Code Brown: The Small Office Bathroom Stench Warning System

m 1+ points - Newb

Being a member of a small office (four men, three women) has advantages and disadvantages. I really like the camaraderie of a small crew -- it feels more like family. However, problems tend to arise when you have four strapping "high volume" male defecators competing for the use of a VERY small men's room that is located right in the middle of the office. Our restroom is about the size of a hall closet. Yikes!

All of us tend to hit our sweet spot at around the same time each morning, which makes for some interesting battles to be "first in" to the shitter. Nobody wants sloppy seconds in the restroom; but it is a given that you will, on occasion, have to endure the stench of the first man's bowels. Also, it's downright disturbing when you sit on a toilet seat that has been pre-warmed by another man's ass. Not that I'm homophobic or anything -- but it just feels wrong.

In order to create a more orderly, more organized method for shitting, we had to devise some ground rules. We call the system Code Brown.

The first step to dealing with a poop-related issue of this magnitude was to eliminate any Shameful Shitters (e.g. my boss). By openly discussing "the shitter problem," we eventually brought him out of the closet and into the realm of proud poopers, willing to work out a sane solution.

We couldn't realistically come up with a designated order for shitting, so we decided that if you used the restroom for poop, you were honor-bound to issue a Code Brown e-mail alert to all other men in the office. This would let everyone know to avoid The Sanctuary for five to ten minutes to let the fan clear out the air and let the seat return to normal ambient room temperature. This way you never had to endure "shitty face" -- that look you get when you walk head-on into a freshly-soiled restroom.

This was how it all started out. Then we started to expand on the Code Brown foundation. We started including details (sometimes grisly) in the emails we sent out about the shits we took. We also began to give an Estimated Time Needed for the restroom to clear out. Here's an example:


TO: Office

FROM: Thomas

SUBJECT: r/e: Code Brown


HEAVY Code Brown... give it 15 solid minutes.

Mexican food and beer from last night evident. Corn noted. Possible side-splatter a danger.


After the Code Brown system had been in effect for a while, we started having even more fun with the system. The men in the office started taking it for granted that an alert would be issued for all shitbreaks. I would then sometimes make "stealth runs" right before someone else's regular shitting time while intentionally neglecting to issue the standard advisory. Watching one of the other fellows walk completely unprepared into a faceful of warm, greasy shitcloud was PRICELESS. Sometimes they would stumble back out like they just hit a brick wall, sputtering and gagging. Such was the effectiveness of the Code Brown system -- it had caused normal olfactory defense mechanisms to grow atrophied!

We started keeping records, too. One guy holds the current "longest poo" mark at an (estimated) eighteen inches. There have been longer shits, but it only counts if the loaf remains unbroken. There was a great inner-office debate about the so-called Broken Log Rule. See what happens when every man in the office becomes a Shameless Shitter?

We also came up with some variants to the "classic" Code Brown:

Double Brown. When you just absolutely CANNOT wait for the restroom to clear out before you go take a shit. Instead of just dealing with a single stench, you create a Satan's potpourri of TWO men's horrific stenches layered one upon the other -- drastically increasing the danger for future users. It is standard courtesy to send a Double Brown alert immediately afterwards, as the "clear time" will be double what a regular Code Brown would be. Also, you must respect the man who had to bite the bullet and bask in another man's filth while creating his own... it takes guts.

Triple Brown. Almost unheard of, but not unthinkable. When a Double Browning has just occurred, and you just have no choice but to go -- dire cramping, for instance -- you just have to throw yourself under the bus and do it. A Triple Brown is considered to be the hat trick of the office. You can only feel abject pity for the poor bastard who is "pulling the trifecta". Out of respect for him, and for general safety reasons, one would normally give a Triple Brown forty-five minutes of solid fan time to clear out. The stuff of legends, I can count on one hand the amount of Triple Brownings that have occurred on my watch.

Quadruple Brown (aka The Fourth Horseman or Quad-fecta). Even merely typing this term brings shivers to my spine. This apocalyptic event has occurred only ONE time I can recall in three years. Three of the four of us guys were deathly ill at the time, which did not help the smell factor one bit. Obviously, a Quadruple Brown involves FOUR men shitting one right after the other in succession. A virtual festival of shit. Words cannot describe the horror of such an event. The restroom is summarily closed for the rest of the afternoon as an act of mourning (two to three hours of clear time).

