As the day wore on, Maude found herself in the undesirable predicament of fielding all sorts of complaints and inquiries regarding the Toilet Killer. Many of them were even delivered in person.
“Yo, I don’t want to alarm you, but I’m ninety-nine percent sure that the Toilet Killer is my boy Reggie.”
Maude studied the face of the man seated next to her desk. He was over thirty, yet still wore a backwards baseball cap. He wore a basketball jersey over a pair of faded jeans. Also, for some inexplicable reason, he spoke like he was some kind of white rapper.
“And why do you think that, sir?” Maude asked.
“Yo, because my boy Reggie hates it when someone rolls up in his crib and takes a shit in his toilet, boo,” the white rapper said.
“I’m not your boo, young man,” Maude said.
“That’s cool,” the white rapper said. “One day I was all like, workin’ on my beats, tryin’ to get a demo together so I can become the next Stank Daddy when all of a sudden I hear Reggie yellin’ at a dude for shittin’ in his toilet.”
“Perhaps this Reggie character just likes a clean toilet,” Maude said.
“Yeah, but check it,” the white rapper said. “This one time, my boy Mikey took a shit in Reggie’s toilet and Reggie was all like, ‘Yo man, if you ever shit in my toilet again I’m gonna bust a cap in you ass, G.”
“And so you theorize this Reggie fellow is running around killing people who shit?” Maude said.
The white rapper tapped the side of his head. “Now you thinkin,’ Grandma. I think that Reggie is out there like, tryin’ to kill everyone who shits so they won’t like, come back to his crib and shit in his toilet because Reggie don’t like it when he’s got a stinky ass toilet, ya heard?”
Maude passed the white rapper a form. “Fill out this police report and return it when you can.”
“OK,” the white rapper said. “Yo, are you all like, gonna arrest Reggie and shit?”
“Our diligent police force will look into the matter and take it from there,” Maude said.
“Cool yo,” the white rapper said. “Shit, I don’t wanna rat on my boy but I don’t want no more peeps gettin’ killed for shittin’ yo.”
The white rapper walked away. Maude shook her head in disgust as she looked out at the sea of weirdos, dinguses, attention seekers and utter reprobates waiting to speak to someone about the Toilet Killer.
“Burt,” Maude said. “Can you field some of these dummies?”
Burt was too busy on the phone. “Uh huh…yeah…ok…no ma’am, I’m not a doctor but I really think it isn’t healthy for you to hold your shit in for so long. No…no…no I have no idea if it is possible to surgically remove a shit from your body to avoid sitting on the toilet….no…no…no I do not recommend trying to perform a surgery like that on yourself….ma’am, this is ridiculous…just….yes…uh huh….ma’am just go to the bathroom….no….no, of course I can’t guarantee your safety while you’re on the bowl but if you really feel like you need to go…”
Maude sighed. She turned her attention back to the sea of losers. “Next!”
A young woman with crazy eyes and a shiny red bow in her hair sat down in front of Maude’s desk. She carried a fluffy white cat that she allowed to sit on her lap.
“How may I help you?” Maude asked.
The young woman looked around the room in a paranoid manner, then turned to Maude. “My name is Melanie and I need to talk to you about the Toilet Killer everyone’s been talking about on TV.”
“Yes,” Maude said in a sarcastic manner. “Thank God for Network News One. They’re making our jobs so much easier around here.”
Melanie leaned in over Maude’s desk and whispered. “The killer is in this room.”
“He is?” Maude asked.
“Don’t be sexist!” Melanie snapped. “Women can be killers too.”
“You think the killer is a woman?” Maude asked.
“Yes!” Melanie whispered.
“And she’s in this room?” Maude asked.
“Yes,” Melanie said.
“OK,” Maude said as she looked around the room. “I’ll play along. Who is it?”
Melanie looked at Maude, then to her cat, then at Maude, then to her cat.
“Hon, I don’t get it,” Maude said. “What are you doing with your face there? Are you not feeling well?”
Melanie covered up the cat’s ears with her hands. “It’s Miss Kitty!”
“Pardon me?” Maude asked.
“Miss Kitty!” Melanie declared. “My cat is the Toilet Killer!”
“Ma’am,” Maude asked. “I’m sorry to ask this but do you have any issues with mental illness?”
“Me?” Melanie asked. “Why are you accusing me? I’m not the crazy one here. Miss Kitty is the one running around, scratching people to death because she wants a world where toilets are no more and litter boxes reign supreme!”
“Ma’am,” Maude said. “I really think you ought to go home, get some sleep, and then call a good psychiatrist first thing in the morning.”
“I know this sounds crazy,” Melanie said.
“It does,” Maude said. “It really does. That’s the first sane thing you’ve actually said.
“But it’s true,” Melanie said. “Miss Kitty has killed before and she will kill again! You must take me seriously.”
“We take everyone seriously,” Maude said as she handed Melanie a police report form. “Fill this out. Bring it back when you can.”
Melanie picked up Miss Kitty and handed her over to Maude. Maude refused to take the cat.
“Aren’t you going to arrest her right now?”
“No,” Maude said. “Just fill out that report and one of our officers will take it from there.”
Melanie put Miss Kitty back on her lap and covered the feline’s ears again. “So you’re just going to send me home with this monster?”
“I’m sorry,” Maude said. “But you know what the Constitution says. Miss Kitty is innocent until proven guilty.”
