be getting sick of it at this stage, I’m perpetually breaking the importance of not being earnest rule, people are looking at me funny. Plus no one will hire me if I’m always crying, it’s just a downer. I made a conscious effort not to be so fucking serious in the last one and I still managed to get all sapy. Singing the same tune in a different key is getting boring. So instead I’m gonna tell you a little anecdote, and see if I can spin it be relatively relevant to SCA.
It begins in a bar, as do most of my better stories, ( I rarely tell those ones in writing, they could function as confessions in certain circumstances if committed to paper.) on this occasion however, I was working and not drinking (albeit that being said, the two were not always mutually exclusive in that particular bar.). Kam was going to the bathroom as little old lady arrived at the door. Now this old lady looked a little dishevelled, but not to the level of distress, just a little frazzled, like she’d gotten a mild electric shock that caused her hair to stand a little on end, but nothing life threatening.
- Just tell her no ok?
- Yeah, yeah.
I muttered as Kam walked away, presuming that this little old lady was known to her and she meant not to serve her. I assumed this to be fair, she didn’t look as if she’d understand the concept of financial exchange. As I walked to the door to talk to her, she looked me straight in the eye, almost confrontationally, and stated,
- I just want to use the bathroom.
- Ehh, yeah alright, just be quick.
I was slightly startled by how stern she’d been with her request, like alright love take it easy.
She plodded past me, shuffling in her crocs and floral print skirt, which seemed like appropriate if not massively aesthetically pleasing clothing for the thirty five degrees it was in Manhattan that day. Just as she rounds the corner to the jacks, Kam comes back into the bar, with a look on her face that told me I was to be sleeping on the couch that night ,
- What the fuck?
- What the fuck?
- I told you to tell her no!
- She just wanted to use the bathroom.
- Exactly tell her fucking NO! She’ll be in there all day.
- Alright, fuck me, jesus, I’m sorry.
- Whatever, you can deal with her, not my problem.
- Fine then.
I muttered under my breath as walked away. I sulked for about twenty minutes or so, licking my proverbial wounds and grunting to myself indignantly about how could I have known you meant the fucking bathroom, when in reality it was quite obvious she meant the bathroom. I managed to forget about her for a moment while watching nothing happen on the streets outside the bar (when it gets that hot in New York City, people don’t venture outside, and they don’t hang around in bars with open front doors and no air con on.)
When I snapped back to the present, I realised the thirty minutes or so that had passed was a long time to be in a public shitter. I had to go check on her, for my own sake more than hers if I’m honest. I went to the bathroom and knocked on the door. No answer, fuck I thought, the old bat is dead. I’m gonna have find her corpse and now in a stall and be scared for life.
I smote on the door a second time,
- Is there anyone there?
Replied a shrill voice. Well she wasn’t dead, so I was safe in that regard.
Now at this stage there is a very strong smell emanating from behind that door. As basic situational mathematics would dictate, strong smell, plus toilet, plus little old lady, amounts to a problem. I thought I’d best go check on her. I opened the door expecting her to at least be in the stall.
How wrong I was dear reader. The nice little old lady was not in the stall. Not in the fucking slightest was that mad old bitch in the stall. No sir she was not in the stall.
I opened the door and was subject to a full frontal olfactory assault. The smell lads, fuck me. We are talking cat food and medium rare rubbish served on a bed of decaying meat. It fucking stank, the smell was almost as bad as the sight.
This little old lady was standing there, in the middle of this public bathroom, quite boldly, naked from the waist down washing her unmentionables in the sink. That was startling enough that I didn’t notice the crux of the problem. She’d shit on the floor. Not the floor in the stall mind, in the middle of the bathroom floor, like three feet from the door, or at least that’s where the main body of the shit was congregating. There was shit in the stall, on the stall walls, on the mirror on the walls in the sink. This crazy all crone had been finger painting with her own excrement. I’ve seen anyone distribute matter so anarchically. There was shit everywhere.