The Brown Lady (or The Forbidden Poo). One can sometimes avoid the perils of a Double Brown by sneaking a trip to the women's restroom do your dirty business. This is both hazardous and uncomfortable. Hazardous, as one of the co-owners of my company is a woman, and she doesn't like it when menfolk pollute "her" bathroom. Uncomfortable, as it's a women's restroom, with no magazines or ephemera, and smelling of perfumes and feminine protection. One can't help but feel "off" when dropping a huge load in the female toilet. Still, if you do it, it's considered a "score," and worthy of praise. For one: you saved the spoiling of the men's restroom, leaving it clear for the next man-shitter. For another: you caused an amusing stink for one of the ladies to unexpectedly walk into -- and since none of them are Shameless Shitters, they will never mention it aloud! It's like a victimless crime!

A wacky joke to play on someone attempting a Brown Lady is to wait until you figure the victim is just getting comfy and ready to poop. Hopefully, he will be half-logged or turtle-poking and unable to abort. You run up and bang on the door and whisper loudly, "The boss is back, the boss is back!" Nobody with an ounce of self-preservation instinct wants to get caught by our (female) boss in the act of defiling HER sanctuary. The victim will try and abort, even in mid-loaf, to escape being caught in the women's room. Of course, when they find out you were fooling around, they get rather pissed off -- but that's part of the fun. You know you've done it right when they have to immediately go to the men's room to finish things. That is indicative of a mid-loaf cutoff -- the ultimate in shame and discomfort. Score!

* * *

We've really built some excellent traditions around shit here in our office. However, we still (on occasion) forget to issue an alert. If you see another man headed into the restroom that you've recently despoiled, and you had forgotten to send the Code Brown Alert, it is common courtesy to call him to a halt immediately and give the Universal Sign -- a simple shaking of the head "no" -- which is understood to mean, "I forgot to send the alert. My bad; wait a few minutes, please."

It's all about honor and respect, really.

52 Comments on "Code Brown: The Small Office Bathroom Stench Warning System"

Loaf Maesto's picture

Not a bad story.

the frequent farter's picture

Great story.

18" Record Holder's picture

"Pit" was so infatuated by your story that he has failed to issue the alert. Uncommon as he usually boasts of the lengthy "clearance time".

Marcos's picture

that was a good read, I work in an office building so i can kinda relate to that, he only have 2 stalls for shitters but god damn every time I walk in there it smells like someone slaughterd 1000 goats in the dry desert heat.
Then some genious spreys the glade and the smell of shit gets replaced by the smell of fruity shit.

i have no time to edit for typos as I have to run to the lav as we speak

Logjam's picture
Comment Quality Moderatori 2000+ points

This will be a PoopReport classic. Workers in small offices all over the US will, within a few weeks, be trying to implement versions of the Code Brown warning system. I just sent a copy to a lawyer friend, and I have no question that this will be circulated and implemented at his firm. It's a shameless shitting enabler. Thanks, and please tell more. Would you be willing to do workshops?


Pill Pooper's picture
PoopReport of the Year Awardk 500+ points

Great story.. I also work in an office and know the pain of walking into a bathroom that has just been defiled. Although I don't shit at work, I still must deal with the aftermath of someone who has.

-Pill Pooper

millage's picture

awesome story loved every minute of it while on the toilet using the labtop taking a crap

Di Uhreea's picture
Comment Quality Moderatorl 100+ points

Brilliant system! Your detailed explanation was very good. I do hope other people read this and incorporate this in to their own office practices.

"Quadruple Brown (aka The Fourth Horseman or Quad-fecta). Even merely typing this term brings shivers to my spine...."
Fucking hilarious!

thepoopman's picture

One of the best stories I have read. I always love to hear about shit related concepts.

The Shit Volcano's picture
Comment Quality Moderatorh 3000+ points

Oh, that's great! Have you ever had a quintuple event. A category five poop storm?

I found Jesus! He was behind the sofa the whole time!

Thomas of Denver's picture

I've always been pretty open regarding #2...I am lucky to be in an office where my fellow males are not only Proud Poopers, but hell, they get all elaborate with their shit (pun intended)...

If there was EVER any last vestiges of "proper decorum" amongst us, they long since vanished in a brown haze of "innapropriate" humor.

This was made crystal clear the other day when one of my poop-mates came running to my desk after a good Code Brown.

"A rattlesnake! A rattlesnake!" he proudly proclaimed.

