08-07-09_02 Poop Redux
If I had the energy or inclination, I am sure I could make a case for why shit is so important. Don’t think so? Knowing shit from Shinola is important, so listen up.
Most people would agree that when one is shitting regularly and pleasantly, all systems are go. Life is peaceful, and happy thoughts are easier to access. When the poop train is derailed, reactions can range from annoyance to full-on freakouts, depending on the timeframe, severity and disposition of the non-pooper or over-pooper, as the case presents itself. Because poop is the canary in the mine. A sad, scared little canary.
Sometimes my wife will casually ask me from behind a magazine, “Didja poop today?” “Yeah,” I reply while surfing cable. “How was it?” I give it a few moments thought. “Alright, I guess. You?” She folds the magazine down and scowls. “Not today. No.” “Keep an eye on that,” I say. She nods. Poop is the rhythm of daily life, each crap a bass thump to the staccato high-hat of a beating heart. Maybe not. I thought it would be funny to say that.
Poop is funny. The humor-reaction probably has something to do with the dear privacy of poop and pooping. There’s can be a certain shame-factor to poop which may be related to toilet training trauma or even some kind of mutated survival instinct where remaining hidden while pooping is important because you’re so vulnerable during the act. We may also have this instinct because just leaving your doots anywhere lets enemies and predators know where you are and where you’ve been and maybe even your health status. Plus you might step in it. This shame-fueled humor seems to haves taken a turn for the worst in Japan where such a human and common act has given birth to a whole culture and industry of poop-management, manifest in devices to conceal and obfuscate the dirty deed. Which is strange because there’s a whole subset of Japanese porno which is all about pretty girls pooping. Now that’s funny.
I remember dating a girl who made two extraordinary claims regarding butt-products. One claim was that she never farted. The second was that she never looked at her poop. She had never SEEN it. She slammed the lid down and hit flush before turning around. She claimed. These two claims raise two equally terrifying possibilities. One: she was telling the truth, therefore she was an android of some kind and being an android should have payed for dinner. The other point is that she was lying and full of so much loathing and shame that she mentally edited out such a vital and common aspect of her physical humanity or at least wanted me to edit it out of my image of her ( if this were true, she should have payed at least her half of dinner). Naturally, all I could do was think about it. Did she sit on the toilet quaking with hatred and contempt for the evil exiting her body? Did she go to her happy place and think of her body, a smooth and bunghole-free construct featureless as a Barbie-doll? There was no second date.
So, just as food is sacred and life-giving, poop, used-up food, is profane. “I had a shitty day.” “She totally lost her shit. She had a shitfit.” “That car is a piece of shit.” “He’s full of shit.” “My boss just gave me a bunch of shit.” American soldiers smeared shit on prisoners at Abu-Ghraib. Shit!
Shit is the bottom rung, for sure. Or not. Maybe shit can make it’s way back up the ladder. “He has his shit together.” “That song is the shit!” “That’s some great shit!” “Holy shit!” That’s right, shit has become sacred again!
I still haven’t made my case about why poop is so important, have I? I just don’t give a shit.
Text and images © Andrew Auten – All Rights Reserved.