I wouldn’t say that the restroom at my office smells bad. I would say it smells like your average college dorm bathroom on any given weekday evening: a little musty, maybe. There might be the lingering smell of a dropped deuce from a few minutes before, but it’s nothing out of the ordinary. Until yesterday, I found nothing offensive about the odor of my office restroom.
Then, it happened. I stayed late for work last night. The cleaning crews had been around to empty the trash, scrub the kitchen, and, apparently, clean the restroom. When I went to use the restroom before I left the office around 8:30, I stepped into the vestibule to find it pitch black. I struggled to find the lightswitch, which was hidden beside the second door. Once I had a lit path to the urinal, it hit me: the restroom smelled nice. No, not nice – wonderful. Like a new spring morning! Like fresh mountain air! Like a bouquet of flowers! This was an unbelievable sensation. It was as though I had stepped into an alternate dimension where the familiar stench of my office restroom was offensive.
Then, I stopped to think: why, at 8:30pm, does this restroom smell so lovely? And why, at 8:30am the following morning, does this restroom stink to high heaven again? What happens in those twelve hours that causes this pleasant smell to simply disappear? Sure, air circulates through the building, but that alone can’t turn the scent of a fresh spring morning into low tide at the pier. Something – no, someone – must be stinking the place up in those 12 hours.
I don’t know who it is, but I just hope I never have to encounter him personally in the restroom.