Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Bathroom Zombies: The End is Nigh

Who would have thought it would end like this? Cowering in a bathroom stall with my pants around my ankles, hand over mouth to keep my fear-wimpers silent... this was not the heroic ending I had imagined.

"HRNNNNNNNNNNNNG!" The moan echoed through the bathroom.  The stall was shaking with the force of the zombie's blows.

I knew it was a mistake to go into a different bathroom.  I should have waited.  I should have.. I don't know.  Held it.  And now it was too late.

I watched the floor, waiting for the pool of blood to reach me.  Not that I could see the pool of blood yet, but I knew it was there.  Somewhere.  Spreading slowly from the stall at the end, carrying it's zombie pathogens closer and closer across the ugly tile floor.

I thought I was prepared for the zombie uprising.

Obviously not.


 The day started off simple enough.

I woke up to my alarm.  I didn't shout "FUCK" at the top of my lungs like I usually do because we have company with little kids.  While I am not opposed to teaching my nieces how to cuss, I am not sure how my brother would feel about it, so I held back.

Probably a mistake.

Not cussing first thing in the morning always throws me off.

I fixed my one slice of crunchy peanut butter toast and one piece of strawberry jam toast (both dripping with butter of course), cracked open a Diet Mountain Dew, and sat down to read my book.  Three cats and two dogs milled around waiting for me to acknowledge them, but I ignored them.

At 7 I showered, and I was actually out the door at 7:30 (on time for once) and headed south to work.

I was in my desk at exactly 8AM, logged into my work email, reading blogs, checking facebook, checking Google+, reading the news, and working on Diet Mountain Dew number TWO for the day.

By 9 AM, I was ready to get started with my real work, so I got up to go to the bathroom before I peed my pants.

Two Diet Mountain Dews in the morning have that effect on me.

I work in a place with cubicles.  I may have mentioned this before.  I will now attempt to describe it in more detail without giving away any actual information about where I work, or what I do for a living, and without giving away any trade secrets by mistake (because I don't actually know any (of which I am aware (I don't know, they may be secret))).

Back in the dawn of time (somewhere in the 1990's I think), my Corporate Job Place was built, and some time later, an addition was added to it in order to make navigation more difficult.  The ceiling is between 15 and 40 feet high in this particular cubicle farm, with padded grayish-cream colored cubicles set in neat little rows (they are the color of old lady teeth).  They are a bit over five feet high, so if I stand on my tippy-toes, I can see the foreheads of other people walking around in the alleys between cubes.  I am very good at identifying my coworkers by their foreheads.

Every three or four rows are taller cubicles that are maybe 7 feet high.  These cubes have doors, but no ceilings, and they call them "offices".  The top two feet are made out of Plexiglas, and remind me of snot-guards they put over cafeteria food.

Everything is identical:  Carpet, padded walls, drop ceiling, hanging fluorescent lighting, and there are little signs on the ends of the cubicle rows with number letter combinations so that you can find your way (if you are a wizard and can read that kind of thing).

Anyway, for me to go to the toilet, I need to walk through rows and rows of oddly quiet cubicles to the main hallway of the building.  At the north end of the hallway is the closest bathroom.

Today, that bathroom was getting cleaned.

I stood there, looking at the bright yellow cart and doing the pee dance while I tried to decide what to do.

I could:
  1. Go upstairs to the bathroom directly above
  2. Walk down the hall 100 yards to the next bathroom
  3. Hold it
  4. Piss on the floor
I opted for idea number two, although I was strangely attracted to idea four.

Going down the hallway, I passed the glassed-in humidity control rooms with robots (and I believe it is where they are developing the zombies) to my left.  This area reminds me of the Hive in Resident Evil, only not filled with zombie water.  Yet.

I walked into the girl's bathroom and stopped dead.

It was dark.

Not so dark that I couldn't see, just... dimNot bright.  It wasn't just the flickering florescents, either.  The tiles were a dark pre-stressed terra-cotta color, instead of the medicinal light gray of the other bathroom, and it made the stainless steel stalls look sinister (OK, alltogether now, say, "Sinister stainless steel stalls" 5 times fast).


I had to go.

I walked into the first stall and locked the door.

The first thing I noticed was that there was a pile of used toilet paper on the edge of the bowl inside.  I waved at it.  Well, I waved at the toilet in general, as it is a motion detection type of toilet and I was trying to get it to flush.

When that didn't work, I searched for the little override button, found it, and pressed.

