Tuesday, October 20, 2009

So Heavy Even Samson Couldn't Hold It: It has always been a problem. It is often the butt of a joke and creates a lot of laughter, but it also has one of the most offensive smells known to mankind.
In the days of sailing ships like schooner's and galleon's, which took their power into the sails from the stern of the ship, they were situated in the bow so that the breeze blew the smell away from the ship, rather than towards it.
In our own history, throwing it from the upstairs window into the gutter below helped cause The Plague; and if you happened to be walking underneath at the time, well...
From there it progressed to what was, and sometimes still is called The Privie. Situated in the garden or back yard, and either timber or brick built, the smell only abated when the contents of the bucket were buried beneath soil.
Now, and for a good many years, we have enjoyed the luxury of having one indoors, and any odours, by and large, are flushed away.
But not always.
Often, it lingers and can be unpleasant; but there is an answer.
"Mum, I want to do a poo, but I don't want to do it in Paul's bathroom!"
You've seen the advert, right. It makes me want to hit the mute button, and the Oriental boy in the previous ad for the same product was no better. Somehow, both of these ad's were and are not only extremely annoying, but cringeworthy, too.
But the product, a small aerosol housed in an aesthetic container which is stuck to the bathroom tiles, is then pushed, when required, to release a fragrance. But the problem is with bathroom fragrances like that is, they just smell like a fragrance which covers up the smell of s***, so anyone visiting knows that someone in the house probably feels a great deal better after having a darned good clearout!
And it is one of the main medical problems we have to endure, some take medication to stop going, and there's a pleasant little advert for that; whilst others imbibe those little pots of "friendy bacteria which speed up a slow transitory system;" and believe me, the words "speed up" were not chosen idly; so you need to make sure you're not far away from the loo after a couple of those.
Indeed, in hospital, whether the patient is permitted to go home or not often hinges on their bowel movements. Many years ago now, I was in a bed adjacent to an elderly man, and he couldn't wait to go home. "But they won't let me," he confided, "until I've been! They've tried suppositories pushed into that end, and pills and medicine poured down at this end, but I told 'em, all I need is a tin of prunes!"
Later that day, a nurse wheeled a commode in and parked it next to his bed, and pulled the curtains around. A few minutes later, the smell wafting around the Ward was powerful enough to peel paint, and most of us felt quite ill. A few minutes later, the curtain was pulled back again, and the commode swiftly removed. Sitting there in bed with a huge smile on his face, the elderly man looked across and gave me the thumb's up. "I've been," he said, quite joyously, "I kept telling 'em to give me some prunes, and they did, so now I can go home!"