The Underbelly of Central: The 700’s Hall

The Underbelly of Central: The 700s Hall

Jack Ramu

The dank scent of old urine. Unflushed toilets. Wads of paper towels stuck to the walls, the ceiling, the mirrors. Whether you know it as the Spanish Hall, the Language Hall, or the 700’s hall, one thing is for certain: that place is untouchable by God. 

For those of you unfamiliar with the place, allow me to paint a picture. You close your fist around the cold door handle and give it a hard yank. The first thing that hits you is the smell, like a janitorial closet tinged with cotton candy. You walk past the doors quickly for fear of being noticed by one of the teachers inside. Your feet couldn’t be louder as they pound the hard off-white tile. You begin to get nervous. You know what’s coming next. You blink over and over to clear your head as your breathing becomes labored. You pass the language lab, and nearly run into the orange cone next to the water fountain. Your foot hits a puddle, which despite being right there, the cone does not cover. Now the bottom of your pants are wet. Tears well up in your eyes, you just want to go home, but the urges of your bladder say otherwise. You swing into the mens room, completely disregarding the anti-vaping posters falling off the walls near the lip of the doorway. The stench is so much stronger here. If you were to shut your eyes, you could imagine you were in a sewer under New York city. But you don’t dare close your eyes. That would run the risk of stepping into a pile of feces left on the ground. A group of teenage boys crowd around the urinal, and there is no chance of penetrating the wall formed by their nicotine addiction. You opt to use the stall instead. It was a mistake, and you instantly cringe when the door swings open. The toilet water is a disgusting yellow-brown and an empty bottle of Mountain Dew floats on top. The stench is at its peak here, completely masking the fruity tinge of Juul. You try to back out of the stall but find that your foot has been caught in a wad of wet toilet paper. Physically shaking, you thrust your foot about in the air as an attempt to get it off. You finally escape that stall, but you still have the human urge to relieve yourself. You move to the only stall left, the handicap stall. Stupidly, you forgot to look down, and your foot splashes in something wet. Oh God, please let that be water you think even though you know what the substance actually is. God cannot help you here, and no such water smells so musty as this. The entire back corner has been flooded by the urine, and figuring it’s too late to keep your feet dry anyways, you plunge into the second stall. The first thing you check is the toilet: it’s filled with cloudy brown human waste. Thankfully there are no discarded soda cans, so you kick up a foot to flush the toilet. Down it goes, and little droplets of used water fly out and paint your shirt with slightly darker spots. While it flushes, you consider whether you should breathe through your mouth or your nose. Breathing through your nose means you have to smell the repulsive odors, but breathing through your mouth essentially means you’re eating it. This thought makes you gag. You quickly unzip your pants and do your business. You flush the toilet with your foot again and tiptoe across the pee covered tiles towards the sink. Despite the ordeal feeling like it took hours, in reality it was only about 45 seconds, and the wall of flash drive addicted sophomores are still there. One offers you a hit of the communal juul, and you refuse, vigorously shaking your head. Another blows a puff of pomegranate scented vapor into your face. You hold your nose and cough, continuing to the sink. It’s not much better than the smell of excrement. You furiously press the soap dispenser with the palm of your hand, but nothing comes out. You turn on the sink, plunge your hands in the freezing water, and do your best to scrub away the bathroom residue. With dripping hands, you make your exit, not even bothering to stick around for the hot air hand dryer. You finally escape the bathroom and exit through the doors opposite those you entered from. You breathe in fresh air as if you were a man stuck at the bottom of a lake, and one final thought hits you: you forgot to close your fly. There are too many people around for you to discreetly reach towards your crotch, so instead you yank down your shirt and make a mental note to do it later. For now you relish in the freedom of the sun’s warm rays cascading over your face. 

It sounds like a nightmare, but all of Central’s students have lived some sort of variation of this tale. The 700’s hallway is revered as the hub of vaping for the school, especially in the men’s room. The reason for this is because there are no male teachers in the hall. It is nearly impossible to catch the vapers when the authority figures of the hall are not permitted to enter the mens room. Rather than turning this article into an anti-vaping speech, let’s continue to discuss the horrors of the hallway. 

Aside from the treacherous bathrooms, the hallway has one more feature: The Language Lab. In this room, students are assigned to specific desks and trays descend from the ceiling containing headphones. Once the headphones are put on, the teacher can randomly assign partners throughout the room to converse in whatever language the class is studying. Many students describe this experience as being unreal. “Bruh, the language lab is a pocket dimension I swear,” said sophomore Dylan Park. The sheer nature of the secluded room makes it feel as though the place does not actually exist. Others compare it to air travel. “It’s like when you’re on an airplane, and they show that safety video,” says one student who chose to remain anonymous out of fear. “It’s like the part where the yellow masks come out from the roof and you think, oh God, I’m gonna die.” 

The 700’s Hall has one more slightly less significant, but still horrible, feature. The water fountain near the staff bathrooms is, to put it simply, cursed. Not as in cursed by a spirit, but as in cursed like you do not want to look at it. Why does it rotate? Why does the water come out cloudy? Why does there always seem to be a sticky puddle underneath? At this point, it may as well be spewing out fresh urine. Most students avoid this water fountain like the plague, which is probably what you would get if you drank from it. 

So yes, the 700’s Hall may be the second worst thing next to Chernobyl, but it can be argued that it is the defining feature of Central. What would this school be without the reek of sewage coming from the grates on east campus? Could we even call ourselves a Forsyth County school if we didn’t use 1-ply toilet paper? What would set us apart from North or West if we didn’t have this repulsive hallway? Almost every student who passes through Central will have at least one class in this hall. We wouldn’t be the same without it.