Melanie pounded her fist down on Maude’s desk. “Curse the Constitution’s oily hide!”
“OK then,” Maude said. “Bye bye.”
Miss Kitty meowed as Melanie stood up. “Come along, Miss Kitty. Looks like you get off once again on an arcane legal technicality!”
Maude sniffed up some extra oxygen through her nose tubes. “What a day.”
The old gal turned to Burt. He was on another call. “Uh huh…uh huh…yes, I understand what you’re saying sir but no, I have no way of telling you whether or not Russian spies have inserted explosive devices in every single toilet in America…uh huh…right…no I’m sorry but we can’t send an officer to your home to see whether or not there is a bomb in your toilet…well, why can’t you check? Uh huh….uh huh…well sir, when it comes to the subject of blowing up a toilet with a bomb, your knowledge and my knowledge are the same, so I’d say if you’ve taken a good look at your toilet and you don’t see any explosive devices, then you’re probably good to go…”
“It’s like every asshole in Florida with nothing better to do is converging on this place,” Maude said. “Next!”
Professor Lambert took a seat in front of Maude’s desk. “Good day, Madam.”
“Hello,” Maude said. “How may I help you?”
“My name is Professor Elliot Lambert. I hold multiple advanced degrees, the most relevant of which pertaining to this conversation are my doctorates in animal biology and animal physiology.”
Maude took a sip of coffee. “Son, can we speed this along?”
“I beg your pardon?” the professor asked.
“I’ve been taking reports all day,” Maude said. “One guy thinks aliens are putting micros coping devices in our food that makes our bodies explode when we go to the bathroom. One lady swears she saw Elvis in a bus station bathroom and thinks he might have something to do with this. Another guy, some dopey looking moron, was in here earlier saying that he thinks there’s a parallel universe where people die when they shit and somehow a tear in the fabric of the space-time continuum has caused our world to run into this one.”
“I’m sorry,” Professor Lambert said. “I suppose there a lot of unstable people out there.”
“Yeah,” Maude said. “So what’s your story? Nice lab coat get up you got there. You some kind of nerd who got lost on the way to the comic book convention, come here to get your jollies by wasting the police department’s time?”
“No Madam,” Professor Elliot said. “I am an esteemed Professor of Animal Biology at Sitwell Community College.”
“Now you’re losing me,” Maude said. “‘Esteemed’ and ‘Sitwell Community College’ are words that are rarely used in the same sentence.”
“Don’t I know it,” Professor Lambert said. “Madam, I assure you, I would not be taking up your time if I did not have something very important to tell you.”
Maude sighed. “You know what? You’ve convinced me there’s a slight chance you might be on the level. Go ahead. Tell me what’s up.”
“A toilet gator,” Professor Lambert said.
“A toilet what now?” Maude asked.
“An alligator,” Professor Lambert said. “As a scientist, it is my professional opinion that there is a carnivorous reptile of immense size, dwelling somewhere within the Floridian sewer system as we speak and using it as a subterranean highway. It chooses its victims careful, with cunning accuracy, charging upward through their toilets, grinding them to death with its razor sharp teeth, then retreating back into the sewer system, leaving the investigating authorities none the wiser.”
Maude quietly stared at the Professor for a few seconds until she finally handed him a form. “Here, fill out a report.”
“This is very important,” Professor Lambert said. “I need to speak to someone in charge immediately or more people will die.”
“It’s ok,” Maude said. “Just fill out this report and if one of our officers finds it credible we’ll put out an APB on this giant toilet lizard.”
Professor Lambert stared at Maude. “You’re scoffing at me.”
“No,” Maude said. “I’m required by law to take a report from every weirdo who wants to fill them out and I assure you, tax payer dollars will actually be used to pay the salary of a police officer to spend his time looking into whether or not your claim of a sewer dwelling crocodile is legitimate.”
“It’s not a crocodile,” Professor Lambert said. “It’s an alligator. Don’t be absurd.”
“Alright then, sir,” Maude said. “If there’s nothing else…”
Professor Lambert put his briefcase up on Maude’s desk, clacked it open, and handed the old gal a massive ream of paper. “There’s something else,” Professor Lambert said.
“What is this?” Maude asked.
“This is a copy an eight-hundred page treatise I wrote, detailing the ability of enormous, water dwelling animals and their ability to travel through sewer systems and up into toilets for the sole purpose of attacking the rear-end of an unsuspecting victim,” Professor Lambert said.
“Uh huh,” Maude said.
“I have traveled the world, Madam,” Professor Elliot said. “I have conducted extensive research on this issue and I have documented cases of toilet gators in the Nile Delta, China and Australia as well as a toilet shark in Guam, a toilet anaconda in Brazil, toilet beavers the Yukon and though my findings were never fully conclusive, I believe there was one case in India of a toilet killer whale.”
“Sir,” Maude said. “I really am doing my best to try to placate you into thinking that I’m taking you seriously but you’re making it awfully hard.”
The professor closed up his suitcase and stood up. “You leave me no choice but to contact the press.”
“You do that, sir,” Maude said. “The press loves a good freak show.”
“I don’t have to stand here and take this,” Professor Lambert said as he stormed off. “Good day!”
Maude took one look at the Professor’s massive treatise, then chucked it into her trash can. “Toilet gator. You believe that Burt. Burt?”
Burt was too busy on the phone. “No Ma’am…I do not believe your toilet is haunted by a poltergeist.”