Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Day 7 - A harrowing escape

(posted by Stinkographer 1)

Ladies and gentlemen, we almost lost today.


Before I share my suspenseful tale, I have a request for all you readers out there: we need excuses! Justifications for our experiment, should we be caught by either our adversaries or the police. Leave us comments! As an incentive, if we use your advice to get out of trouble, we'll award you the official Tufts Stinkymeat Hefty Serve 'n Store Plate(tm) upon the completion of our project! (If we use multiple people's advice, we'll divide the plate evenly among them.) But I digress...

* * *

My accomplice, indifferent to the traumatic experience I had yesterday, informed me he had a mid-term at 8 in the morning. He therefore requested that I take the plunge for second night in a row.

All was quiet as I entered the forsaken washroom. The stink hit me quite forcefully as I slid away the corner tile, confirming to that the meat was still safe and sound. The flashlight, now loaded with fresh triple-A's, shined brightly as I placed it over the ceiling.

As I pulled the camera out of my pocket and prepared to take aim, I heard a door slam.

I ducked so that the closed stall door would conceal me. Seconds later, not one, but two people filed into the bathroom! The first made his way to the other shower stall. The second hesitated momentarily, then gave a firm push on my door. It remained shut. Thinking quickly, I made a throat-clearing sound and turned on the shower. I prayed this would convince him to come back later, but he instead headed towards the sink, yelling loudly to his friend that it smelled like shit in here. I was quite tempted to correct him.

It came to my attention that the the ceiling tile was still out of place--and furthermore that the opening was glowing brightly from the flashlight. The hole was small and difficult to see at first glance, but I knew that it would surely be spotted if I left it that way. When my foe walked over to the toilet, I saw my opportunity. I crept back onto the bench, grabbed the light and slid the tile back as quietly as possible.

The guy didn't even bother to flush the toilet (some people do such disgusting things). I scarcely had time to jump back to the floor before he returned to his perch between the two stalls, waiting.

Unfortunately all my hopes of outlasting the other showerer were dashed when a third individual entered the bathroom! I had to get out of there without revealing my identity, so I did the only thing I could think of: I took off my shirt and soaked my head in the shower. I then proceeded to exit the stall, looking downward with the shirt draped over my head. I walked right past them, using it like a towel to dry my hair. A successful getaway.

* * *

For the long-term safety of our experiment, I concluded it was best not to return that morning. I'm really sorry guys! I promise, tomorrow we'll do something special to make up for it... if the plate's still there...

I suppose today's moral is an important one: The longer this project lasts, the more dangerous it will be if we get caught. I managed to escape today without speaking a word to them, but we need to be prepared with witty explanations for a variety of questions. Questions like:

"What are you doing here this time of morning?"
"Why is the ceiling opened?"
"Is that a camera?"
"Did you just take a shower with your shoes on?"
"Did something die in here?"

Many thank-you's,
Your friendly neighborhood stinkographers

Continue to Day 8


Robert said...

close one dude, i hope to hear more from this project!!!

Anonymous said...

say it was for an "art project", or, if you want to go elaborate, you could set up a wireless webcam in the ceiling tile.... but there is still the matter of battery life and light-focusing ability, or you could simply check it out when nobody in their right mind would use the bathroom, like at 2:00 A.M.

Anonymous said...

Just say you were trying to get some free publicity for the college, kind of like how the University of Nebraska had Tommy Lee attend and made it into reality tv. Stress that you were going to calculate how much enrollment increases the following year.

RumorsDaily said...

This is easy – actually take your showers there.

Walk to the building in your street clothes and shower sandals, but carry the camera, flashlight, a towel, and whatever else you might need with you (in a shower caddy, if possible). Find another bathroom in the stinkymeat building and change into a towel or bathrobe. Once in the towel, head into the stinkymeat bathroom and go to the shower stall in question. If the place is empty, take your pictures and leave. If it’s not, or if you get interrupted, just hop in the shower and you’ll be good to go. Alibi established.

Ralph said...

fantastic quick thinking on the escape! well played.

Joel said...

I don't know. I would feel a little vulnerable. If they figure it out and lie in wait for you, they can grab your towel and chase you across campus. Not something I would want happening to me, but it WOULD make for some interesting reading.

what Mike would have said...

Fuck that shit. If someone confronts you, get the plate and smash it in his face. He'll be traumatized for life.

Stinkymeat Tufts Chapter said...

