Our kids need to get out more.
Our kids need to get out more.
Every day of my life, I thank my lucky stars when I get up, go into my clean bathroom, and take care of business.
Some days of my life, I’m less thankful when I am somewhere where the only “facilities” have no running water. No handle to push. No way to wash my hands.
Of course, with my potty problems, I guess I’m more in tune to toilet issues than most people.
Why am I telling you this? You see, Sunday, November 19, is World Toilet Day. And of course, I’m (1) telling you about it; and (2) celebrating it.
The point of World Toilet Day is actually pretty important. People without access to hygienic facilities risk illness, many women are preyed upon and attacked as they seek out a place to go. Diseases are transmitted, including infections, cholera, well, here’s a picture.
Hope you’re not eating.
World Toilet Day is to help the fortunate ones of us around the world realize that:
2.4 billion people around the world don’t have access to decent sanitation and more than a billion are forced to defecate in the open, risking disease and other dangers, according to the United Nations
We in the West are rather spoiled. And the reality of what some folks, many folks must deal with can be eye-opening.
About 25 years ago, my brother Fred got a grant and went to Africa to study something or other. It was his first experience visiting the Third World. When he came back, he talked only about poop.
It seemed that the city he had visited ran with raw sewage. Poop was in the gutters. Children played in those gutters. The sewage ran into the river that was used to irrigate crops.
Piles of poop were everywhere. In the street. Under trees. In the corners of buildings; everywhere, he said. Even inside. Fred described a memorable elevator in the middle of a hotel lobby, that he had seen. The decorative ironwork around the elevator shaft was delicate and beautiful. But the elevator didn’t run — in fact, the elevator itself had been removed. But people would stand with their backs to the elevator shaft, pull down their pants/up their skirts, hang their butts over the open elevator shaft. And they’d poop.
“I realized something incredibly important, “ said my horrified brother:
“Civilization all comes down to what you do with your poo.”
So when you’re thinking about the craziness in today’s world, maybe we all need to realize that part of our problem is that so very many people just don’t have a pot to piss in.
Yup, it’s a rerun. But you didn’t really think I’d miss World Toilet Day, did you?
Hello, yeah, it’s been a while. Not much, how ’bout you?
There really is no reason. In fact, this particular post is over due. I had blog backup and no plunger.
For my first post back after a long break, you know I’m goin’ there. But that is why you came, isn’t it?
Yup. I read an article. Several articles actually. My bad.
This one provides important information to the travelers among us.
I will summarize for you, because I have experience in this matter.
The best time to poop on a plane is right after the seat belt light goes off or when the drinks cart comes. The first is usually pretty early in the flight, so really, you should have taken care of that before you got on the plane. Unless you’re me — and then you did it then, too.
Second, is a story about a man with whom I should have had children. We could certainly reach a happy medium:
Lastly, the third story, required by the peculiarities of comedy writing, is something I am shaking my head about, well, my butt tto, because really — I should have thunk of this idea first. If ever a business model stinks of “Elyse,” well, this is it:
Yup. A business model that practically screams “ELYSE!!!” Here’s the ummmm, scoop on it.
Toronto’s new Poop Café will feature a “unique selection of desserts from around the world,” according to a Facebook post from the café’s profile. While the restaurant will serve dishes that are brown and shaped like poop (kind of like the poop emoji), not every dish will look like feces.
I for one am glad that not all of this restaurant’s dishes will look like poop. That’s important to me in the pre-poop stage of nutrient intake. I like to have a wee bit of anticipation on that score.
*My apologies to my Canadian friends. Just when you guys are basking in the glory of a delightful leader, I go and laugh at your poop cafe. Sorry. But it IS a poop-themed cafe. What did you want me to do?
Being a fake medical expert has become a bit passe, frankly. And that expertise came after my rarely discussed time as environmental science expertise honed as a lowly paralegal/legislative & regulatory assistant/lobbyist.
So I figure I’m ready for a new challenge. And just in time for World IBD Day, I’m takin’ on physics!
The Physics of Poop, of course. And I think you will agree that I do have the expertise. And the, ummm, credentials. And I don’t have to go far for sample collection.
You see, there’s an article I read. (Of course there’s an article.)
You know it’s a good article, because this is the photo that accompanies the article:
The authors, David Hu and Patricia Yang, studied poop every which way but Sunday. Well, maybe Sunday, too. Because there are some chores that simply must be done 7 days a week.