Apparently a "rattlesnake" is when, by sheer length, a poop curls around and around the bowl, with the "rectum end" left pointing up and out of the water like some kind of python-head. Classic!

P.S. Thanks for the feedback fellow Poo-masters...I feel the Code Brown system speaks it's truth to all walks of life.

Thomas of Denver's picture

To answer a couple questions:

1. (to Shit Volcano) We have not had a Quintuple Brown (or Five-Banger). It is hard to even consider as we only have four males in the office. A visiting Pooper would have to come into the mix...God pity him if so.

2. (To Marcos) I also hate the smell of fruity shit. With proper use of Code Brown, the fan does all the work, leaving a nice "clean" smell after the allotted "clear time" designated by the Pooper. Say NO to Glade!!

3. (To Logjam) I can verify that my brother's workplace (in Idaho) did verily adapt the Code Brown system to fit their office. It's a universal system that can be tweaked to any office shit-uation...

DungDaddy's picture
Comment Quality Moderatorj 1000+ points

See? See how poop can bring people together? This isn't a very FUNNY story, but it is the BEST overall one I have seen so far. The world needs more copooperation.

Perry Stalsis's picture

Great system. A couple of points;
1) Why do you think the stench of perfume is so intense in the ladies room? Answer is obvious.
2) Your boss underwent a sex change at some point in the story. In the 4th paragraph it's a "he", but becomes a "she" in the description of the Brown Lady. Whatup?

Thomas of Denver's picture

To Perry...we have TWO bosses. One is a male, and one is a female. They are co-owners of our company...Both are cool, but the female boss is quite territorial about her Poop Room.

P.S. You don't need perfume if you use Code Brown. I recommend the ladies become Proud Poopers and avoid the sick-sweet tang of fruity shit.

Perry Stalsis's picture

Thanks, Thomas. That's the scenario I had figured out AFTER I flushed my post. My bad.
Now, to the ladies; do you think Code Brown could work for the ladies' room? For the system to work, it needs support...or would it just be easier (and less Shameful) to keep spraying perfume than to send out a Nasty Dump Alert?

Perry Stalsis's picture

or should I say "easier and less Shame-inducing..."

Slim Jim Junkie's picture

After 2+ weeks of disappionting poopreports, this is something that finally made it difficult to disguise my laughter from neighbors.

Anyway, exceeding 5 in that office could happen if for some reason the ladie's room was screwed up beyond repair.

The opposite could cause a herd of brown ladies.

tronald dump's picture

This story was fucking helarius!

Thick 'n' Sticky's picture

As far as the Glade goes, Preach On Brother! The only thing "Forest Scent" Glade accomplishes is to make it smell like somebody shat a pine tree. Where I work, we have this "scent neutralizer" we're supposed spray afterwords. It doesn't really scent the air at all. It actually does attenuate the smell somewhat. The smell isn't completely removed but it does help with the "OH DEAR GOD! Whoever was in here last musta had something crawl up his asshole and DIE in there!" factor.

Which is a pity because I've left Glade Fecal Trees to be proud of. Nonetheless, I'm sometimes able to leave an artistic swirl around the drain for the next few occupants to enjoy.

On the subject of Copro Codes Of Honor, I once worked at a place where the parts guy posted a checklist of bathroom etiquette. It included gems like "Don't be afraid to take the plunge." I wish I had a copy, it was a riot. Unfortunately I worked with some rude rednecks who made such an explicit statement of elimination ediquette necessary.

Scatalogique's picture

"Satan's potpourri"! That's got to be the best image I've ever read in a PoopReport. Thanks for this truly hilarious read, T of D. I agree that it is destined to be a PR classic.

Long and Pointy's picture
m 1+ points - Newb

Absolutely brilliant.

You have set the standard. "Quad-fecta." Where do you come up with this stuff?

We want to hear more from you, mister. And, by the way, is it possible that the ladies have their own code brown and you're just not in the loop?

Tronald Dump's picture

Who borrowed my name for the "heliarius" comment"?

Code Brown: no comment.

