Friday, May 20, 2005

The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

I thought I was against the death penalty, but after what happened yesterday, I'm not so sure anymore.

Jeff Grand and I stop at a payphone on our way into the city.

We have plans to visit the Sydney Observatory along with Dawes Point and drop into the Visitors' Centre to book his Blue Mountains trip.

But first I want to make a few phonecalls home.

I've been extremely busy the past week wrapping things up at work and I haven't had any time to email or check in with things back in the states.

I am out of credit on my phone and don't feel like recharging it, so I decide to use the phonecard my parents left me and check in with them before it gets too late.

I pick up the phone and start trying to read the directions on the back of the phone card.
Jeff needs to use the payphone too, but is waiting until I am finished to make his calls.

It's been years since I've used a payphone.

So I'm trying to figure out what code to dial to call the United States and I smell something.

I have a "Hecker" nose. That's my mom's maiden name and it's been said that that side of the family has an amazing sense of smell. So it doesn't take long for me to detect some sort of foul smell in the area.

The payphone is situated right by a public transit stop of the monorail along with a large carpark, so you'd expect a certain array of smells.

But after only a few seconds I realize this is different.
This is stronger.

I smell the receiver of the phone.

I gag.

"This phone smells awful! Sick, public payphones are so dirty!"

(I continue holding the phone against my shoulder so it's pressed against my ear and cheek, using my two free hands to continue figuring out the phonecard)

"This phone really reeks. It's disgusting. Smell it Jeff."

At the same time my eyes are finally focusing on the cradle of the payphone.

There's something there.
There's something that's been there from the beginning of my phonecall but I never really noticed it.
I never connected everything.
Who would?

So this comes slowly.

I'm handing Jeff Grand the phone receiver to take a whiff at the same time I'm focusing on substance that seems to be smeared all over the cradle of the payphone.

"Oh my God, (before Jeff can smell the receiver) is it shit? Is that shit on the phone? Tell me! Tell me right now if that is feces smeared all over the phone!"

Jeff takes one apprehensive sniff, gags, and screams, "That is shit! And it's not just any shit, that's HUMAN shit!"

I throw the phone down and immediately start dry heaving.

It had been pressed up against my cheek, ear and hair but about 2 minutes straight.
The smell is so rank, so pungent, and I fear the aroma is stuck to me.

I scream to Jeff that I reek of the human shit now.

He smells my ear and his screams confirm my worst nightmare.
The shit smell had been transferred to my face!

I continue gagging and screaming.
Jeff heaves himself over the railing of the walkway and tries to catch his breath (He's laughing so hard)

Who would do this?
What monster would smear his own poo onto a public payphone?

My mind is whirling.
Did he simply pull it out of his pants?
Did she do it at home in a bag and bring it with her?
Did he wait around the corner to witness the repercussions of his crime, or was he sitting in his office cubicle somewhere laughing at the prospect of innocent strangers essentially rubbing his feces on their faces?

What evil, twisted, and hateful soul would do such a thing?

We quickly make our way over to the bathrooms in the harbour shopping mall and I frantically wash my face/ear/hair.

When I emerge from the bathroom I instruct Jeff that we are not to mention it again for the rest of the day.

I have been broken.
I have been betrayed.
I have literally been shat upon.

A hilarious story to tell, of course.

But you know what?
I have enough funny stories, I don't need a Sydney Stranger Shit story.


At 9:14 PM, Anonymous Missy and Aunt Meem said...

SICK SICK SICK!!!!! Gag me!!! Who would do such a thing! but nonetheless, amazing writing, once again!
Love, Aunt Meem and Missy!
P.S we love you and miss you but make sur eyou clean up before you come home to us!

At 5:54 AM, Blogger Amy Boyd said...

OH MY! As I'm reading I feel like my face, ear and hair is dirty. I'm taking a shower again after reading this! I would have jumped over the bridge into the water. I think it's hilarious that you too have that Hecker smell thing. If something smells bad I run, but Heckers investigate it. It's so funny. I got another ultrasound! I could see the baby sucking it's hand and was rolling around being all naughty! Love it!!

At 6:42 AM, Anonymous Jay said...

