Shit happens 

We are weird creatures, being ashamed of something so human. I’m talking about defecating and farting. It’s not very common to share information about our bowel movements with others, unless we are traveling. For backpackers it is a well discussed topic even with complete strangers, but otherwise it’s a unmentioned topic. 

We are instilled with a sense of shame about a regular, necessary bodily function. Everybody poops, but there is a taboo to talk about it. Most couples block the idea that their other half poops. It’s in the natural order of things to share what you had for dinner, but not how your food digested. 

When was the last time you discussed your toilet habits with your friends? I bet you know your friend political affiliation but you do not know to what group they belong: the folders or the crumplers. Or how long their toilet role last compared to yours. Too bad because I think habits like this can tell a lot about someone’s personality. 

Not so long ago, toilet paper was sold only in a four-pack so it would fit in a bag. Imagine being caught by others with toilet paper, that would be so embarrassing. 

It turns out that there are considerable differences between individuals and their poo-habits. The majority poops about ones or twice a day. One person can produce up to 850 grams at a time, that is about five tons of stool in a lifetime! In addition humans fart between 14 and 25 times a day. So stop denying. Even that cute girl you fancy for quite a while has to release gas several times a day. 

Well, assuming that you can learn a great deal about your overall health by taking a look at your stool and noting its size, color, shape, consistency, odor and other features it is a pity that you would be flushing all this information down the drain with a touch of the button. Did you know that even the sound it makes when it hits the water and whether it’s a “sinker” or a “floater” are all relevant information.With this in mind I am in favor of introducing worldwide the old fashioned Dutch ‘plateau toilet’. The bowl itself contains a plateau set well above the normal water level. It might take a while to get used to displaying all your excrements on the display shelf, but it’s for a good cause. Your own health! 

In the end, feeling embarrassed about the world’s most natural bodily process is just ridiculous. Isn’t it time to get ride of our embarrassment and disgust.  Don’t get me wrong I’m not promoting the subject as a daily conversation. Let’s be real: Discussing defecation does not a happy couple make (or break). In everybody’s interest societal attitudes about our bowel movements ought to change. Please get it out in the open. ‘Shit happens’.        -Bregje 

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