Hmm, I could go with the "art project" idea, but they know me pretty well. They'll never buy it. The publicity sounds pretty legit... but they'll never care. As for 2 AM, I'd say about half of the Tufts population is still awake at 2. We've been going around 4:30, because we feared if we went any earlier than this people would still be awake! I'm not sure why they were all up so early today, but we'll have to re-consider what the ideal time is.

And yes, I suppose I could shower in there... but it's really nasty! Those guys aren't exactly the cleanest bunch. And now it smells like rotting meat. Plus, as far as I know the shower is still clogged. It was overflowing when I ran the water today, which unfortunately made it all the more conspicuous.

I'd have to agree with Joel that being chased naked across campus sounds unpleasant. But then again, Tufts has a strange, almost unnatural comfort with nakedness, so it probably wouldn't be that big of a deal. (If you are intrigued by this, Google "Naked Quad Run".)

Ms Mellymel's World said...

1. What are you doing here this time of morning?
- Feign drunkenness and mock hurl on their feet while they direct you back toward your sweet and the correct bathroom. This will allow you to double over, cover any camera & flashlight in your hand quickly. Your in college, feigning drunkenness could cover an excuse for anytime of day or night.
- "I was lookin' for *insert name*. I heard he was in here. Have you seen him? No? Okay, later" *now leave*
-Be preemptive. Strike first! "I thought I saw *insert name* duck in here. Ya know our bathroom use to stinks too! *hold your nose and squish up your face* We got some mouse traps and air freshner. Cleared it up right away. y'all should try that here" *as you still hold your nose and leave*
2. Why is the ceiling opened?
- What? *look up* What are you talking about? *make eye contact with the opening* Oh, that? *shrug shoulders and slink away quickly*
3. Is that a camera?
- "Yeah. I'm taking a photography class and we're doing a portfolio. Mine is on abstract items in our everyday lives. Ya know, putting the ordinary under a microscope and looking at it different. Like soap, toilet paper rolls, and knobs. I'm comparing various bathrooms to get the best shot" You must sound very enthusiastic about this project and bore the crap out of anyone with stupid bullshit details. This will help explain if you get caught a few times in their bathroom. never keep more than the photos you have taken that night on the camera. Furthermore, if you can try to show them some of the 'abstract photos' you have already taken, it will be a very believable line of bullshit. Hopefully you should just bore someone and they will break off communication with you quickly.
4. Did you just take a shower with your shoes on?
- Always wear flip-flops on you recon missions to the stinkymeat. The cheaper the better. If their bathroom is as gross as you say, then it will be very believable that you don't want to touch your tootsies on their nasty floor and catch whatever gunk is growing. Instead you would rather wear some cheap dime-store flip-flops. I know it's getting cold but suck it up. Your the ones that decided to take this on at the end of October.
5. Did something die in here?
-*look bewildered and sniff the air* "OMG...what the hell is that? Man, I'll bet you've got a dead rat/mouse around here. Ya know it's that time of the year when the little critters are trying to hibernate or hide out for the winter in a warm place." *nod in agreement as you speak and walk away, which you should do now*

Ultimately, people want to believe any old thing you say. It's not what you say...it's how you act about what you say. have you tried getting the class schedules for that suite and seeing when they are all most likely in class or out of the dorms? Daytime may actually be safer than the wee hours of the morning. Especially if someone can cover you.

Why didn't you guys do a webcam? Don't you have wi-fi at Tufts and know a few good computer geeks?

Best of luck!

The key is be prepared. Always have a believable story and keep moving. treat any interaction as a simple passing through.

Liz said...

I'd recommend turning up with a towel and flip flops, and keeping your camera and flashlight in a washbag. In extremis, you may actually have to *use* the shower (I am full of sympathy).

As for 'What are you doing at this time in the morning', that's reasonably easy: you have been up working on a paper all night, your brain is foggy, and you need to shower away the cobwebs. And you can pre-empt 'Man, did something die in here?' by saying: 'Man, these drains smell bad.'

I also recommend not looking up, in case curious eyes follow your gaze.

Bryan j said...

If all else fails, you can say you were checking out that awful smell, and looking to see if you could find anything. The flashlight and camera are tools to help you look into the ceiling. (if you are feeling particularly brave, you can claim you did not see anything.) Make sure you remove those incriminating past photos from the camera before venturing to the bathroom.

Stinkymeat Tufts Chapter said...

Ms. Mellymel, I'd just like to point out that your comment is as long as this day's narrative. And I enjoyed reading every word of it :)

Kareem said...

Haha, I totally remember this! I was the third guy to enter the bathroom. I thought it was so odd when you came out of that stall, fully dressed with the exception of your shirt, which you were using to cover your head! You did a good job man, I couldn't tell who you were.

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