I am not squeamish.
But today I encountered a stench that almost felt like a physical mass, it was so potent.
For half a second I contemplated climbing up to the 3rd floor but I really was in dire need of urination.
I entered the horror chamber with a mix of revulsion and morbid fascination. I was actually surprised that the light bulbs had not exploded from the smell.
I imagined dead badgers. Rotting for days in fetid ditches. And then eaten by hyenas.
And then defecated.
The olfactory holocaust was not man-made. Couldn’t be. No human digestive system had ever produced anything quite so unashamedly feral.
And then he exited his cubicle. Stopping me mid-trickle. Astonished as I was.
Had I been the author of such pestilence, I would have made sure that there was no being capable of identifying me within a half mile radius.
Cool as a cucumber, he just exited his cubicle and left. Probably unaware that the odour he left simmering behind was definitely in breach of the Geneva Convention.
Only a minute later it hit me, as I was washing my hands: I was alone, in the second floor men’s toilet. With the mother of all stinks intent on breaking a longevity world record. I was beginning to wonder if it could cling to my clothes and hair.
That’s when the European Operations Director walked in.