You’re at work. Or possibly school. Somewhere you go everyday and see the same people. Somewhere without a private bathroom. There’s a rumble in your lower intestine. A flush of heat in your bowels. It can only mean one thing.
It’s time to desecrate a toilet.
Clinching your sphincter, you run to the nearest restroom with two concerns on your mind—will you make it in time? And how will you protect your reputation as a sanitary, lovely person who would never do such a thing?
Maintaining anonymity is critical. You share this bathroom with people you see everyday—people who can influence your upward trajectory in life. And though we know everyone has had moments like these, we don’t want to know about them. We live in a world of soft denial where poop doesn’t exist.
With that in mind, here are the steps to unleashing irritable bowels at work/school.
1. Use a Different Bathroom
If you have time and the mental capacity, pass by the bathroom you normally frequent. Seek out that little-used one by the custodian’s closet, go upstairs, go anywhere…just go out of your way to decrease the likelihood of assaulting the nose of your supervisor.
2. Go in Alone
If someone else is entering the bathroom at the same time, keep walking. The chances of happening upon an empty bathroom are slim, but that doesn’t matter as long as you protect your identity. If you walk in with someone else, she will know what stall you go into, she will hear where the sound of hellish flatulence is origination, and she’ll smell the direction of the stench. She will also notice that you are not out of your stall and washing your hands around the same time she is. She will know all these things—and she will repeat them at the water cooler.
3. Pick the Right Stall
Pick an end stall next to a wall. You are guaranteed privacy on one side. And if people have any bathroom manners (and the bathrooms aren’t super busy) they will leave an open stall between you and the one they go in.
4. Play the Waiting Game
It is important that no one sees your face. If you pass someone who is exiting while you are entering, that’s ok. It’s sometimes unavoidable. But once you are in, and unleashing holy fury on that pot, you need to play the waiting game to make sure no one will ever know who you are. So get comfortable, do your business, and listen. Strategically time your exit. For example, you’re ready, wiped, and good to get outta there. You hear someone flush. Wait. She exits the stall and begins washing her hands. Someone new enters the bathroom and picks a stall. Now is the time. Flush your mess away. Listen to hear the door shut behind the hand-washer. Listen for the latch to clang behind the new pee-er. Wash your hands. Wash them quickly if you must, but after what you just did, for the love of all that is holy, wash them thoroughly. And then get the H-E-double hockey sticks outta there.
When playing the Waiting Game, be patient. There could be other people playing the waiting game too. Listen for the telltale signs of adhesive being torn from fabric, foreign flatulence, crying, or a sneaking suspicion of a presence in the stall you swear is empty. Be prepared for a long game of chicken, each daring the other to leave first, or just give some signs that you are ready to leave—the toilet paper roll rattling, a flushing toilet—so she knows you are on your way out and she can just continue to wait.
5. Avoid the Walk of Shame
Now we all know smells can clean to fabric. Smokers, anyone? Not sure about poop smell particles, but let’s not risk it. Go for a brisk walk and take a detour to dislodge any clinging smell molecules. Don't act suspicious. Don't hang your head. If there is a lingering odor, a red face and embarrassed posture is a dead give away. Walk proud and tall. After all, you just pooed mightily. Once you are back at your desk, nonchalantly apply scented hand lotion or body spray. Just in case.
Repeat steps 1-5 until your internal plumbing system is completely reset.