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Re: Upcoming Restroom Changes

Nicky Drayden is a Systems Analyst who dabbles in prose when she's not buried in code. She resides in Austin, Texas where being weird is highly encouraged, if not required. She's the author of over 40 published short stories and her debut novel The Prey of Gods, a fantastical near future thriller set in South Africa, is scheduled for release Summer 2017 from Harper Voyager. You can see more of her work at nickydrayden.com.

DATE: 3.18923 of the Galactic Equinox 7B
TO: All GalactiCorp Employees and Contractors stationed within Grid Sectors 12-Alpha through 543-Omega
FROM: Garthrook Fivebody, GalactiCorp Employee Relations
RE: Upcoming Restroom Changes

Dear GalactiCorp Family:
It has come to our attention that some of you have expressed concern over the recent GalactiCorp policy to allow Tramladorites into restrooms previously designated for humanoid use only. We feel that these misgivings are due to a matter of lack of information, or unfortunately in some cases, the willful spread of misinformation. Over the following weeks, you may notice a few small modifications to our restroom facilities to accommodate the Tramladorites' unique physiology, but we maintain that these changes have been well thought out, and are designed to make this transition as seamless as possible. In fact, they're as simple as 1, 2, 3!
#1 - Adjustable Titanium Alloy Boots.
While it is true that the urinary glands of the Tramladorites are carnivorous and territorial by nature, there are very few instances in which they have been known to attack unprovoked. By now, we've all seen the infamous anit-Tramladorite propaganda holo-vids, but we assure you that most urinary glands do not reach this size or level of aggression, and it is now customary that male Tramladorites file their gland's fangs down to nubs. The female glands are docile in comparison, and generally never exceed one meter in length.
It was cost-prohibitive to install floor-to-ceiling walls thick enough to thwart a full-on blow by an aggravated gland in all of our facilities. However, for your protection and peace of mind, we will be anchoring thigh-high titanium alloy boots in front of each toilet. These adjustable boots offer a full range of motion for your evacuatory needs, and are capable of withstanding 1500 kilos of force per square centimeter in case a quarrelsome gland does happen to wander under your stall wall.
Also, please note, wearing the boots is mandatory, even if there are no Tramladorites in the facilities at the time. These boots were designed to also function as safety braces, since unforeseen circumstances have required us to amplify the suction flow of the toilets by three hundred fifty percent.
#2 - Emergency Mauling Wands.
On occasion, Tramladorite fecal matter may escape the forces of the suction flow and crawl out of the toilet. Our experiments with further increasing the suction to reduce this occurrence only resulted in an unacceptable rate of loss of life and limb for humanoid users.
Immediately upon entering the facility, we ask that you thoroughly examine the area for fist-sized balls with light brown fur. They appear similar to a kiwi fruit or small quiak'lem melon, and can often be found cowering in dark places. If you encounter such an emanation, do not touch it, and no matter what, DO NOT engage it in conversation.
Tramladorite mauling wands have already been installed in each restroom facility. It is a good idea to familiarize yourself with the instruction manual now, so you're not caught with your pants down--both literally and figuratively--when the situation arises. If you feel you are physically or emotionally unable to wield the proper deathblow, please ring for an escort before entering the restroom. REMEMBER... these emanations are NOT sentient. They only project the semblance of sentience. And despite their trembling, tear-filled pleas for mercy and desperate prayers to their gods, you should take no more concern over flushing them than the errant fecal remains extruded by someone of your own species.
#3 - Temporal Shielding Aprons.
Most Tramladorites are bound by the Galactic Rhythm, and must manually express their temporal bile ducts once every 43.7 days. When the Rhythm falls during your shift, temporal shielding aprons will be made available to you in an assortment of pleasing colors and patterns. While our legal department has informed us that it is impossible to guarantee that these aprons will prevent your atoms from becoming entangled within the expanse of a Chrono-Synclastic Infundibulum, we can say that they do make it "reasonably safe" for you to enter the facilities.
The passing of temporal bile only takes a few minutes. However, to observers beyond the grips of the event horizon, it will seem as if the Tramladorite has been mercilessly toiling in the stall for hours or even days. In all likelihood, this will translate to overlapping time dimensions and extremely long queues.
If you find that you are waiting in line with past or future versions of yourself, idle chitchat is permissible. Contrary to popular belief, the universe will not implode if you engage in physical contact with yourself, though you may suffer minor bowel discomfort across the entirety of the plane of your existence. Contract employees must refrain from discussing work-related matters with any versions of themselves, as there is not yet an appropriate billing code for this in the payroll system.
We recognize that to a select few, these adjustments we are asking you to make may seem excessive, or may incite fears of the unknown, but in time, it is our hope that the blood-thirsty howls of Tramladorite urinary glands will seem commonplace within our restroom facilities, and that someday, we'll all wonder what the big fuss was about.
Thank you,
Garthrook Fivebody, on behalf of GalactiCorp Management
The End
This story was first published on Tuesday, October 25th, 2016

Author Comments

This story was inspired by a dream. A weird dream. The less said, the better.

- Nicky Drayden
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