The wheezing toilet trickled through a ridiculously un-satisfying flush, failing to move the toilet paper.

Fuck it.  I had to go NOW.

It was such a relief at this point, that I may have groaned slightly in pleasure when I finally released.

And that's when I heard it.

Shuffle shuffle.



Shuffle shuffle.

Somewhere off to my right deep in the bowels of the bathroom, I had woken up a sleeping zombie. It must have wandered into the handicapped stall before I had come in, and accidentally locked itself inside.



Could I sneak out before it broke loose?  It was passive when it was alone, but as soon as I entered, it started moving around again.  These bathroom stalls were NOT going to keep me safe from a zombie.

"HRNNNNNNNNNNNNG!" The moan echoed through the bathroom. 

I thought about just darting out and running into the main hallway.  I could run faster than most of the engineers out there, and it was sure to get distracted by the easier meat (and bigger brains), but that left me with the problem of pulling up my pants and washing my  hands.  I couldn't leave the bathroom without washing my hands.  I was raised better than that.

The toilet I was sitting on decided at that moment that it was time to flush with a great big WHOOOOSH!

I jumped up, yanking up my pants and darting from the stall.  I shoved my hands under the sink, which today decided it would be scalding hot rather than icy cold.  I frantically rubbed my hands together under the spigot,  pumped the foaming soap like a madwoman, then rinsed quickly but thoroughly.

I waved my hand in front of the paper towel dispenser, and it made its loud WHIRRRRRRRRR noise as it spit out slightly more towel than I needed.

I ripped it off and dried my hands and was just tossing it in the trash when the stall on the end opened.

I turned to meet my fate.  I had no weapons, nothing.  I was zombie meat.

"Hi, Leauxra."

It was one of the managers.  She use to be mine, actually, maybe three or four bosses ago.

"Hi," I said, groping for something to say.  The adrenaline pumping through my system, I had to force my fists down.  "Lovely weather, don't you think?"

"Yeah, it's so nice to have cloudcover."

"Yeah," I said.  "See you."

I walked out of the bathroom and back into the blinding brightness of the main hall, and I couldn't help but wonder:  What was she doing in there, having a baby?

Today, I have learned an important lesson.  I must be boy-scout-like in my preparedness.  I must ALWAYS be prepared.  Because the zombies are coming, folks.  They're coming.


K-Dawg said...

Dude. This was creepy. Tell me you watch The Walking Dead? I can't NOT watch it! I have to be completely honest: I totally fear a zombie apocalypse for so many reasons. First of all, I run really slow and in all the new zombie flicks and TV shows, those fuckers run FAST. Secondly, I'm also really bad at hiding, I was the kid who covered her eyes even when she was found in hide-n-go seek because I believed I couldn't be seen. And thirdly, I hate canned food. I really hope your ex-manager isn't really a zombie. That would be pretty awful. You should carry an ax to work.

Leauxra said...

Somehow, I STILL haven't seen the Walking Dead. I don't understand it, either, it's like a zombie movie that doesn't end.

I actually took up running for the sole purpose of being able to outrun zombies, I shit you not.

And I need to figure out how to get an ax past security at work... which MIGHT not be a good idea. They'll think I went all "cubicle" or something and arrest me. I need to disguise it as something else.

Tim said...

You might work on that hand-washing gimmick, too. I'm pretty sure OCD-sufferers are going to be among the very first to go when the infection breaks out. Maybe you could just keep some towelettes on hand, just in case you have to make a run for it?

Leauxra said...

Tim, maybe the people who wash their hands will be the ones that don't get catch zombie-ism. Did you ever think of that?

But yeah. Maybe I should just have some sanitizer with me at all times.

Anonymous said...

It's HoodyHoo, Blogger won't let me comment

This is why I absolutely HATE public bathrooms. I don't make those sounds AT HOME, by MYSELF, why would you do it in PUBLIC? WTF did you eat?
Also, the bathroom at my P/T place is actually the dressing room (for people who DON'T wear their yoga pants to work, I guess), so it has that little modesty anteroom -- you open one door, walk through a tiny room, and open another door. Problem is, they refuse to put a new lightbulb in the anteroom, so there are a few seconds of COMPLETE BLACKNESS as you grope for the next door. Not good for the ol' bladder, nosir.

LeeAnn said...

Absolutely the zombies are coming. It's just we never expected them to be coming out of someone's butt, now did we?
Btw, the "color of old lady teeth" is genius.

Leauxra said...

