As a bartender in a college bar, being ready for anything is part of the job description. From serious situations like helping women who have had their drinks spiked to ridiculous crap like tossing somebody out because they won’t stop throwing the ice cubes from their drink at people, the bartender’s jurisdiction knows no limits.
Ultimately, most of the stuff that requires direct bartender intervention is pretty benign in nature. However, there is the occasional problem that breaks all the bounds of normalcy — the white whale of handling shit.
I encountered my mythical beast at the end of one reasonably profitable Thursday evening. I was washing out the cold well (where the juices and mixes are kept) when one of the waitresses from the floor came up to me and started complaining about a rancid stench emanating from the men’s restroom. I figured it was the aftermath of some lightweight freshman’s rough night, grabbed the baking soda and the Clorox, and proceeded toward the hallway that housed the bar’s restrooms.
As I drew closer, I was hit with a wave of the most foul smelling odor ever to grace my nostrils. This stench could have killed someone with anosmia. Not only did it enter my nasal cavity, but somehow managed to invade the space between my brain and my skull. I could actually feel this smell rewiring my neurons. I paused for a moment just outside the restroom, staring at the big wooden door that served as my only protection against the stink. Finally, I sucked in a gigantic gulp of air, and entered the source of the rotten gas.
It was like walking into an outhouse that had somehow shit itself while eating Taco Bell on a 105 degree day. The air itself seemed weighed down by the sheer level of fecal fumes that it was being asked to carry. With my nose and mouth buried in the collar of my shirt, I surveyed the restroom for the origin of the biological weapon that surrounded me. Both the urinals checked out fine, so I wasn’t dealing with an inside-the-park home run hitter. The regular stall was poop free, too, meaning the handicap stall was excrement ground zero.
I swung open the entrance, took a couple steps inside the stall, and I shit you not, there was a fully constructed smiley face made of human feces crusted onto the side of the wall. Like this bitch was fridge display quality — detailed down to the fucking dimples. I stood stock still in awe, staring at the masterpiece of anal expulsion that adorned the wall of the bathroom. It even had an element of depth to its composition, like the artist had glossed over every nuance with multiple coats of material to make them pop. I turned, ran out of the restroom and out of the bar, then puked my guts out on the street.
It is, to this day, the most disgusting thing I have ever seen in my life, and the most impressive. Sometimes when I’m lying in my bed, I am still haunted by the searing memory of the smiley face made of shit. I have so many questions. What can you eat that makes your shit stick to walls so well? I mean holy cow, it’s like this guy had an Elmer’s glue asshole. What in God’s name happened during childhood that would mark someone with the depravity necessary to shit in their hand and use it to draw on the walls of a public restroom? Whoever had done this had to have killed people too, right? You don’t become a rectal Rembrandt and live a normal life.
After I reported my find to my manager, the entire staff evacuated the bar and a professional crew was brought in to handle the cleanup job. The place ended up being shut down for six days. The word on the street was that we were doing some re-modeling, but that was complete bullshit. We were instructed never to speak about the incident to anyone, lest the bar gain the reputation that inevitably comes with having someone finger-paint the walls of your bathroom with their own droppings.
For the rest of my time there, I lived in fear of the return of Manure Michelangelo, but I mercifully never encountered another of his art pieces. I know that motherfucker is still out there somewhere, probably using the stalls of an unsuspecting 7-11 or AMC as a canvas for his craft. I can only imagine the look of horror plastered on the faces of the janitors tapped to clean up the works of that son of a bitch. Poor bastards will never see it coming.
I hope someone catches the poop artist one day, if for nothing else than to gain an answer to why he didn’t just choose fucking pottery..
Image via Shutterstock