They discovered that herbivores produced “floaters” and carnivores plopped “sinkers.” And apparently “stinkers” too, as tigers apparently have the stinkiest poop and panda poop is positively precious.
Bigger animals, not surprisingly, are more prodigious poopers, but interestingly, the speed of poop production is similar regardless of the size of the animal:
Assuming a bell curve distribution, 66 percent of animals take between 5 and 19 seconds to defecate. It’s a surprisingly small range, given that elephant feces have a volume of 20 liters, nearly a thousand times more than a dog’s, at 10 milliliters.
In all honesty, the attraction of the article wasn’t the significant increase in my already vast knowledge and understanding of poop.
Nope. There were two reasons.
First, it’s the fact that this article alerted me to the existence of NASA’s
I think you will admit that I should be an automatic contender.
More importantly, this article gave me something to write about to celebrate World IBD Day. And while I personally celebrate every day, you, personally can have fun with poop on World IBD Day. Don’t say I never gave you anything.
But WAIT! There’s MORE! After this post went to press, I found this article.
Golly. Studying poop has become a 24/7 commitment for me.
In May 2012, about a year after I started blogging, I came out of the closet here on FiftyFourAndAHalf. Out of the water closet that is. I fessed up.
I posted this:
My life is shitty.
No, no, no. I can’t say that, they’ll think I’m suicidal.
My life is in the toilet.
Saturday, May 19th is World IBD Day. World Irritable Bowel Disease Day.
Recently I learned about this, umm, holiday. It is a very personal one for me. Way more personal than I want to admit. But of course it’s not my fault. I blame my sister, Judy.
You see, some time in the late sixties Judy pasted a picture on the front of the medicine cabinet above the toilet in our one bathroom.
Little did I know at whatever tender age I was that that picture would illustrate my life. Because in 1972, not long after it went up, I found out that I had ulcerative colitis. An inflammatory bowel disease. The bloody flux. I was in and out of the bathroom and the hospital for much of my teens and early 20s. What a blast!
Long story short, it ended up that I didn’t have colitis! But we only found that out when a bunch of men (led by Dr. Herbert Hoover) came at me with knives, removed my large intestine and reorganized my plumbing. That was when they found out that I really had Crohn’s Disease.
Crohn’s Disease, is, well, worse. Partly because I can’t for the life of me spell it. But also because it means I still spend way too much time in the bathroom (although I am very well read). Oh, and it can affect the entire rest of your body. Trust me when I say it’s nasty, and that there is no cure. I would be delighted if that were to change in my lifetime.
Fast forward to now, today, December 7, 2016. Today ends Crohn’s and Colitis Awareness Week. There will be a Thunderclap of posts, and tweets, blogs, and Facebook postings to call attention to Crohn’s and Colitis — to Irritable Bowel Disease — diseases that are often “invisible.” Because unless a person goes onto the Internet and proclaims that their life is in the toilet, well, nobody knows. Unless perhaps if they are in the next stall.
In all seriousness, 1.6 million people in the U.S. alone suffer from Crohn’s or colitis. These diagnoses are life changing — they cramp not just your gut, but your life. Your life really does revolve around the toilet.
So I have a favor to ask of you guys.
You’ve all been wonderful, supportive friends, who have laughed with me about my poop problems. I thank you from the bottom of my heart. Or maybe just from my bottom.
But here is the favor.
I have been working with the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America to get member of the House of Representatives to join the Congressional Crohn’s and Colitis Caucus. These Representatives will, hopefully, help direct funding into research towards a cure. To, in fact, get me (and 1,599,999 others) off the pot.
Please send an email to your Congressman/woman (you can find their information here: http://www.house.gov/representatives/) and ask them to join the Caucus. In fact, just cut and paste this into the email/form:
PLEASE JOIN THE CONGRESSIONAL CROHN’S & COLITIS CAUCUS!
Led by Representatives Ander Crenshaw (R-FL-4) and Nita Lowey (D-NY-17), the Congressional Crohn’s & Colitis Caucus is a bipartisan group of Members of Congress dedicated to educating their colleagues and the American public on Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. The Caucus works together to raise awareness, support IBD medical research, and protect patient access to care. The Caucus also works to assert the patient perspective in regulatory decision-making, including the development of a biosimilar regulatory pathway. To join or to learn more information, please contact Matthew Moore in Rep. Crenshaw’s office (firstname.lastname@example.org; 202-225-2501), or Dana Miller in Rep. Lowey’s office (email@example.com; 202-225-6506).
Thanks. You guys are the best.