You probably chuckled when you saw the news this morning. The Brisbane ‘poo jogger’ has been caught.
For months, the man now named as retirement village and investment group executive Andrew Macintosh has allegedly been making regular (at least 30) toilet stops in the alleyway of an apartment block in Greenslopes. Terrorised residents set up a sting – a hidden photographer – and they got their man, who has now been charged with creating a public nuisance.
Yes, you probably giggled.
I, however, shuddered. Because the story of the poo jogger brought back some rather… crappy memories.
It was early morning when I found the first one.
I’d sweated my way through a 6am personal training session at my Sydney gym then jumped in the women’s showers to freshen up before work.
As I lathered up, I noticed a mound of something brown next to my foot. At first, I thought it was a scrunchie or a hairband screwed up into a ball. But then I made the mistake of prodding it with the toe of my thong – thank god I was wearing some – and it felt sort of… squidgy.
I leaned closer and it was then that the smell hit me and I realised what had just happened.
Someone had literally gone for a poo in the shower cubicle. And I had found that out the hard way – by hopping into the shower with it.
Yelping, I wrapped myself in a towel, and ran to the receptionist. Before I could get my words out, she took me calmly by the hands and hissed: “Which one is it in?”
That was the moment I learned this was not the first time someone had used the shower cubicle like their own personal toilet. This was poo numero three. And the gym staff were desperate to get to the bottom of the matter.
The gym uses a swipe card entry system - and so by a process of elimination - staff had narrowed it down to a small pool of suspects, by cross checking member's attendance with the days and times the poos had been discovered.
But they needed more to go on if they were going to flush her out.
Days later came poo number four, discovered by a different, unsuspecting, horrified gym member. The pool of suspects narrowed further still.
Soon after, poo number five.
It was all anyone could talk about.
People wondered: Who would do such a thing? Were they... unwell? The toilets were right beside the showers, so... unlikely. And, seriously, wouldn't you try to clean up if you had... an accident?
Maybe they were practising their squats and something slipped out, someone suggested.
Or perhaps it was a dirty protest. Maybe she was angry about the new timetable.
Personally, I didn't buy into either of those theories. I sat firmly in camp fetish.
At least two of the poos had been... deposited in peak hours. Lunch time classes were finishing up, and people were lining up for a quick shower before returning to the office.
It was my belief that the poo bandit got some kind of sick thrill from defecating in a busy public place. It was almost like they wanted to get caught.
The following week, that's exactly what happened.
The phantom pooer got brave, making the mistake of pooing while there was a line of people waiting for the showers. She exited the cubicle and a friend of mine went in.
There was a loud scream, before my friend ran back out.
"Did you just do that?" she yelled, disgusted, at the woman who'd just exited.
"I don't know what you're talking about," the woman replied calmly.
I don't know what someone who poos in showers typically looks like - but this woman was not what I expected. She was in her 30s, attractive, with a mane of long, dark hair. I noticed she had a suit hanging in her locker and her handbag was designer.
She looked so normal, so innocent, I almost believed her. But the evidence was there for all to see - and smell. She was reported to the manager and banned from the club.
The next day, I was told, she called back and admitted it'd been her who caused the stink.
So, yes. You might laugh at the Brisbane poo jogger (who has since, by the way, resigned from Aveo). His antics may amuse you. But pooing in public is no joke when it's your space that's been invaded.