Frederick M. Hueston, PhD

Now, based on the title of this month’s article you’re probably thinking this must be about a urine stain on a stone floor. While that is a common problem in bathrooms visited by men with poor aim, that’s not the case here. Read on to find out.

I was again having a cup of joe at my local greasy spoon when a guy I hadn’t seen in there before came running out of the restroom complaining that there was no toilet paper in the stalls. Flo just looked at him and gave him the OK sign. He sat down and didn’t say a word. Little did I know that incident would help me solve my next case. 

Almost at the same time as the guy sat back down, my phone rang. The voice on the other end had a familiar-sounding deep voice, and I thought someone was pranking me with a call from James Earl Jones. Any minute I was expecting him to ask me to Join the Dark Side. Instead, he went on to describe a peculiar stain he had in the men’s room of the hotel he managed. He told me they had no idea where the stain was coming from, et cetera, et cetera, and can you please help! 

I asked him where the stain was, expecting for him to say the floor, but he said it was on the wall above the urinals. I asked him if he could send me a photo, in the hopes I could solve it over the phone. He did send me one (see the pic at right), but he also insisted that I come take a look at it. Well, who am I to argue about getting paid for a consult and a trip to Las Vegas. That’s right – Las Vegas, baby, my home away from home, and where I do my yearly inspection and troubleshooting seminar. (I know – that’s a shameless plug.)

I finished my cup of joe and a last bite of my sausage and eggs and was off to my office to make travel arrangements for the next day.

I woke up early since I had a 6 a.m. flight and the airport was an hour away. Thank goodness I know the procedure for getting a pre-check boarding pass. I jumped in the shower, dressed and hopped in the Woody for my ride to the airport. 

I arrived at the airport with plenty of time to spare, but could not find a parking space, so I circled through the parking garage for almost half an hour until I spotted someone pulling out, and raced over to get the spot. 

I ran to TSA check in and thank goodness, the pre-check line was short. I was on my way to LV. 

I got on the plane, and to my amazement, a group of senior citizens were throwing pillows around the coach section like a bunch of teenagers! I always laugh about how flights to Las Vegas are joyful and people are excited, while the flights back are much quieter, with hung-over passengers, and those who lost a bunch of money.

I finally arrived in LV after a long five-hour flight. I got off the plane, headed to my rental car, and was off to the hotel.

When I went to check in, the clerk saw who I was and called Mr. Jones. Within a minute he greeted me and asked me to follow him. I kid you not, he looked just like James Earl Jones. As he led me through the hotel lobby pasts all the slot machines, I just couldn’t help myself. I asked him if anyone mistook him for that famous celebrity and voice. He just shook his head, turned around, looked me straight in the eye and said, “Mr. Stone Detective: I am not your father.”

I guess that answered my question!

Mystery stains solved. Contact me for a poultice solution if you need to remove stains like these on marble.

Mystery stains solved. Contact me for a poultice solution if you need to remove stains like these on marble.

He led me to the lobby men’s restroom, where there were about 20 urinals. The restroom was covered in marble from the floors and up the walls. He stood in the middle of the room and pointed to the urinals. Almost all of them had this strange spot a few feet above the urinals. I looked at the spots, and just then a drunk gentleman came weaving in. He staggered over to one of the urinals to relieve himself and then I saw where the marks where coming from. No, he wasn’t playing fireman. He was so intoxicated, he rested his forehead on the cool marble wall. I looked at Mr. Jones, pointed to the happy drunk and did not say a word. He looked surprised and then asked me for a method to remove the stains. 

Another case solved. (In case you didn’t get it, the oils from men’s foreheads were soaking into the stone.)

The Stone Detective is a fictional character created by Dr. Frederick M. Hueston, PhD, written to be entertaining and educational. Dr. Fred has written over 33 books on stone and tile installations, fabrication and restoration and also serves as an expert for many legal cases across the world. Send your comments to Dr. Fred at