holy 354 (read at your own risk)

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Since the other blog I posted today was technically a repost, I am posting TWO in one day in order to give you something brand new as well. Hopefully you find as much enjoyment and embarrassment in reading it as I did in writing it.

So, the other day I’m reading a post of Tainted Meat’s about breaking barriers at work.

As per usual, Meat’s mix of down-to-earth topic and impeccable prose was too much to resist, and I was immediately overwhelmed by my own memories of the subject matter at hand. Specifically, taking a poo at work.

In my comment, I mentioned the bathroom at my office that is unofficially designated the place to go poo when you just can’t hold it: The 354 Room.

photo credit: Michel Filion via photopin cc
photo credit: Michel Filion via photopin cc

The 354 Room is the bathroom in the lobby of my office building. My fellow koolaid drinkers are laughing hysterically right now because they know exactly whereof I speak. It has a lock on the door, the kind where you punch numbers for admittance, because apparently strung out addicts from the mission that used to be across the street used to wander in and take up residence for hours at a time, thus preventing my hardworking coworkers from partaking in their well-deserved poo break.

What’s the code on the lock, people? Yes. 3-5-4.

354 has become the catchphrase now for when you need to go to the bathroom. Specifically, when you need to go take a safe dump and it’s within working hours. Though lately, the timeframe for going 354 has expanded to include all hours of the day, including after hours and weekends. Certain koolaid drinker’s family members use the term “354”. PVDD uses it. Soon I expect it to take over the country, and then…the world.

The 354 Room (at least, the women’s one, I haven’t been in the men’s one, and I hear it might be a little messier) has three very clean stalls, two very nice sinks, and sweet smelling hand soap. For a while it was stocked also with sweet smelling air freshener, though I don’t know whether that’s still the case, since I have been privileged to work from home and deposit my 354s right where they belong…in my own pretty bathroom.

At any rate, back when I was a regular office employee, I made many treks over the years from the 6th floor to the 354 Room. It’s kind of an unwritten rule that if you enter, and someone is in there, you be respectful and leave, thereby giving the dumpee the privacy and silence that they need to complete their business. For the most part, this rule worked well.

Until the day that will live on in my memory forever as the day the 354 Code of Conduct failed me.

On this particular day, I believe I had subjected my digestive system to entirely too much garlic and grease the night before, then topped it off with an evening of drunked carousing. Which, as most of my friends here will know, creates the WORST 354s in the history of the world the next day. So you can see the depth of the need was experiencing to make use of the silent sanctuary that is the 354.

So I make my way downstairs, slip inside after the discreet check to make sure I’m not being observed, and I’m quite pleased to see that it’s empty. It goes without saying that on my trips to the 354, I always bring my book because if it was going to be a short trip, I’d just use the bathroom on the 6th floor and be done with it.

photo credit: ñoña cachilupi via photopin cc
photo credit: ñoña cachilupi via photopin cc

I settle in and wait for the (sorry) shit storm to begin, which of course it does in due time, when right in the middle of it, the Door To The Outside World opens and closes. Now, there’s always a moment of pure panic when this happens, because you don’t know for SURE whether the person opened the door, observed the tacit “no admittance” rule, and exited without entering. There’s always the thought that maybe they actually violated all protocol and actually ENTERED the 354 Room while the deed was being done.

In this particular case, when the door opened I was so nervous that everything just kind of stopped. However, as my fellow drunkeders know, there’s no stopping it once it starts, and every moment following an interrupted poo is worse than the pressure before you started. After a minute I’m starting to think that the coast is clear and it’s all systems go, when suddenly the stall door next to me opens, I hear the unmistakeable sound of a toilet seat cover being opened and applied to the next door toilet seat, and the equally unmistakeable sound of someone sitting down.

Now, not only did this person violate all custom and enter the room during a Poo In Process, but they actually stayed and sat down. So now I’m in the middle stall, and she’s in the right stall, and I’ll be damned if I’m going to go first because a) SHE interrupted MY poo time, and b) I am mortally embarrassed enough at the absolutely horrifying odor that I’ve already created. I can’t bear to add to the stench when there is another person present. This being the case even after a courtesy flush. For myself.

Five minutes go by, and still neither of us has dropped a dime. Not a sound, not a peep, nothing. It will go down in history as the second most uncomfortable silence ever. Six minutes…and the event that really just topped off the experience happened. ANOTHER code-breaker walked in, paused, and took up residence in the left stall. There are now three of us, me in the middle, two silent poopers on either side, and none of us is making a sound. Seven minutes of hell. THIS will be recorded in the annals as the NUMBER ONE most uncomfortable silence EVER.

If you do the math, you will note that it has now been thirteen minutes since I experienced Poopus Interruptus, and I am starting to sweat. Oh the horror! How can I stand it? If I let go I will no longer be able to claim that “it wasn’t me! It was the girl in here before me!”. I will have sacrificed my dignity, my femininity, my very SELF just to relieve the pressure that honestly, I should be able to resist since I brought it on myself. Not only that, but damned if I will go first! I WAS HERE FIRST! They broke the covenant, not me.

photo credit: Hammonton Photography via photopin cc
photo credit: Hammonton Photography via photopin cc

A few more unbearably silent minutes tick by. I can’t even concentrate on my book. It occurs to me that we very well could be stuck here until the end of time unless someone makes a move. After much consideration and furious blushes that I don’t think faded for at least a day, I finally did the unthinkable. I took one for the team, went ahead and mailed it home. I can’t speak to what they thought about it, but a couple seconds later I could hear two almost identical storms happening in each of the stalls to my right and left, and the almost inaudible sighs of releif that this unknown savior in the middle stall had broken the barrier and pooped, for the good of the entire 354 Room population.

I don’t think I’ve been back there since then. I don’t know who they were, and they don’t know who I was, because you can bet your sweet ass I stayed on that toilet till they were both gone. Honor to the sisters!

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