(Part One is here)
Of course I suspected Mandy.
The proximity of the restroom to her office, her conspicuous absences. It had to be her, didn't it? My suspicions were reinforced on the third day when I walked into her office and spied a box of Kashi on the credenza. Kashi is well known to produce super human poops, and anyone eating it on a regular basis could very likely be responsible for the odor stain in the restroom.
On the fourth day, I strategically placed a can or air freshener on the toilet tank. The next time I used the restoom, the can had obviously been used, and the scent of lilac and lavendar filled the air. To be more precise, it was the scent of lilac and lavendar, if sprayed upon the biggest, stinkiest turd to ever spring forth from the bowels of man.
I threw the air freshener in the trashcan.
Day Five, a Friday. I had yet to meet Mandy, though I would occasionally hear one of the sales guys yell out to her. "Yo, Mandy! Lookin' fine today!", followed by her laugh, deep and loud. Sometimes, she'd add a "Whoop!" or "Keep it in yer pants, Tiger!", which would send the salesmen into fits of laughter.
Mandy was a good sport. One of the boys. Once, I heard her coming down the hall on her way back from lunch, bantering with another admin. I almost fell over myself getting up from my desk and sprinting to see her. I got to the hallway just in time to catch a glimpse of big hair, and a chunky heel kicking up a flared polyester trouser.
Mandy became my Moby Dick, my Sasquatch, and my Loch Ness Monster all rolled into one. I thought about her all weekend. I spent more time thinking about Mandy and her poops than I did my own. "You are obsessed," my roommate told me one night, after I'd spent 15 mintues musing on Mandy's diet.
"Am not! I'm just very very curious."
She cocked an eyebrow at me.
"OK, maybe it's making me a little crazy," I admitted. "I won't even try to find her on Monday," I promised.
I didn't have to. I sat at my desk Monday morning, sorting mail, when I heard her voice.
"You been looking for me?" she said.
I looked up and right into Mandy's magnificent face. The pictures hadn't done her justice. Her cheeks were ruddy and wind chapped, her lips full and glossy and her gray eyes rimmed in the most unnatural shade of blue eyeshadow I'd ever seen. Her face was doughy, and I had to resist the temptation to reach out and knead it. It was surrounded by an incredible halo of hair that could best be described as orange.
She was everything I'd dreamed she would be, and more.
"I said, you been looking for me?" she repeated.
"No! Yes! I mean, no, I left papers for you..." my voice trailed off.
She leaned down across the desk and got eye to eye with me. She smelled like patchouli and asparagus pee. It wasn't an unexpected smell. "You leave me a little present in the potty?"
I gasped. The air freshener! "I didn't, I mean, it was for general use, I didn't mean to offend anyone-"
"In case I think my shit don't stink?" her voice went lower and her face turned hard. "You think I don't know what you're up to? You think I haven't heard?" I could feel my cheeks getting hot. She leaned in closer, and I resisted the urge to back up.
"How long you been here?"
"Uh, five, five days. Six including today."
"Oh, six including today? Then I guess you don't know about the sewage problem we have under this building that makes the bathroom smell like a goddamn herd of elephants uses it as their personal craphole?"
She waited a moment for my fear and confusion to turn to grave embarrassment before straightening up and laughing until tears came from her eyes.
I chuckled nervously, unsure if there was a joke, or if I was the joke.
When she finally regained her composure, she put her hand on my shoulder. "You're a funny little thing," she said. "Next time you have a question, you just come ask Mandy."
"Other than mystery shits, everything else going okay for you?" she asked.
"Oh, yes," I said, "Quite all right."
2 weeks ago