On Wee And On Toilet Humour

Photo on 28-03-2013 at 18.31 #3

There’s a pun in that title. Particularly pertinent if you’re aware of my constant struggle to not be utterly tired, disenfranchised and despairing of life.

I used to think I was above toilet humour. Aware from a young age of the rank stench of urine and excrement (let’s not forget, I grew up in the Midlands, where mains sewage connections and even septic tanks were considered a luxury until circa 2004), I always believed it was something too foul, repellent, embarrassing and shameful to laugh at. Like penises. Or slow death.

But as time has gone on, I have found myself increasingly resorting to piss and poo references – both in my writing and (aloud) in my stifling and turgid office environment. In both places it is for the same few reasons – to shock, embarrass, but also to get a laugh. Because these things are generally considered as funny.

For a period I was writing extended scatological prose scenes, telling myself that it was an attempt at accuracy – by balancing out sex scenes with shitting scenes in my novel, I was better recreating life. Which, according to my research, contains more faeces than fucking for the majority of people.

But that was self-delusion.

I’m not above toilet humour.

I’ve included lots of poo in my novel because people laugh when I write about it. And that’s fine.

I finally realised and accepted this when today I saw the phrase “We offer wee nibbles” on the website of a Glaswegian bar and snorted to myself for upwards of five minutes.

Imagine eating piss.

Just imagine it.

Eating piss.

I did, and I smiled.

Banish the demons, bring on the scatology. Happy Spring Break, everyone…

Photo on 28-03-2013 at 19.04


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