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The toilet in my office is being assailed. Someone has managed to crack the porcelain bowl to the extent that when flushed, water shoots out. This was done by a person with no respect for plumbing. 

Accusations have flown. Toilets don’t self destruct overnight. Someone with a key to the office came in and broke it, and there are less than 8 of us. We spent the day looking at each other, silent accusations in our eyes. I’ve picked out the likely culprit though I dare not say anything for fear of blowback likened to the atomic bomb being dropped on Hiroshima. But I know who did it.

Now, I’ve always had issues with toilets. All toilets. I am legitimately afraid of every single toilet, including my own.

It started when I was young and discovered that when people came over, they used my bathroom. This was not okay with me because people that didn’t reside in my house could have been carrying deadly pathogens. I was three at the time, and already showing excessive paranoia. It was manageable though, as long as my mother cleaned the bathroom immediately after said guests departed.

It got worse when I turned about seven and made a friend that would forever wreak havoc on my psyche. This friend would leave softball size deposits in my toilet every single time they came over. Naturally, this would render my precious throne defiled, but even worse, their lasting gift would not disintegrate. I have no idea what the hell this person ate. I thought that it was pretty much impossible to have a download that size that was impervious to all manner of attack. It was a solid, perfectly round ball that was much too large to be flushed. The first couple of times I made this terrible discovery I controlled my breathing and perfected the art of willful blindness. I would close the lid and walk away until my sister took care of it.

One day I was pushed too far. I had to use the toilet urgently, but when I opened the lid, that ball saluted me. The world grew dark and cold, I began to hyperventilate, and then I broke down. I ran screaming and crying into my parents bedroom trying to explain the psychological damage that had taken place, but they just laughed at me. This sparked a full on tantrum, and after wailing at the top of my lungs “Chuckles is dead!!! He’s dead. (that person) finally killed him! It’s done, it’s over. He’s dead!”  my mom finally realized that what was happening was not a joke.

That toilet was so precious to me, I’d actually named it and was convinced that it had been murdered. I began to sob hysterically prompting my father to plunge the crap out of the toilet for 45 minutes while my mom tried to explain to me that Chuckles was going to be okay. I’ll never know what my parents said to each other after they put me to bed, but since that day, I have twitched every time someone enters my bathroom.

My next adventure happened during a local fair. I’ll call it the porta-pot of death. Apparently, no one had volunteered to clean the porta-potties that day and no one had come to pump out the excess waste from the day before. After waiting in line  forever, and after being whirled around in a contraption called “The Zipper”, I was not in my optimum condition.

Remember these?

I finally get to the next available blue box and let me tell you, it was not the Tardis. I was greeted with flies, a full tank of God knows what underneath the seat, overwhelming terror, and the splatter of the previous occupant’s funnel cake remains. From that moment on, I vowed to never eat or drink anywhere without an appropriate waste removal facility (and I have kept that vow to this day).

I thought I’d never have to clean a toilet or use a portable plastic toilet ever again, so my life eased into a peaceful lull. Well, until I got my first job. It was in retail and I worked the lowest spot on the totem pole. In the job description, they didn’t say the full responsibilities of the job included cleaning all the bathrooms in the store or else some serious soul searching would have occurred. I discovered this part of my job when someone called out for the night shift and I was the only one available to suffer. Now, this probably would have been okay if the store wasn’t located in the backwoods ghetto. But by the time I quit, I was scarred. I’d seen:

  1. Gang tags written in fecal matter complete with shit “gangsta’s” wielding various weaponry and funny Chinese hats
  2. Explosive crap splattered on the ceiling (like, took their pants off, aimed at the wall, and let loose the fires of hell in a sweeping motion making sure to coat every surface) three times
  3. Dumps in the men’s urinals (because why not? And while we’re at it, lets put an entire roll of toilet paper in there too with tobacco and chewing gum!)
  4. Backups of crap and urine and misery coating the entire floor of the bathroom (to which the managers squealed in horror, cried, and hid in their offices for the remainder of the night leaving me alone)
  5. Tampons and pads carelessly discarded or left out as a proud testimony of womanhood
  6. Needles (a coworker was almost impaled one night… by the time he left, he was at peace with his mortality)
  7. Full on loaves carefully placed in the tampon box like a present (I will never mess with the coworker who volunteered to clean that up, he’s simply too hardcore for the rest of humanity)
  8. Random crap piles left in the aisles or dripped throughout the store by accident and on purpose
  9. Blood splatter from a victim of a violent crime that decided he needed to use the ATM instead of going to the ER

To say nothing surprises me after working retail clean up is a strong statement I’m completely confident making. I never, ever, ever will use a public bathroom unless I see someone cleaning it or unless it’s an emergency. I couldn’t even handle cleaning my own bathroom until my sister moved out and I was forced to.

But bottom line, you should respect your toilet and avoid all public bathrooms. Part of respecting your toilet is not going batshit crazy on it for no apparent reason and turning an office into a potential war zone. Because sane people talk about their feelings, they don’t break toilets. I don’t even know how this person managed to crack a porcelain toilet bowl… it’s desperate and terrifying. I’ll keep my theories to myself for now, but if another toilet falls victim… there will be war. Why? Because if that toilet dies… we’ll all have to use The Public Bathroom.