Chuck's picture

Perhaps the ladies room code brown could be adapted to pastel colors or tones. Taupe, sandstone, desert tan, etc. are colors on this Sherwin Williams paint chart next to me.

wonderpance's picture
Comment Quality Moderatork 500+ points

i think all places, including one's home, should adopt this system. how nice would it be to never have to enter a stinky bathroom? alas, too many people would be far too embarrassed or ashamed to admit that they just dropped a stinker. which is silly, cuz wouldn't you rather tell someone you stunk up the b-room so they can wait until it's not so stinky, than have someone go in there without warning and be struck by the horrid smell and then make the connection that you were the one who did it? i would.

regarding the matter of stinky ladies' rooms, i don't know if i just pick the right b-rooms or right times to go, but i've only encountered unbarable stinkiness a handful of times. of course, i'm not saying that women don't poop as much, or don't have stinky poop. but perhaps women tend to be more shameful, and, therefore, are more prone to homefield shitting. but, like i said, i could just be lucky in my consistent avoidance of the stinky b-room, and am ignorant to the truly vile nature of most ladies' rooms.

i love poop.

The Shit Volcano's picture
Comment Quality Moderatorh 3000+ points

It occurred to me that you could have a quintuple event if all four guys in the office took a stinking dump and then one guy went back for "seconds" immediately after the fact.

I found Jesus! He was behind the sofa the whole time!

will's picture

my cousin, (whom I work with) and I (both female) have a shitting code of our own - just so you know ladies are in on this.

Slim Jim Junkie's picture

Will, it would really rock if you could join us in the forums to tell us about it.

Duke E. Mann's picture
m 1+ points - Newb

I must say that this is one of the better poop stories that I have read. It was well written and very funny in some repsects, but more importantly it deals with a subject familiar to all of us (sharing a bathroom). I suspect that many of us have used some sort of informal warning system when dealing with fellow employees, but Thomas has it worked out to a formal system, and for that I applaud him. Good writing.

tronald dump's picture

Ticked you off, didn't it?

Great White's picture
m 1+ points - Newb

In our (Japanese) office, whatwith our (Japanese) culture of shame, all of us of the fairer sex are nothing if not shameful. Should someone walk into the restroom as we are mid-dump, we have no choice but to pull out reading material and wait for that person to pee, wash up and leave. Under no circumstances would we speak or otherwise identify ourselves. God forbid the second person has also come in to curl one out. Then we both must sit there, occasionally flushing or jiggling the toilet paper roll to hint that we might be finishing up, for the rest of the day. The truly brave ones among us--those that say, have a meeting or actual work to do--will pull the old 'flush & run' maneuver, a speed-of-light exit from the stall, quick rinse of the hands, Ben-Johnson-worthy sprint into the hall, followed by a deceptively casual stroll back to one's desk.

Or, you know, we just go to a different floor, lay cable shamelessly, and return to work.

purplepoo's picture

I worked for a school with 50 bus drivers and the brown haze near the breakroom after routes was gargantuate. It was a plethoria of knowing without asking what each person had for breakfast that morning

Shamless pooer's picture

I've got a similar situation at my office. 6 guys sharing 1 bathroom (like a standard residential bathroom, 1 sink, 1 crapper, no stall). On the wall outside the bathroom is a black box with a numericla display on the front and 2 buttons on the top. The 1st button starts a 5 minute countdown on the display, the 2nd button (you'd call it the "double brown button" doubles the time on the display, fur use in a "double brown" situation, or for a particularly smelly deuce. It is customary to hit the 5 minute countdown button upon exiting the shithouse after doing "God's work".

Biff Strongsuk's picture

The thing that gives me the creeps isn't the odor but the fact people can hear my bowel movements. It is very embarassing. I usually turn the water on when I take a crap. Am I the only one?

Mike's picture
m 1+ points - Newb

Great read. We need a large office warning system, too. I've hit that brick wall so many times it ain't funny, but what do you do when you don't know half the people at work?

Herpes in Oz's picture

Absolute Gold stuff there. Even Caspian Dot
We will have to start up such a system - maybe even more complicated to actually describe the Shit as well as the above number system

Iman A. Hole's picture

ROFLMAO. Hopefully you have been shopping @ CostCo and got the multi pack of Oust on hand! But there is one flaw.. I hope like hell the e-mail server doesn't go down! Now to be really in tune with your turd, everyone needs a phone for instant text updates (code brown is all clear, situation is niner-niner) photo capabilities (for sharing those Kodak moments after salad consumption) and in case of asphyxiation, a quick 911 with GPS locating enabled, while warning the rescue personell to wear breathing apparatus, and bring bio hazard waste back up.

