Poo. Shit. Crap. We all do it.
From the very first meconium dump of a new-born infant, to the mythological ghost-poo projected with such velocity that it torpedoes through the U-bend without need of flushing, defecation is a daily activity as vital, and predictable as breathing.
And yet, for the most part, it is not the stuff of polite conversation. In Britain at least, ‘dropping the kids off at the pool’ is a solitary and private activity, and one not usually discussed with relish at the dinner table. But it is also a fascinating process which envelopes biology, religion, tradition, plumbing, chemistry, physics and social convention.
There is a view that really, the only helpful, useful and selfless act humans ever do happens on the toilet every day. The rest of life detracts, removes and uses up everything which was here before we were. In a world of consumptive greed and selfishness, giving back stuff which can actually help the world is such an unusual and rare activity it should be celebrated and enjoyed.
This book aims to present some of the wonder which is implicit in every steamer. From how a poo is actually formed and what’s in it, to how different cultures deal with the disposal of millions of tonnes of the stuff each year, we hope this volume reveals a hidden but fascinating aspect of our own lives.
Clearly it is going to be difficult to discuss this topic successfully without the full embrace of the necessary language. Although we do not intend to cause offense, if your disposition is such that phrases like bum-loaf, turtle-head and winnits are likely to cause wincing, it is perhaps best that you replace this tome next to the throne and read something else.