You’ll have to MacGuyver this one. Good thing you watched every episode twice since it showed up on Netflix. You’ve got this.

You fashion a toilet-paper mitten to get rid of the streaks. The plan is simple: flush, then dive in immediately after and start cleaning with the help of the downward flowing water. It’s brilliant.

You remind yourself: this is like triage, go after the longest streaks first.

You put the plan into action, diving in along with the flush. You’ve just reached full-bowl contact when the toilet splutters ominously.

Oh god, SUCTION!

Warm, brownish water explodes back upwards, drenching you up to your elbow.

You race to the sink and turn on the faucet.

Lather, rinse, repeat. Everything is going to be okay.  Lather, rinse repeat.

You wash your hands at least twenty times. They look clean–a little raw, even–but when you sniff at them, you’re certain you can still smell the shit. Possibly because your sleeve is still spattered with faded, but visible, brown flecks. If only there were more liquid soap around here. Or you could somehow cleanse your arm with fire.

But that’s not an option, at least not until your sleeve dries out. You crack the door to make sure no one’s just outside, then hurry back to your cube, arm pressed awkwardly to your side, to minimize the chance the shit-spots will be seen.

You’re sure you can smell the fecal matter clinging to you. Can other people, too? Johnson is staring at you from across the way, his nose crinkling in exaggerated disgust, and Debby from HR is standing up, head spinning around, as though she’s trying to track the foul scent to its source.

Using your left hand, you click to open the new email that’s just come in.

It’s addressed to the entire office.

Hey everyone,

Just a reminder that your mother doesn’t work here, so please clean up after yourselves — especially if you’re the person who just backed up the first-floor toilet and left it that way.


Johnson’s definitely looking at you now. You pour an entire bottle of Purell on your sleeve and roll it up.

Just three more hours until you can go home.


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