Hoody: I don't know why Blogger keeps being a dick to you, but you can punch him in the crotch if he keeps you from commenting, and tell him I said you could.

And public bathrooms ARE friggin' scary. When I worked in a grocery store, I would occasionally have to clean the bathrooms. I could never figure out how people shit on the ceiling. Do they projectile shit in their own homes?

And at the PT place, maybe you should just start squatting in the corner in the dark. That'll teach them to keep Hoody in the dark.

LeeAnn: Yeah, double-you tee eff? My ex-ex-ex-ex-ex boss shit a zombie! I don't even know what to say.

Angie said...

LMAO How did you look at her without a look of "Holy balls! Are you OKAY? Do you need me to call someone for you?"

Miss Sassy Pants said...

I fear a zombie apocalypse more than anything.

Cake Betch said...

Using public restrooms is pretty much just as bad as zombie apocalypse.

You know, they make plans and guides and stuff for you to put together your 'emergency zombie pack' in case zombies attack. I keep meaning to do that but I haven't gotten around to it yet. Good thing this was a false alarm.

Anonymous said...

And this is why you should always carry a meat tenderizer on your person. Handy melee weapon... always be prepared.

Leauxra said...

Angie: I must say it was a tough thing to keep my expression neutral. Whoever thought I would be thankful for having worked retail?

Miss Sassy Pants: And well you SHOULD. The zombies ARE coming.

Cake Betch: I think I may need to make my own personal list soon. And I agree about public restrooms... unfortunately, between my commute and my hour long lunch, I am away from the house for a minimum of 10 hours per day on weekdays. I just can't hold it that long.

tazerwarriorprincess: OOoooo... A meat tenderizer is PROBABLY not on the list of forbidden weapons at work. Good thinking!

Anonymous said...

I live to serve, Lex, and call me Tazer ;-)

Anonymous said...

God damn computer is trying to kill me by not letting me edit my spelling errors. I apologize for butchering your name, my computer is a bastard.

Leauxra said...

Lex works, as it makes me sound like a nemesis, which I like. My name is actually the Cajun spelling of Laura, as I always wanted an "X" in my name.

wagthedad said...

I just saw this. Here it's been nearly two weeks, and with 3 children, a stolen credit card, and all the yadda yadda, I find I have been neglecting you. Thanks for always commenting.

No zombies in my bathroom at work, but I have to say that if there were any, you wouldn't recognize it from the smell - the stench is overpowering as it is. There are only 2 stalls in the men's restroom, or rather, 2 full-fledged bathroom rooms with toilets in them. The bathrooms are "cleaned" by the cleaning crew every day, but still, last month there was a squashed mosquito on the door to one of the toilets. It was there for 2 weeks. Eye level. Huge. At least a half inch in diameter, like the mosquito had feasted on at least 10 people before being killed. Eventually someone placed a post-it next to the carcass, "This has been here for 2 weeks." It took the cleaners another week to remove the dead bug and the post-it note.
A coworker told me she swears the cleaning people use the same rag to clean the toilets, our desks, and our monitors. Explains the smears on the screen every Monday morning.

Anonymous said...

PudMonkey here, computeris being stupid. Anyways, I was in our bathroom at work last summer and I heard a woman a few stalls down PRAYING while she was on the toilet. People do some weird shit in the bathrooms. It's like they think sound doesn't travel past those little 2/3 doors and walls. Maybe she was praying because she heard a zombie. Or maybe she was praying because she was shitting a zombie... Things to ponder when next you find yourself in an unfamiliar public restroom.

Leauxra said...

wagthedad: What I find amusing about your story is the fact that no one else got a paper towel and wiped the stupid thing off the wall. I mean, I understand it isn't their job or anything... But it IS a good illustration of the "not my job, not my problem" mentality of corporate culture.

I read somewhere that there are more germs on keyboards than on public toilet seats because they don't ever get cleaned, but that's taking it a bit far.

PudMonkey: Prayer DOES seem like a good idea, sometimes, don't you think? Next time you hear it, you should shout "AMEN" before you flush.

Stephanie said...

Honestly, I seriously worry about the zombie invasion. A lot. And then I tell myself that I'm a grown-up and I shouldn't be scared of zombies. And then I tell myself to shut up, because it could totally happen.

Leauxra said...

Stephanie: Never tell anyone you "don't believe" in something scary, or that you are "too grown up" to be scared of something... It's like a personal challenge to the monsters, and they'll totally get you.

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