Thursday, February 16, 2006


I work at a small marketing firm, and our office is located on the top floor of a renovated loft building in Chicago’s West Loop Warehouse District. Our office bathroom, for your reference, is situated just outside our main office in a common hallway. While the hallway is common, our agency bathroom is not. Or, at least it’s not supposed to be.

All week we’ve been noticing an awful lot of traffic out in that hallway and yesterday morning our worst fears were realized. It turns out folks from the office next door have been john-hopping – descending upon our throne whenever theirs is occupied!

Late yesterday, one of the partners here decided to casually bring it up to it up to one of the partners next door, who was quick to apologize for the extra business they’ve been sending our way. According to our neighbor, their architecture firm has been on a hiring spree of late and, with only one bathroom in their office, there’s been a lot of crapper traffic. Because we possess the only other commode of transpooptation on the floor, we’ve been catching their daily overflow. To make matters worse, the increase in activity has been occurring at particularly busy times, between 9-10:30am (after morning coffee), then again between 1-2:30pm (after lunch). In the business world, these time slots are also known as Flush Hour.

Since it is OUR private bathroom, and stocked with OUR private supplies, we politely asked if they would be able to keep their bathroom activities to their own bathroom. They apologized and agreed to stink to their own side. As I am sure you have already guessed by now, it was not long before they reneged.

This morning, after taking a visual audit of office occupants, I scampered off to use the restroom – confident it was vacant. But it was not! I tried the handle twice to be sure and it was locked. I was not pleased. To let the occupant know how surprised I was to find it locked, I rammed my shoulder into the door forcefully as if to bust it open. The offending occupant uttered meekly, “Just a mo-ment!” The tone in his voice assured me I had scared the shit out of him…literally perhaps.

I immediately retreated to my desk, bursting at the seams in more ways than one. My first instinct was to walk into the office next door, drop my pants, and dangle a hearty russet coil all over their nicely-buffed wooden floor. But that’s always my first instinct when surrounded by architects. My second instinct was to urinate in a plastic cup and – honestly, it’s really not important. The important thing is what I actually did, which was my 6th instinct.

I lifted a sheet of blank white paper from the printer tray and uncapped a Sharpie. The marker squeaked loudly as I scrawled a note in large CAPITAL LETTERS:


I marched back out into the hallway and slid it under the bathroom door.

I’m hoping the unwelcome crapper got the message. If not, I am going to have to resort to plan B.

Plan B: The door handle has one of those small holes in the center, so to unlock it, all one needs is a toothpick or a needle. If our john gets raided again tomorrow, I am going to pick the lock, swing the door open, snap a photo, and disappear into the stairwell. I will then wallpaper the neighborhood with fliers featuring that photo:

“WANTED: Suspect known only as the “Turd Burglar” has been reported breaking into the bathrooms of area businesses to steal unflushed excrement. The suspect should be considered armed and pungent. Please avoid direct contact and always keep a clean bowl."


Donkey Hoatie said...


Need any help dealing with this situation. I have some previous experience dealing with people who park their asses in the wrong spot. Say the word and I'm there. Just give me enough advance time that I can really stock my system for maximum effect.

Peter N said...

Thank goodness that in your town Chicago you have THICK pan pizza.....