First of all, i loved the column, but what made me laugh hardest was Amy's comment that "If something smells bad I run, but Heckers investigate it"!!! That is the funniest thing i have heard in a long time... mostly because it is true!!
Second of all... human feces on a pay phone?? For real?? The grossest thing is that it must have been pretty fresh if it still was smeary and stinky. SICK SICK SICK!! i can't imagine having someone else's poo on my face - you are a trooper! And after all your postings about what a clean and beautiful city Sydney is... you end up with poo on your face!! AMEN FOR CELL PHONES so we don't have to use payphones anymore!!
And lastly, instead of Mary Kay, would you prefer that i now refer to you as "poo poo head"?
Love you, Love, Jay

At 7:06 AM, Blogger Amy Boyd said...

And I liked the title of your entry... sounded familar.

At 2:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Mary,
It's Tammy-Krissy sent me your blog to read this funny story and I read some of the other fun adventures you are having in Australia. I hope all is well for both you & Jeff. It sounds like you are having such a wonderful time and creating memories to last a lifetime! I saw Krissy's belly on Tuesday and your niece/nephew looks to be doing wonderful as is the glowing mother! Enjoy Thailand and all the other experiences you are going through. I have to say I truly think you should be a writer. Your stories really touched me-you have such a way with words....Take care =)

At 6:43 PM, Blogger David said...


You said it like eight times, so I thought it'd be okay for me to have one.

At 11:06 AM, Anonymous will said...

It's hilarious that Pip declared it 'human shit'. Good story mary BOYD - keep up the good work. Oh, and do you mind if I link you?

At 7:18 PM, Blogger Mary said...

Four days later, I am happy to say I'm finally starting to recover from that awful phone experience.

Aunt Meem and Missy, I'll be sure to shower an extra few times just for you guys (That Hecker nose is something else)

Amy, so cute about Baby Boyd! Can you send me a scanned picture?

Jay, I think I'll stick with Mary Kay if that's my only other choice

Tammy, glad you enjoy the blog. Thanks for the compliment, I really appreciate it...I will be sure to bore you with all the stories when I get back...until then take care of Krissy and Baby Sully for me.

Dave, I do what I want...stop wasting time and post already

Will, it was actually Jeff Grand who proclaimed that it was Human awful that we could tell the difference...and no, I don't mind at all if you link me

At 6:06 PM, Anonymous Stuart said...

You need to credit your Hecker nose for being able to smell shit that is pressed up against your face?

At 8:02 AM, Blogger Phil said...

Man, I hope that whoever did that was watching, it seems like it would've been a lot of trouble to go thru and just ASSUME it happened. Em and I took a giant chunk of Crisco, shaped it like a cake and put almonds and chocolate on it, then left it out side at bar time. It took a while, but, sure enough some drunk girl picked it up when we'd put it by an ATM ate about half of it. Moral of the story: I can identify with the shit bandit, I guess.

At 10:04 AM, Blogger Amy Boyd said...

Hi Mary.

Sure, I'll send it to you Friday night. My parents have a scanner and we'll see them that night. Hopefully, you'll still have access to e-mail.

At 9:12 AM, Anonymous Cindy said...

Oh my goodness, Mary! That's horrible, but at the same time extremely hilarious. I'm so sorry that happened to you. You know, if the smell sticks to you, you should try using a lemon as soap to remove the scent. At least that's what they used in CSI when they had the smell of human remains and fecal matter stuck to their skin. I'm surprised that happened there. That seems more like something an American asshole would do.
Well I really miss you. E-mail me sometime or check me out on Myspace under the email address Love ya.

At 10:04 AM, Anonymous Uncle D said...

Well, now I know that "Shithead" actually originated in Australia. Must be a local custom. Crazy folks from down under! I've heard Koala Krap is actually quite similar to human feces, so maybe you just had a face of cute poop!
Good thing you're leaving there to go to Thailand. All they do is eat monkey brains right out of the skull! Hmmmm, which would be worse? Be very careful, because the rage in Thailand now is smearing elephant crap on the phones, well actually it covers the whole booth, but it 's basically the same concept.

At 7:49 PM, Blogger Mary said...

Uncle're right about the elephant crap...huge huge chunks...we rode elephants two days ago and the one in front of ours kept stopping to go to the bathroom...Luckily ours listened to the commands to speed it up and pass on the right so we could get some fresh air.


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