I couldn’t speak, not a word escaped my gapping mouth as I stood there. I mean what the fuck do you say to that. She looks at me, straight in the eye, still nonchalantly washing her shit stained briefs in the sink looking like the crazy old bitch from the Simpson’s that flings cats at people, and says
- I’ll be done in a minute
I just closed the door, or more so I let the door close itself as I just stood there in shock. I walked calmly back to the bar and informed my co-worker that the bathrooms were out of order momentarily. Her eyes widened, she nodded knowing better than to ask.
I returned, composing myself at the door, before opening it and screaming,
- Get the fuck out you mad cunt.
She just looked at me and continued to wash her faeces impregnated undergarments. I closed the door.
Alexandro, one of the busboys and maybe the nicest man who ever lived came out of the kitchen and asked me,
- What’s goin’ on man
- She shit on the floor man.
- She caca’d on the floor mang.
- You’re telling me.
We walked into the kitchen, in a collective state of shock. We told them what happened, their reaction was much the same as ours.
- She’s just a little old lady bro.
- Yeah well that little old lady shat all over the floor amigo.
My owner, the boss, was called. He screamed himself hoarse and announced he’d be there in five, he lived just around the corner. He stormed in about three minutes later, all six two ginger upstate New York jew of him, visibly fuming at the ears. All he said to me was,
- You’re a fucking dead man.
Before storming back to the bathrooms. He stopped about eight feet from the door, literally skidding he stopped so fast, and sprinted back out the way he came vaulting over the chairs by the entrance to begin dry retching on the path. The smell had now formed a physical barrier to the back of the restaurant to anyone with a sense of smell. Jacob was essentially useless to me now.
Alé and I went back, covering our noses with dishrags and hatching a plan. When we opened the door she seemed to be finishing up. We screamed some more, this time threating to call the police. Maybe she was done, or maybe she was afraid of cops, we’ll never know, either way she got dressed and proceeded to leave, stomping the shit in the floor with her crocs as she left.
Our relief at her exodus was short lived. We realised we now had to deal with the small matter of the scatological Jackson Pollock tribute in the women’s bathroom. First I had to check the damage, and get some ventilation in there, else I was likely to fumigated. I soaked a dinner napkin in vodka, and wrapped in around my face, like some drunken bandito and ventured in. I could still fucking smell it. I clawed at the already notoriously difficult window latch like a man would at the lid of a coffin he’d just woken up in. I managed to get it open and escape, shuddering and gasping for air as I burst forth from the door. We hadn’t even started cleaning yet.
Alé felt sorry for me, he made a suggestion,
- Don’t worry mang, I’ll help you. You open the door, I’ll run in clean up as much as I can then get out mang.
This seemed like a good idea at the time and so we tried to do exactly that. Alé covered his face much like I had. I opened the door. He sprinted in, grabbed a fist full of shit and threw it Jordon style into the bin. He then proceeded to run out the back of the restaurant and vomit for the next twenty minutes. It was my problem from that point forward, as it should have been, I was the one committed the classical error of letting on old lady shit on the floor.
I got a bucket, and filled it with bleach, straight fucking bleach, and a mop. It took me the whole of forty five minutes to clear everything away, all the while I made a whimpering noise akin to the one a dog makes after it’s been kicked.
Once it was pristine, I washed everything again, this time with a slightly diluted bleach solution, and used two whole containers of air freshner, whatever that woman ingested must have still been alive.
At this point I was beginning to emerge from the state of shock I’d been for more than an hour. I entered the kitchen to give them back their bleach. A room full of men who’d tease you ferociously for wearing the same shirt two days in a row stood silent, looking at me with pity. Luis, a fifty five year old dishwasher, who despite having spent twenty years in American, hadn’t a word of English, looked at me and simply said,
- Lo siento amigo, lo siento.
I just nodded, walking back to the bar where Jacob, Kam and Ale were sat. Alé was staring into space much the same as I whispering to himself,
- She was just a little old lady man.
Jacob was cackling at me, with a mouth half full of chicken wings,
- You fucking moron.
Kam just looked at me with sympathy.
- I’m just going outside, I may be some time.
I said, as I walked toward the door.
- Alright scat-man, don’t be too long though, it’s happy hour soon.
Jacob yelled after me.
So yeah that’s my scab this week and the reflection part of it is that……. Marc can throw whatever he likes at us, can’t be as bad as that old lady shit.