At this health spa I worked at a few years ago there was this guy who often took a dump in the jacuzzi. That’s right. A dump in the jacuzzi. He was thin and bald but with a sleek, severe look to his face that made me think he was a city banker or a mob boss or something like that, something that involved fucking people over with no smiles and no mercy.
We’d be on the lookout for him, obviously. He’d come one weekend in three, let’s say, turning up in his soft top Aston Martin which we would deposit round the back, never daring to rev the bastard or take it beyond second gear. He wore a polo neck with a jacket and spoke curtly to whoever was at the front desk, just ‘One night’ and ‘Book the massage for eight’, not a greeting in sight. Then he’d go and change into his swimming shorts and dressing gown and maybe hit the sauna or the gym before finally feeling that urge in his lower colon.
I found it the first time it happened. I was mopping the floor and walked into the jacuzzi room to find this black thing bobbing around on the surface. Couldn’t make out what it was, but it looked like it was having a good time, jumping about amongst all those bubbles. I killed the power and waited for the foam to subside and there it was, huge, a real bloody ship sinker. My mum once told me that if your shit doesn’t float then you’re not eating enough fibre and, from what lay before me, I could safely assume that this guy was in no way lacking in the Bran Flakes department.
Funnily enough, we didn’t have any kind of procedure for dealing with turds in the jacuzzi. I used the mop bucket to scoop it out and then showed Jake, another guy working there, what I’d found. ‘Holy crap!’ he squealed. ‘Where the fuck did that come from?’ We roped off the jacuzzi – ‘sorry madam, routine maintenance’ – drained it and then got to work with the disinfectant.
This became a secret of sorts, between me, Jake, and a couple of other guys who worked there. We never told the management, for a couple of reasons. First, we didn’t think they’d believe us. They’d probably think one of us did it – they might reason we were trying to get someone barred. And no one would ever get barred from that place – not when you consider the amount they all pay. What’s a turd in the jacuzzi when you’ve got that many zeroes on the invoice? And second, we kind of liked keeping this as our little secret. There was something pretty cool about those grins I exchanged with Jake and the other guys, fleeting looks that no one else would ever understand. It’s solidarity, I guess, or even a warped kind of privilege – we, the underpaid, the lowest ranked, have seen something that would disturb you. Big time. We keep your world safe.
We came up with names for this guy – El Turdo, The Dumpster, Peter the Excreter, stuff like that. When I passed him in the corridor I used to whistle Cypress Hill’s ‘When the shit goes down’, I daresay one of the wittier moments of my time on this earth. He didn’t notice a thing. He was above it all, miles above, probably thinking about who or what he would take a dump on next – a process he would neither enjoy nor regret. It was just what he did.
I used to wonder whether he had no idea this was wrong. Maybe his upbringing was a sick joke and his parents taught him that a jacuzzi is, in fact, a huge toilet. A huge fucking toilet for wealthy people. ‘Darling! Look what you’ve left in there today! Just look at it dance!’ Or maybe his parents believed it too. Maybe they all do. Imagine it! A world where taking a dump in the bath, or the jacuzzi, is entirely normal, simply because there is always someone to clean up after you. Imagine them, these hordes of rich people with enormous mansions and not a single toilet between them, relieving themselves in jacuzzis, swimming pools, on the carpet, inside the grand piano.
Christ. Do you even want to live in that world?