It was a slow night at the restaurant. The cooks were reading newspapers, the servers were sharing an order of fries and the customers were eating anyplace but there. The Bitchy Waiter needed something to do and he needed it then. All of his opening sidework was already done. The last thing that needed to happen was placing the candles in the restrooms. One of them had been locked so he put the lit candle on a shelf and waited for whichever employee was inside to come out. Erika, the new chef, emerged from the restroom and he took the candle inside. He noticed the toilet still had paper in it. "Geez, flush the fucking toilet, new girl," he thought. Hanging on the wall was an empty roll of toilet paper and sitting on the tank was a brand new roll that had been unwrapped but she must have been too lazy to throw away the empty roll and replace it with a new one. Thirty minutes had passed and now he was bored. He looked at the pile of silverware that needed to be rolled and then his eyes fell onto the empty ketchup bottle but nether one of those were going to make him feel constructive.
"Maybe I'll go make a phone call," he said to the mirror over the sidestand; the same mirror that was in need of a date with some Windex. He reached up to the shelf and picked up his cell phone; the same cell phone that was strictly prohibited on the dining room floor. He headed straight to the restroom where the air wasn't fresh but the silence was golden. He swung the door open, flipped the light on and stepped inside.
"Goddammit!" Looking down, his skid-resistant shoes were in an inch of water. The toilet was running and the bowl was overflowing with water. Toilet paper was spinning in a lazy clockwise pattern and enjoying its freedom from the bowels of sewage and grasping at its chance to see what life is like on the floor. "Who the fuck clogged the fucking toilet bowl?"
The Bitchy Waiter shoved his cell phone into his pocket and went to tell the manager. "The restroom needs some attention. Bad." He watched his manager scurry over to Jose the dishwasher and the two of them retreated to the restroom.
"What's goin' on?" asked the bartender?
"The toilet overflowed and now my shoes are all fucking disgusting."
"Who the fuck? I bet it was table 16." We looked over at the lone table in the restaurant. Sitting at the booth was an older man who had only moments before returned from visiting one of the two restrooms. "He looks like he could clog a toilet real good."
"Uh huh," said The Bitchy Waiter as he eyed Erika slicing some carrots. "Maybe it was him. Maybe not."
The manager reappeared rolling behind him a big yellow mop bucket and holding a dirty mop that no doubt now had traces of fecal matter that would be spread all over the restaurant the next day unless someone changed the mop head. But no one ever changed the mop head.
"It's okay now,"the manager said. "Someone tried to flush the toiler paper wrapper but I plunged it." He went downstairs to return the mop bucket and hopefully replace the mop head.
The bartender looked at table 16 again. "It was totally that guy, right?"
"I don't think so," said The Bitchy Waiter. "Someone else was in there first and that someone else is now slicing carrots."
"The new girl? No fucking way," he said. "That's nasty. You think it was her?"
"Well, I went in there right after she came out and I noticed the toilet wasn't flushed. She had finished a roll of toilet paper and opened a new one. The boss said that whoever it was tried to flush the toilet paper wrapping and that's what made it overflow. So yeah. I think it was her. That bitch took a huge fucking dump, clogged the toilet and now she's making a salad."
They both looked over at Erika who was using her hands to mix some Caesar dressing into a bowl of romaine lettuce.
The bartender shuddered. 'Okay, now I am totally grossed out by her and I thought she was kinda cool."
The Bitchy Waiter agreed. "I know. If you're gonna clog the toilet at least try to fix it yourself. I mean the plunger is right there, but she's just gonna act like nothin' happened? That is some nasty shit, man."
"Well, maybe it was the guy at 16, who knows? He could have gone in after her and when he tried to flush the toilet, it overflowed."
"Yeah, maybe. But I'm gonna just go with it being her. I read a lot of Encyclopedia Brown books when I was a kid and I'm pretty good at figuring out mysteries. The clues point to her."
"Caesar salad is up for 16," yelled Erika.
The Bitchy Waiter went to the line and picked up the salad. "Thanks," he said.
"No problem," she replied. "Looks like it's gonna be a slow night, huh?"
"Maybe. You never can tell. Sometimes you think it's gonna be slow and then all of a sudden the restaurant is overflowing and in a flush you're busy."
"What? she asked.
"I meant flash. Thanks for the salad."
The Bitchy Waiter dropped the Caesar salad at table 16 and went into the other restroom to make his phone call. His night was just beginning.
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