A lot of terrible things happened when I worked at a lingerie store. In fact, over time, it became clear I was only still folding panties because I was waiting for the next horrific thing to happen. Women returned soiled undies. Men screamed that we had ruined Christmas when we ran out of robes. Drag queens danced on tables and sang show tunes – but I’ve already told you that one.
However, I’m pretty sure the day that caused me to lose all lingering faith in humanity was the day that someone pooped in the fitting room.
It had already been a shitty (HA!) day. Model Tyra Banks, the woman who invented “smizing,” or smiling with one’s eyes, had graced us with her presence a few hours earlier, practically demanding that we fall all over ourselves to help her. In person, she’s a large, imposing, cold woman who seems simultaneously annoyed by her fame and annoyed by anyone who doesn’t bow to her greatness. I had to look up her credit card information, which required asking for her ID and personal information. To my secret pleasure, handing over her driver’s license really pissed her off. Her eyes practically rolled out of their sockets as she gave me a look that was less smizing, more “fuck you.”
Anyway, back to the poop. I made my way back to the fitting rooms after lunch, and something smelled… tangy. And not in a ranch dressing way. I began opening the rooms, one by one, as though it were some horrible version of Let’s Make A Deal. Finally, I found a room containing a big pile of lingerie.
In the very center of that pile, right on top of the most expensive silk negligee we had in stock, was a large, tightly coiled turd.
I almost threw up right there, but I knew I’d have to clean that, too. Questions raced through my mind. This particular piece o’feces was too big to be from any of the yappy purse dogs housewives tended to bring with them on their shopping excursions. As a side note, dogs do NOT enjoy going to indoor malls, especially if you cram them in a leopard print bag the whole time. Leave them at home. Seriously.
Who would take a dump atop lingerie? There was a bathroom down the hall. Was it perhaps a statement about feminism, a refusal to conform to our store’s narrow vision of perfection? Maybe it was a protest against the traditional trappings of beauty? Commentary on the male gaze? Or did someone just really have to poop?
And did they wipe themselves with the lingerie? Because at that point, you really might as well; the negligee’s a lost cause. I bet that’s how Beyonce wipes her ass.
So I did the only thing a reasonable person would do. I called for backup, put on rubber gloves, and doused the entire area with Lysol. And then I told everyone that Tyra Banks had done it.
“Did you hear that Tyra Banks took a shit in the fitting rooms? She said she was too important to use a public restroom.”
The rumor spread because, well, everyone loves that kind of thing, and soon, every mall employee from Macy’s to Corn Dog on a Stick was whispering some version of how Tyra Banks dropped a deuce in a fitting room. Some spoke of diarrhea. Others claimed it was a premeditated poop of sheer haughtiness – Tyra Banks does what she wants, when she wants, and we peons should be grateful to clean it up. Yeah, sure, none of it was true, but who cared?
We never caught the poopin’ bandit, but every now and again, when I walk through the mall, I’ll hear a new crop of Forever 21 salesgirls whispering about the legend of the supermodel’s bowels, and it makes me smile. And maybe smize just a little, too.
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