That’s not just the title of an awesome book, it’s also a stone cold fact.
A fact that too many of us seem to deny, or choose not to acknowledge.
I came to realize something a few years back:
Azn people talk about poop.
A few years ago, I got into the habit of asking a specific question to all of my close friends.
Said question goes a little something like this:
“Hey, does your family like to talk about poop and bowel functions?”
What I discovered over the years, is that virtually all of my Asian friends, be they Thai, Cambodian, Japanese, Chinese, Korean, etc. answered me with a simple “yes,” while my friends of the decidedly paler variety, either dodged the question or replied with an emphatic “no.”
I can’t really put my finger on the details of why this is, but my best guess is that it’s a cultural difference.
While I can’t speak for any other Asian culture, being Japanese; I can say with a great deal of certainty, that we Japanese (always wanted to say that…) are a bowel obsessed people.
In America; the only talk of bowel functions, or urination, or poop that we get in mainstream media comes in the form of potty humor and TV commercials for pills that prevent old people from peeing themselves.
In general, American mainstream television seems to believe that irregular bowel functions are a problem only for the elderly and menopausal, as I’ve yet to see images of youthful people associated with the subject.
If anything, it’d be more appropriate to file her under the menopausal demographic…
This is not the case in Japan.
You flip on just about any daytime television program in Japan, and I guarantee you you’ll find at least a half dozen programs for herbal bowel regulation supplements featuring interviews with young and nubile, bikini clad women openly discussing the epic shit they took the night before, or the epic shit they feel they need to take, but just can’t get out the gate due to their irregular bowel functions.
Don’t ask me why, but we Japanese talk about our poops.
All my life, I’ve gotten the feeling that my mom cares more about the health of my anus than me as a person.
Seriously, I can’t go a day without having her ask me:
“Did you get your ruffage?”
“Are you regular”
“Do you got the poops?”
Some kids go away to college for 4 years, and have their parent’s drop them a line every now and again to tell them how much they miss them, or to ask how their classes are going.
I went away for 4 years and my mom would call me every day to ask if I was backed up.
Being as I was eating at the school cafeteria most of the time, I did in fact have my fair share of bathroom war stories to report to my mother; but that’s besides the point.
The point is, in my family; the health and status of the various colons and anuses in the household have not only been fair game for discussion, they’ve played host to some of the more serious and genuinely interesting conversations we’ve had.
You may be laughing at this point, but I find that growing up being aware of, and free to discuss the state of my bowels has done me a lot of good.
Seriously, when I see some of shit that people eat, only to complain later in the day that their “stomach” is bothering them, (note: stomach is code for “anus” or “ass” among the sheepish) I can’t help but consider myself fortunate to know better than them.
Honestly folks, if you’re in good health, and know how your system reacts to whatever food you put into it; you’ll find that unwelcome “surprises” like the one mentioned above will almost never happen.
While I’m on the subject of food though, I figure I should mention why I decided to type this article today.
Today a friend of mine at work offered me some pecans as a snack.
I politely declined, citing my bowel’s inability to handle the delicious, but ass-crippling nut that is the pecan.
Actually, I think my exact words were:
“I like pecans man, but you realize they’ll wreck your shit, right?”
My comment was met with laughter, as it was indeed meant to be; but I think my buddy failed to realize that it also doubled as a genuine admonishment coming from a seasoned veteran of toilet seat warfare.
We’ll come back to that in a minute.
Anyway, sure enough, later in the day my buddy sat down next to me, his expression devoid of character, his complexion chalky and white as the Moon; and he said to me in the most humble of tones:
“So, those pecans tore through me pretty bad a minute ago…”
The kid got reeled in by the sweet taste and classy packaging of the pecans, only to end up getting his ass used as the ring for a 40-shit Royal Rumble.
Poor bastard probably blacked out putting himself in a Steiner Recliner just to get the last man over the top rope…
To that I responded with a baudy “I told you so,” however with just the slightest hint of understanding layered beneath it all.
You see, though I know my bowels like the back of my hand, I have this strange problem where many of my favorite foods/snacks just happen to be things that “upset” me.
I know this from experience, as well as from the fact that I’ve over-indulged in said food items at least once/twice/a billion times, to the point where the resulting toilet seat warfare has become routine to a fault.
It’s been a long time since I’ve waged all-out war with my anus, to the point where these days every skirmish is more akin to war games than anything else.
Trust me, I quite literally know my shit.
Tomorrow I’ll be following things up with a detailed list of tasty snacks that just happen to wreck your shit if you eat too much of them!
Excuse me while I step out to do little peacekeeping South of the border…