There are just some things that your sponsor and the Big Book never adequately prepare you for. One example is What do you do when somebody shits themselves at a meeting? Some things you just have to live through and learn from the experience yourself. I’m grateful for the chance at this particular growth.
My table ended early last night so I stuck around talking with A and R. We were waiting for the other two tables to finish up. When they did, people walked past us to exit. At that point, I noticed a distinctive odor. My assumption was that somebody simply farted. Farted badly. As I hoped for the smell to dissipate, R said That guy shit himself. I didn’t think he was being literal, just commenting on how bad it smelled. No, that dude actually shit himself, says R as he points at the guy standing with his back facing us right outside the church front doors made of glass.
R: It’s running down his leg.
Me: What do we do?
A: What do you mean, what do we do? Nothing.
Me: Shouldn’t we alert him? Isn’t that the right thing to do?
R: He has to know. He’s walking funny.
Me: If he knows, why is he faced away from us so we can get a good look?
R: Something’s going on with him.
A: Maybe he’s drunk.
S walks up and sits down with us at our table.
S: It smells like somebody shit themselves.
R: Somebody did. That guy out there.
Me: Ok, but what is the right thing to do. This is like a challenge.
S: Where was he sitting? I don’t want to sit in that chair ever.
A: Over there.
We all look at the table A points at.
Me: Hey guys, is that shit on the floor?
Me: Who is going to clean it up? Besides me.
S: I’m calling my sponsor. I need to pray about this.
Me: I’m going outside. I can’t look at this shit anymore.
Now we all move outside and discuss how disgusting this all is while P stepped up and marched over to the rehab next door to borrow a mop and bucket. S walks off a little to talk with her sponsor on the phone.
Me: I think the guy knew he was shitting himself. He was standing around awkwardly in the beginning until somebody offered him a seat. The spot he was standing in is where the shit landed.
R: So you saw it.
Me: No! I just noticed him. I did not watch him shit. I was unaware it was happening. This is a challenge. I feel resentment toward that guy for shitting and just leaving it.
S: My sponsor says we need to clean it up. Maybe we should make an inventory.
A: Or make an announcement in the beginning of the meeting requesting people not to shit on the floor.
R: That’s going to call that guy out specifically. Anonymity will be compromised.
A: What? The anonymity of poop?
Me: Ha. I like that - the anonymity of poop. That’s funny. This is all pretty funny.
P shows back up and he, with R, cleans up the mess. Thankfully.
It was all pretty funny, but every time we laughed, I felt a tiny bit bad. I was hoping to do the next right thing, but I don’t even know if it’s best to tell a guy he’s got poop running down his leg or not. What I do know is that in all situations, I will refuse to clean up shit whether it is in the library or in a church.