Monday, February 1, 2010

The Stench

When they walked in, my immediate impression was inbreeding. Suspected retardation of the adult girl, and overall weirdness of the mother. Weirdness isn’t sufficient in describing her -- she was not right. There was also a young boy who seemed to be the child of the adult woman I suspected of retardation. Together, this threesome drew a lot of attention.

Apparently, the mother and daughter began arguing with one another at the circ desk, so loudly and so vehemently that one of the girls got Sarge to come out and keep an eye on them. Eventually they separated and began their loud, clunky, awkward, inept trek into the main library, where they drew my attention and made hairs stand up on the back of my neck. The boy went down to the youth department, the daughter began using a computer, and the mother disappeared entirely. Eventually I forgot about them due to the distractions we call “patrons”.

After drinking a bottle of pop, I felt the need to release the liquid from my bladder, so I wandered to the washroom, where, immediately upon opening the door, I was greeted with a stench like rotting flesh and spoiled food, rife with maggots, mold and bacteria. It gave me the shivers, but I had to pee, so I held my breath and tried to go as quickly as possible.

A voice from the stall next to mine interrupted me as I was hiking up my skirt.

Voice: Excuse me, miss?

Me: Yeeesssss?

Voice: When you finish, can I ask you a favor?

Me: Okaaaaaay.

Voice: My daughter is out there using a computer. She’s wearing a pair of shoes the exact same color as yours—

HUH!? She’s looking under the stall at my shoes? Why would she do that?!

Voice: —and I need her to come in here and help me.

Me: Are you okay? Do you want me to get her right now?

No, you can finish what you’re doing first. It’s not an emergency.

It was too late. There was no way I was going to be able to pee after that.

Me: I can go get her now. It’s not a problem.

Her name is Mary and she’s wearing shoes the same color as the ones you’re wearing right now. Would you tell her to come in here because I’ve gotten sick and I need her help?

Me: If you are sick and need help, I can call—

Voice: No, really, I just need my daughter.

Me: Okay, I’ll go see if I can find her.

Eager to get out into the clean air, I ran out of the washroom and reported to one of my coworkers at circ what had happened. She offered to page for Mary, which worked out well because Mary was wearing black shoes, and I had on GREEN shoes. I never would’ve found her. Discovering that she was part of the threesome who had creeped me out so much earlier was not all that shocking.

Mary was in the washroom with her mother for a while and then she went outside, assumingly to the car, and brought back into the washroom a total change of clothes for her mother.

The clerk I talked to asked if maybe she’d thrown up all over herself, but from the smell in the washroom, that was not vomit.

About a half-hour later, they both emerged, both sat down at a table next to the reference desk and both picked up their cell phones and began having ridiculously loud conversations into each phone. I struggled with the idea of asking them to take their calls outside, but given that this woman just had explosive diarrhea all over herself, I didn’t want to humiliate her more and I did the wrong thing, which was allowing them to totally disrupt the entire library until they finally decided to leave.

An hour and a half later, two full hours since the washroom incident, I dared to venture back into that washroom to finally empty my own bladder and the stench was still so horrific that I turned right around and left.

Back at the circ desk, I informed the clerk from the first conversation that the washroom still smelled like a rotted corpse, and she said that two people had gone in there and sprayed air freshener, as well as cleaned up the stall. Terrified, I asked what was required for the clean-up and she said there were paper towels everywhere, as if there was a massive cleaning project required and the remnants were left on the floor. Someone suggested that the soiled clothes were off-gassing in the garbage bin, and I just gagged and walked away.

Later, as I was leaving tonight, the same clerk who cleaned the soiled paper towels mentioned that she also had someone who had terrible breath and he was leaning across the counter to view her monitor, so the safe breathing distance between them had dwindled to nothing. Before she knew what was happening, she’d opened her mouth to explain something to him and he looked right at her and spoke over her, and she said that his rancid breath went right into her mouth and she inadvertently breathed it in. She backed up, turned around and made a series of disgusted faces, trying to force the smell and taste of his bad breath out of her mouth and nose, to no avail. Eventually she had to turn back around and finish helping him from a distance, but even then she clearly had the heebie-jeebies from the memory of the odor and taste he put right into her.

I had to leave. There’s only so much of the public I can take each day and I’d reached my limit of tolerable biological nightmares for the evening. However, I had to be grateful that no one forced their putrid breath into my mouth tonight. It was a good night for me, evidently.


Anonymous said...

OMG Happy Villian - that was about the single most revolting thing I've read for a while..definately the top for 2010. I gagged just reading it and I wasn't even there. Poor you!!

Anonymous said...

Years ago, we had an elderly woman with advanced Alzheimer's who literally finger painted the women's room with her shit. She had been banned from every public restroom in our suburb since all of them had been artistically graced, but only once, with her fecal offerings. The library, suckers that we were, had endured this for years and two directors felt that we had no recourse except to allow her to continue to shit where I worked. This crap-fest happened on an average of two, maybe three times a month and entailed the library bathroom be closed to other patrons, steam-cleaned, and sanitized. I finally suggested to our director that her husband and guardian be contacted and told he would be billed for the cleanup since he was not taking responsibility for his wife. The director took it to the city attorney who informed us that it was legal to bill him for cleanup and the man-hours it took to clean up the dung. After that the husband kept a closer eye on his wife and her wholly organic frescoes ceased to (gag) grace our library.