Imagine, if you can, a stool the size of a grapefruit. It's large, isn't it? One imagines it would be difficult to pass something of that size and still be alive.
I mention this because Grapefruit Man has returned to Barnes & Noble. He's well-known to the staff; or, rather, his stools are well-known to the staff. And it was my lucky day.
Anywho, some context. A customer approached me today and asked if I was a manager. When I told him I was he said, "You have to go to the handicap stall. Someone is very sick."
Thinking we had a full-on medical emergency I began to ask questions. "Has someone collapsed? Do they need help unlocking the stall door?"
"Oh, no," replied the customer. "The stall is empty. It's what they've left. You see, it won't go down."
"What won't go down?" I said.
"Um, poop. As I mentioned, someone is very sick," he said.
"Oh, I see," I said. "Well, my day just got a whole lot better. Thanks for letting me know."
I rolled up my sleeves and grabbed one of the other managers to act as my wingman and we headed in. It was exactly as the customer described: a monstrous thing sitting there like the King of Turds all knobbly and obviously calcified. Hell, I'm surprised that shit didn't crack the porcelain when it dropped.
"Fuck me that's wrong," I said. "The guy probably has a gape large enough to drive a double-decker bus through. If we find someone collapsed outside on the floor weeping and a bus conductor sticking out of his arse, that's our man."
"It won't go down!" said my co-worker after several flushes.
"We'll need to break it up," I said.
So we poured a whole heap of bleach on top of the turd, hoping the chemicals would begin the softening process. We locked the stall door from the outside and I set about the task of constructing a cutting implement.
I grabbed a plastic knife from the cafe and taped it to a long, yet sturdy, plastic rod. Essentially what I created was a harpoon, MacGyver style. And yes, there were a few odd looks from customers as I walked through the store carrying my harpoon. I felt like Captain Ahab swearing revenge on the great white stool.
However, it was the suggestion from another co-worker that a common plunger should be sufficient to finish the turd off. And that turned out to be the case as I made short work of it and sent the beast off to a watery grave. The harpoon will have to wait for another day before we get to try it out.
And you thought being a Barnes & Noble manager was a job without excitement.