Friday, January 19, 2007

Encyclopedia LaMarche and the Case of the Office Poo

You know, I’m pretty lax when it comes to manners. I am never able to keep my elbows of the table. I have been known to eat things out of the garbage or off the floor. I am told that I always interrupt people, and I often sit in the handicap seats on the subway (in my defense, I do move, however begrudgingly, when a handicapped person actually boards). Why am I telling you this, you ask? Well, to make a point. To make a point that even a girl who will spill her drink all over a handicapped person at a party while bending over to pick her canapé up off the floor knows how to flush her own feces down the toilet.

You’re probably thinking, who doesn’t flush? Someone at my office is who. Today I had a very unpleasant and unexpected surprise, which I will call The Case of the Office Poo.

The Scene: My office
The Time: 3:00 pm
The Discovery: I entered the (already prison-grade) bathroom to find the lid to the toilet closed. I assumed someone was just being polite. But I found with horror that someone was being actually being VERY VERY rude and also that someone had recently eaten a lot of fiber.
The Suspects: The eight of us in the office convened. It couldn’t be someone in the office, we figured, as our loud discussion of their transgression would surely shame them into admission. Suspiciously, many were missing. Was it Intern A, a gangly and skittish gofer who had mysteriously disappeared on an “errand”? Was it Executive B, who was just the type of bitch to flee the scene, but whom we all agreed had normally immaculate hygiene? Or was it Mr. X, a recently fired employee who had stopped by earlier under the auspices of “picking up a check”? Could he really have been dropping something off, we wondered? Was this … a revenge poop?
The Moment of Truth: I really had to pee, so something had to be done. I prepared myself to plunge the toilet when I realized that our plunger, in keeping with our office’s poverty, was broken. I was thus dispatched to purchase a new plunger. I bought two, just to be safe (note: running down Broadway holding two plungers will not go unnoticed by passersby).

When I returned, I was relieved to find that Colleague K had taken pity on me and had volunteered to do the dirty deed. He took the plunger and marched into duty. A moment later, he surprised all of us by announcing that the toilet, in fact, did not need to be plunged. It flushed. This brought a whole new level of malice to the case. Could this failure to flush have been … on purpose? Who forgets to flush, especially after the effort that the product clearly must have required? Was this a drive-by, by some delivery man with an axe to grind? Was Mr. X, a very clean man by all accounts, angry enough to leave us such a vengeful gift? The case remains open. Please send tips to



  1. I'm thinking it might not have been malice (or even pride) on the part of the mystery pooper. Maybe they didn't flush because they thought it wouldn't go down, and the bathroom would flood as they exited, thereby incriminating them.

  2. We have 1700 people at my office w/ 6 bathrooms (well 12 - 6 men and 6 women) an like 6 stalls in each. That is a lot of toilets. And it never fails I walk into a stall w/ the poo. Our toilets have both an automatic flush and a manual so if it doesn't go automatic (or it needs 2....ewww) you can do it manually. I don't know how y'all do it w/ just one bathroom and that is truly gross. However, know, even if you had like 36 stalls to pick from, you could still somehow get the one w/ poo.

  3. It would appear to be a Low Self-Esteem job. Small children don't want to flush as they possess so little, they tend to keep everything they can as a representation of "being", including their waste. Adults who don't flush (or keep garbage, knick-knacks and too many cats) also have no true sense of identity beyond their external representation.

    I'd look for someone who has an overly decorated cubicle as the person insecure enough to leave a bowl full of turds.


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