January 12, 2023
I don’t mean to be indelicate, but the older I get the more I find myself thinking about all kinds of weird s**t. If that offends you, that is not my intent, and please read no further.
There are two things that bring this to mind. The first is an interest in words and their meaning. The second is frequent visits to doctors.
I was watching a documentary on Mozart the other night and was surprised to find that he was quite earthy. In correspondence with his wife, Mozart would talk in very plain language about things such as bowel movements and other bodily functions.
You have to understand that in Mozart’s time, even middle-class people didn’t have running water in their homes or apartments. They had to go down the hall to a common facility or they had chamber pots near the bed. And if they lived in the country, they might have to go to an outhouse to do their business.
Today, we are blessed with indoor plumbing. We go to the bathroom, do our business, flush it away, and never think about it again. We’re not ashamed of what we have done. We just don’t need to talk about it.
We haven’t, however, abandoned the word itself. I do believe that people today probably use the s**t word way more than they did in Mozart’s time. They don’t just get inebriated at a party, they get s**t-faced. If they disagree with somebody, they might tell them they are full of s**t. And if they think that somebody is pulling their leg, they might ask: “Are you s**ting me?”
The second thing that brings the word “s**t” to mind is that as I grow older, doctors are more and more interested in what ends up in my toilet.
As an old-school old man, I feel embarrassed about talking about my “product,” especially with women doctors. What color is it, what’s the consistency, how often does it show up, how painful is it when it does show up, and what does it smell like?
When I was a kid, it was doo-doo or poop, but after about six or seven years old, that sounded like baby talk. Feces is probably clinically correct, but doesn’t really sound like something that came from a human being’s butt. At the doctor’s office we mostly end up calling it “it.” What did “it” look like, how did “it” smell, was “it” soft or hard, and how often does “it” come around?
Consequently, I find myself examining my s**t after every sit-down, number one to see how I’m doing and number two (no joke intended) so I can report back if necessary. There are certain frustrations to this. A lot of public restrooms now have toilets that automatically flush when you stand up.
You get up, turn around for a quick look, and whoosh, it’s all gone. And what do I say when that happens?
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