An employee of a small town "liberry" chronicles his quest to remain sane while dealing with patrons who could star in a short-lived David Lynch television series.

Friday, July 27, 2007

The Secret Identity of Ron the Ripper ("LOST" ROGUES WEEK DAY 5)

The time has come to tell the tale.

Some years back, on an otherwise normal day, I decided to fill my water bottle from our drinking fountain. The fountain is located at the far end of our reference/computer hall—a narrow passage where our reference books are shelved, near our three public-access computers, which are in turn in close proximity to not only the fountain but also our most-unfortunately-placed public restroom beneath the stairs. So I walked from our front room, through the children's room and was about to enter the reference hall when an unsettling and familiar odor hit my nose.

Oh, dear Lord, no!

I rounded the corner of the hall and nearly ran headlong into Ron the Ripper. Ron looked guilty and amused at the same time, but Ron always looks guilty and amused so this was nothing too suspicious. What was suspicious was that Ron and his Unobstructed Doors aide were coming from the direction of our restroom beneath the stairs. And following along behind them was the thick, yet invisible cloud of ass-stench I'd detected seconds before.

Oh, no, no, no, no, no, please, no.

Hesitantly, I passed them by and waded through the fumes toward the restroom. There could be no doubt that Ron had befouled our restroom, but the actual degree of befoulment was what had me worried.

Please, please, please, I prayed, please, let him at least have flushed!

Alas, the answer to my prayer was "No." What I found within the bowl of our toilet was yet more evidence on a mounting pile, one which would prove that two of our most notorious rogues were actually one and the same person. Ron the Ripper, you see, had a secret identity. Ron the Ripper was none other than... the Serial Shitter.

I first became aware of the Serial Shitter shortly after I took my job with the "liberry" in 2001. The Serial Shitter, I was told, was an anonymous soul who frequently had foul, unholy and always unflushed poo-festivals in our restroom and did so with such frequency and apparent glee that it had to have been done on purpose. About twice a month, usually while cleaning up at the end of the day, one of the staff would discover the Serial Shitter's "calling card" plastered all around the inside of our toilet. For you see, it was apparently the Serial Shitter's fondest joy to park his keister on our bowl and vent his bowels so explosively that the resulting spray barely even reached the water but instead splattered onto the interior wall of the bowl like turd-stucco. And because the Serial Shitter never EVER flushed, this turd-stucco would sit there, sometimes for hours, would dry and then would NOT come off without a big ass toilet-brush, a liberal amount of Clorox Cleanup, ten minutes of effort and complete privacy so as not to soil the sensitive ears of our patrons with the streams of cursing spewed forth by whoever had to clean it up. Son of a bitch, we hated the Serial Shitter!

And, oh, the stench! Sweet merciful Krishna on a bicycle, the stench could be terrible! The trouble was, it was also stealth stench, rarely reaching the circ-desk. If we didn't go back near the restroom for a while, we might not know of the turd stucco's existence. However, we soon learned that when our usual computer addicts began making for the door, something foul was afoot.

It took us a long time to start piecing together the clues as to the true identity of the Serial Shitter. We really really wanted to know who it was, so we could finally have someone one of us could grab by the shirt collar and scream "FLUSH, DAMN YOU, FLUSH!" while another of us soaked them in a glossy coat of Lysol.

After cleaning up the Serial Shitter's mess for the fourth time one month, I decided to put an end to the mystery and put on my detective cap. The Shitter's fecal hobby was definitely the result of an unhinged mind, so I began suspecting our more unhinged patrons. Unfortunately, that's a sizable portion of our patron population.

I considered that it might be Mr. B-Natural, a man who was, back then, pretty much dedicated to doing things he thought would annoy the library staff, such as sneaking in coffee, signing his name upside down on the computer sign in sheet and generally being the grumpiest old man in all the world. This didn't seem to be his style though, since he always made certain we knew when he was trying to annoy us.

Mr. Big Stupid was another suspect. He was often on the computers and looked to be the kind of man who could tear up a toilet, but I could never place him at the scene during any of the Shitter-Event-Horizons.

The Untalented Mr. Ripley, Mr. B-Natural's arch-enemy, was also on the computers quite a bit in those days, but as strange as he was I just couldn't picture his skinny butt having the capacity for the sheer volume of material we were seeing.

I even briefly suspected Chester the (potential) Molester, but while he did spend time near the computers it was only time spent between opportunities to cruise the children's room.

The more I thought about it, though, the more it seemed that the only person who was in house on the same days as and before the incidents occurred was Ron the Ripper. It fit his personality too, for Ron enjoyed doing everything with gusto, be it ripping pages from our magazines, to caveman grunting to, most likely, taking a shit. Our next move, I determined, was to keep watch on the toilet when we knew he was in house, make sure it was spotless and then do a quick recheck after he used it to prove he was the Shitter. If we could catch him in the act of leaving that shit behind, we could force his Unobstructed Doors aide to pay attention, do his job and actually make Ron flush the toilet.

Alas, the confrontation was never to come. The particular aide Ron was with the day they barely escaped quit his job, or quit Ron, soon after. Ron was notorious for burning out aides and this guy was just one in a long line. Subsequent aides didn't bring Ron to the "liberry" very often and we had no more incidents of serial shitting for many months. In fact, we saw Ron almost none at all for many months (further cementing the proof). The next time I saw him, he had lost a lot of weight and seemed on a much more even mental keel. I think his overseers must have found the magic combination of meds to mellow him out. The mischievous gleam that had been ever-present in his eye was replaced by something much more akin to what you see in Malcolm McDowell's eyes at the end of A Clockwork Orange.

Oh, we've had restroom incidents akin to the Serial Shitter since—some so horrifically impressive that we were led to question our original theories about his identity—but by and large the Serial Shitter is no more.

4 comments:

Woeful said...

LMAO! "Serial Shitter"
We had someone write all over the wall with his feces... More "finger painting" than "serial" :-)

Anonymous said...

We have a Saturday Serial Shitter who likes to "decorate", too - we've got it narrowed down to two suspects . . . . . honestly, the literal *shit* we have to deal with . . . . .

Anonymous said...

It seems like there is a federal law that requires one person with exploding bowels be assigned a poor, helpless liberry. We call the Serial Shitter at our liberry "The Poo-Poo Bandit."

Ordinary Janet said...

Juice, I had trouble reading this one as I was shaking with laughter and my eyes were blurred with tears. It would be so nice if the library sprang for one of those automatic-flushing toilets like they have at the mall.