Pursuing the Speed Shitter
I need something to do on the toilet. It is physically impossible for me to sit there without some form of activity. I want to read, do a crossword, balance my checkbook, anything. Like a satellite office with a porcelain desk chair, the bathroom is a quiet place where I like to escape to get stuff done. The pooping is secondary.
Each morning at work I have my coffee and check my email and wait for some movement in my personal pipes. Once things are ready, I print up a crossword, fold it just so in the front pocket of my slacks, lock my monitor and head off to the bathroom for my break.
Our office building has many stories and I frequently explore other floors just to bump into new people and see new things. In the bathroom it’s ideal to have the place to yourself, but if you have to have company I would rather it be strangers pooping beside me than my colleagues. Clearly, a lot of thought goes into this ritual and my little excursions can take awhile.
So I was sitting in a stall on another floor, doing my puzzle, wondering how long I’d been away from my desk, when the main door to the bathroom opened. Footsteps approached and entered the stall beside me. I had been the only person in there. Besides mine, every stall was open. Why would someone voluntarily crowd someone else in the john? I should’ve known right then that I was dealing with some kind of deviant. I hate doing my business with someone right next door, when they can hear me writing and crinkling my paper. So he closed the door, undid his belt, dropped trou, and it sounded like the pooping began before his fanny hit the toilet seat. Suddenly it was like hippos mating, there was a sudden rush of flatulence, splashing, another round of flatulent splashing, then wiping. Wiping already? What the…I must be hearing thi—wait, was that pants being lifted? The rebuckling of a belt? The final flush? How could this be? I swear the whole episode from the time he closed the stall door to the time he flushed was no more than 15 seconds, tops. I sat there perplexed, confused over what I’d just heard—like someone who’d just been played a foreign opera and was now trying to pull together some kind of explanation or meaning from the sounds.
The man was washing his hands afterwards and I tried to peek through the crack in the door to identify him. I just had to know who it was. I could see a Caucasian bald spot poking through dullish brown hair, and a glimpse of a walrussy moustache as he turned to exit. I’d had my first encounter with the Speed Shitter and I was thrilled. I felt like a field biologist who’d discovered a new species of newt—it may not have been an earth-shattering find but it was a big deal to me.
Granted, I was a field biologist with a horrible assignment since the job required me to lurk around a bathroom in hopes of running into him again. But I returned to the scene often in the following weeks, sitting around in my stall a little longer with each fruitless visit. The obvious question I had was, “Why would he rush it?” What was this dude up to? Was he timing every trip to the bathroom and trying to establish a new personal best? Was he on conference calls all day and needed to do it quickly before someone missed him on the phone? Maybe he had a spastic colon or some other intestinal ailment?
More than anything, why did I care? If there was an oddball in the equation it was the dude lurking around the men’s room, the one who had promoted a stranger to legend status because he defecated quickly. The Speed Shitter had a gift; I had a problem.
Eventually, I did witness an encore. I caught him at just the right time and the performance was equally hasty and impressive. Through the door of my stall, I saw that it was the same man and not a copycat of some sort. Once in a while I see him around the building and I can’t help but wonder about him—what his job is. His title. Who else knows about his special talent. Because it is special. This is Guinness Book-stuff, if those superlative-seeking doorknobs knew what real talent was. If I were more motivated I would start timing myself, maybe build up to a respectable speed and challenge him to a Poop Duel. But I know I won’t train for that type of event. I will continue to stroll into and out of bathrooms, in no hurry, nothing but time on my side—a whistle on my lips and a puzzle on my hip.