So Easter is over.
Yesterday SB and I decided that we wanted to go to for a bit of a hike.
Cunningham’s Gap is divided in half by a road. On one side is Mount Mitchell, which we hiked last year during the Queen’s Birthday break, so this year we decided to do some of the walks on the other side of the road.
We took the hour and a half long drive down from Brisbane and when we got there SB and I needed to use the bathroom. The bathrooms at Cunningham’s Gap are your typical nature reserve bathrooms. They are tiny, built from wood and are really close to each other. Any excrement goes right into a waste tank under the toilets. I think this is then carted away at some stage.
So I went to the men’s bathroom and SB went to the ladies room. They are diagonally situated next to each other, probably so that all the waste can just flow right into the tank tank below. I finished first and stepped out to wash my hands when I heard a scream from the ladies room. Thinking that SB probably saw a spider or some creepy crawly I asked her what was wrong, and she ran out of the bathroom. “I saw a man in the toilet” she said.
My first thought was that there was a man peeping at her in the bathroom, which freaked me out. I was prepared for a fight at this stage and I asked her “What do you mean you saw a man in the toilet?!” And she said she saw a man literally INSIDE the toilet as in the toilet bowl. For those of you who haven’t seen the park toilets, refer to the image above. That is a park toilet. My next thought was “How the fuck did he get in there?”
Now, I’m not a religious or superstitious man, but I’ve had my fair share of rather scary, downright creepy supernatural encounters during my time in the army and before. My first illogical assumption was that it was some kind of ghost. I mean, surely no man would sit and wait in a latrine so that people can poo and pee all over them. It just didn’t make sense. How and why would someone do that?
I went into the bathroom and took a look around. No poo covered man hiding behind the door. I looked into the toilet bowl and it was pretty dark. Nobody in there either. Maybe he heard us. I wasn’t prepared to fight with whatever was down there. Not especially if he was covered in poo. Not even if I had a stick. Maybe a cricket bat. Or a golf club. Something like that.
So I asked SB what she saw. She said she was lining the toilet seat with toilet paper when she saw something move at the bottom of the tank. During this time she could hear me peeing next door, and at first she thought it was some kind of animal. When I stopped peeing she saw something move again. This time it was the face of a man. A bald(ing) man and she saw half his face and an eye.
While we were discussing this, another group of hikers came along. One girl with two guys. The girl was about to go into the bathroom, but SB whispered to her “excuse me” and she whispered back “yes?”. If the situation wasn’t so freaky it would actually have been pretty funny. “I saw somebody in the toilet bowl” SB said to the girl. The girl stopped for awhile. I could see she was trying to process this information. “what?” she replied. And so I had to explain it to her in some detail, and she wisely decided not to go to the bathroom.
The girl and her companions left and we decided to find the next closest bathroom and think about what to do next. We drove about 15 minutes down the road. I was still trying to piece it all together in my mind, and surprisingly, SB didn’t seem as freaked out as me. I think this was because I knew if there was a confrontation I’d be fighting with a man covered in poo.
We stopped at one of the driver revivers down the road and had a cup of coffee, easter eggs and used their bathroom. Of course, I checked their bathroom first to make sure nobody was hiding in the toilet bowl.
After talking over the situation for abit, I decided that there was nothing we could do but go back and investigate further and drove back to revisit the toilet. When we got back I wasn’t quite sure what to do. I didn’t have any weapons in the car except for my tiny swiss army knife keychain, which is also a tiny torch light. So I picked up a stick. As long a stick as I could find at the carpark.
I went back into the bathroom, half expecting to find a head poking out of the toilet bowl. A bald head covered in poo. In my mind, I would then hit the said head like a whack-a-mole. I was pretty sure I’d be able to split his head apart provided it wasn’t a ghost.
So I told SB to wait a safe distance away with my phone and I crept into the bathroom with my tiny swiss army torch light and the stick. No head sticking out from the toilet bowl. So I crept over to the toilet bowl and peered in thinking: “fuck I hope I don’t get grabbed”. Nothing inside. So I decided (probably stupidly) to throw the stick in to see if it startled anyone. In went the stick with a splat and I heard something move around inside the tank. “holy shit there’s someone in there!” I thought as I retreated, now unarmed. I told SB about this and we decided it was time to get some backup.
At the carpark was another couple. An American fellow with his Australian wife and their cute little daughter. I explained the situation to them and the American guy decided we should check it out together. I didn’t mention that the guy in the toilet bowl now had a rather large stick in his possession.
So this time the both of us crept into the bathroom. This time he was holding my torch light. He was pretty brave and put his arm in to the toilet bowl to shine the light in. I was reluctant to do this also because the swiss army knife keychain is attached to my house keys. If they fell in I’d have to join the guy in the toilet bowl. We looked around but there was nothing in the toilet bowl. It didn’t look like there was space for anyone to hide in there anyway.
Now that there were two of us, it was safe to investigate the back of the bathroom. The bathrooms are situated on a slope, just off the walking trail. The tank is at the bottom of this slope and is surrounded by vegetation. Perfect terrain for a man covered in excrement to conceal himself in. We crept round the back of the bathroom and checked the gate. It was locked. A brand new lock even. We saw the tank. It appeared to have been untampered with. There didn’t seem any way for anyone to get in to it.
At this stage, I was pretty freaked out. A ghost? Maybe a ghost that likes 2 girls 1 cup. You’d have to be pretty fucked up / unfortunate to end up as that kind of ghost. The American guy was satisfied that there was nothing there. Maybe SB saw an animal in the toilet bowl, or maybe it was a reflection. SB can be a little confused at times, but I was sure there was no mistaking a human face, let alone eyes.