REPRO's picture

I work in a reprographics company. In it's employ are 7 males on the "business end" so to speak of hte business. There are of course two bathrooms, however, one delagted to "WOMEN" and the other to "MEN" Ironically, there are no women in the employ of this department.

Neccesity is the mother of invention cannot ring any truer then with our situation.

A silent unagreed upon methodology has arrisen to forwarn all other male coworkers about the potential hazards that await you upon entering the restroom.

Upon excreting a rather foul and obnxious load, that in all likelyhood would choke an elephant, one is to exit the commode and in the loudest and most obnoxious means possible exclaim. "that'll choke a donkey". After said exclamation the door is left slightly ajar allowing the ventilation fan to do it's duty.

Anonymous Coward's picture

Funny, we used Code Brown in the hospital. A nurse would use this term to try to gather other nurses to help them clean up a gigantic mess under a patient.

Poop Shooter's picture
k 500+ points

This is classic Poop Report. Informative, educational, funny, scarry, and worthy of another front page post in my opinion (which is not worth much)

Poop Shooter!

Poop Shooter!

born again pooper's picture

you know what gentlemen? today I became a proud pooper, a shameless shitter. This story has changed my life. The only thing you should feel shame about is letting the next guy know exactly how bad your shit stinks. Which is more embarrassing, being applauded by the shameless for your compassion and bravery in the face of shit while the shameful repress the memory, or being confronted by the concerned victim of a chemical/biological weapon attack inquiring as to the last time you've seen a doctor, the last time you had a female companion, or worse informing you of their fecal fantasies

oh btw - The US govt spent millions developing US General Bathroom Malodor, look it up. And you thought your shit stank...

The Dumpster's picture
i 2000+ points

At the law school where I teach, "Professor Phew" has had his gall bladder removed. If you want to know what that does to your shits, there is no better description than that found right here on PR, under the timeless classic This Is Not A Phone Booth.

Anyway, we've developed almost the identical system to warn other male teachers when Prof. Phew is spied heading to the faculty men's room. A "Code Brown" email goes around to those in the loop. There are a few SOB's we just let fend for themselves, as well as the students on the occasions Mt. Phew erupts in one of the general restrooms.

Prof. Dumpster, in the interests of research, actually got brave enough to follow Phew into the can one time and tape record the sound effects. Wish I knew how to post them to a .wav file or something, because they are indescribeably nasty.

Bigassman's picture
m 1+ points - Newb

your office bathroom neeeds to be bigger 4 Stalls and 4 urnales

Shit shit and shit

Breezyseat's picture

Hello, I have the solution to the stinky office bathroom. Simply install the deodorizing toilet seat breezyseat. And suffer no more.

sittingpretty's picture
Comment Quality Moderatori 2000+ points

Or a smelly cat...
...And their flesh like dung. Zeph. 1:17

...And their flesh like dung. Zeph. 1:17

Bilgepump's picture
Comment Quality Moderatorh 3000+ points

I've had several of those, SP.

The proper order is kiss me, then go smell the other dog or cat's butt. I cannot stress this enough.

"One of the founding members of the Front Page Hyena Pack, and runs as its alpha male when the urge strikes him, which is often." Daphne (one perceptive chick)

ChiliKahKah's picture
j 1000+ points

Lt Kalley: Col, Did you order the Code Brown

Col Jessup: You are Dam right I ordered the Code Brown !

elevator no go to top's picture

Ever been to a large construction site in dead middle of a raging ass hot mother'effn summer and go to the blue lagoon ( porta can ) and finda menagerie of fecal freakism beyond words. Sort of like Richard Dreyfess in Close Encounters when he builds devil's mountain out of mashed potatos...... but using poop and rough asswipe paper instead. What magnificent colors and with the blue lagoon at low tide so full of unbelieveable.

meowpoo's picture
m 1+ points - Newb

cool!you could become famous for that. not very likely. -- may the poo be with you. hey,that rhymes!

-- what smells? shit!

1969 Poop de Ville's picture
m 1+ points - Newb

This is the most hilarious thing I have read on fact, it is the reason I became a proud member of this fine institution!
This essay is alive with the anxiety of having to go #2 in an office setting. The humor is grand and Code Brown itself is brilliant. Great writing, too.
Thanks for the laughs!

Post new comment

  • Allowed HTML tags: s:62:"<em> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <br>";
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

More information about formatting options

This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
Enter the characters shown in the image.
To prevent automated spam submissions leave this field empty.