The two of us then went back up to the bathroom and we heard noises coming from inside. This alarmed the American guy greatly and I could see him getting quite worried. He motioned for me to open the door. I stood there for awhile. For quite a long time thinking what to do. I was preparing myself to do battle with a very dirty adversary. I decided that instead of opening the door and giving the guy a kick in the guts, I’d climb the side wall and look in first. Just as I was about to do this, an old lady came out of the bathroom. American guy shrugged and we decided that we reached a conclusion with this adventure.
SB andI decided to leave it at that and decided to go somewhere else to spend the rest of the day, leaving whatever it was to sit in the toilet bowl.
Today I met a friend. I said to him. “You’ll never guess what happened to me yesterday. It’s something so fucked up you’ll never guess. I went to Cunningham’s Gap for a walk and when my wife was in the bathroom” and he said “someone was peeping at her from inside the toilet?” this really surprised me. “How the hell did you know that?” I almost thought for a moment there that he was the one in the toilet bowl, except that SB said the guy in the toilet bowl didn’t have a beard. Apparently people have been known to hide in that toilet, waiting for women to poo on them.
That was a surprisingly satisfactory answer, and we went to have coffee.
At Cunningham’s Gap the bald man was still sitting in the toilet bowl. Waiting.
How Johnson ended up with this cut is a long story.
It started with someone doing welding in the restaurant downstairs.
We work in an incubator on the 1st floor of the Data #3 building. Attached to the side of this building is a restaurant. It’s just there. Stuck to the side of the building kind of like a wart. Like a wart, the restaurant grows into the building. It’s roots draws electricity, water, even air conditioning from the building.
On this day, someone decided that something needed to be fixed in that restaurant and sent for some welders. The welders came and did their welding in the restaurant. Because the restaurant is inextricably linked with the building, some of the fumes and smoke from the welding managed to make its way into the air conditioning duct. This smoke made its way up the duct and into the first floor where we all work.
At the time I had just finished a meeting, and the rest of the guys were doing what they usually do. Johnson, the owner of the gashed thumb was standing somewhere in the corner of the office as he sometimes does, talking to someone. As he sometimes does.
Then I smelled something burning. It was a rather acrid smell. Everyone else seemed to have noticed it but said nothing. “What the fuck is that smell?” I said. And people started saying they noticed it as well. I was sitting at my desk at the time, and none of our computers had caught fire before, so I assumed that it was the fan.
I went over to the fan and took a whiff. It seemed to be coming from the fan. So I said “Shit the fan is on fire!”. The fan itself was intact. It is a white, plastic fan, and there was no evidence of blackening or any other fire like symptoms, but everyone else in the office agreed and decided to discuss this rather loudly and in a concerned tone of voice. Some other people smelled the smoke and it was starting to get just very slightly smokey in the communal office space. So people proceeded to come out of their offices. Those in cubicles poked their heads up looking worried.
I took a closer look at the fan, and then looked at the smokey office. It couldn’t have been a fan. So I said “I think the office is on fire. Take the ferrero rocher and let’s get the hell out of here!”.
Prior to me smelling the smoke, Sam had received a free box of Ferrero Rocher which he earned by completing a survey for a new cloud based photo storage company that he found on Twitter. It was posted to him. By express post I think.
The alarm didn’t go off, so clearly there wasn’t a fire, but the smoke was making many of us feel rather uncomfortable so we decided to go out for some fresh air. Gavin ran off first, clutching the box of brownies he had backed for us. Reuben and George came along with me and Sam went to the bathroom. With his box of Ferrero Rocher. At this point I was not sure where Johnson had ended up.
We took the stairs, because it was quicker. All the way down to the basement carpark we ran. Eventually getting out of the basement and all assembling at the foyer. Gavin offered us his brownies and we talked about projects for awhile. Once that was done, everyone decided to go back upstairs, but Reuben and I had to go to Hanaro Mart to purchase some asian delicacies. The guy at the counter was listening to Radio Gaga by Queen.
Reuben bought an interesting bottled drink. There wasn’t a screw cap. The bottle top is a ball lodged in the bottle’s plastic mouth. To get to the drink, one had to use a tool provided in a plastic cover to push the bottle in. This takes place with a satisfying pop that will cause the contents of the bottle to fizz slightly. So Reuben popped the bottle and we went back to the office to be productive.
Back at the office, Reuben decided that he wanted to get the ball out of the bottle. Because of the design of the bottle, there is really no way to get the ball out except by either taking off the very securely fastened plastic mouth, or by breaking the bottle.
Sam tried to pries the top of the bottle off, but that didn’t work. So I decided to try and cut it with Sam’s serrated knife. This didn’t work and after awhile I got tired of it and tried to break the bottle. First with a paperweight and then by stamping on it like at a Jewish wedding. Of course I put it in an envelope before stamping on it so that glass would fly all over. That didn’t work either, so we all went back to work.
Later I went for a late lunch with George. George had some Indian food his wife prepared and I had some oats, which Uncle Toby prepared and I hydrated. As we were having lunch, Reuben and Sam came in to the kitchen looking worried. They took the first aid box from the shelf and looked through it for plasters.
“What’s up?” I said. “Johnson cut himself.” They said. “How did he do that?” I said. “He was trying to get the ball out of the bottle.”
Not long after, Johnson who had gone to the bathroom to wash his gash came into the kitchenette looking rather sheeping. They didn’t find any plasters so they had to use bandage. They took all the bandage from the first aid box and brought it to the office and bandaged up his thumb.
George and I finished our lunch, and in Hanaro Mart the guy at the counter continued listening to Queen.