Elvis died on the crapper and more loads of crap - Baltimore Post-ExaminerBaltimore Post-Examiner

Elvis died on the crapper and more loads of crap

All  kinds of things make things better. A shoulder to cry on, a friend to share a trouble with, man’s best friend, a smile. Hell, it used to be the case that “things go better with Coke” although I think that might have been a 1980’s thing, back when Columbia was enjoying its export boom.

There are also many ways to start the day. The sunshine breakfast, getting out of the right side of the bed, the Nescafe way plus a thousand different slogans, up to but not including crawling out of a dumpster in the manner of an amnesiac alcoholic with Parkinson’s disease.

In their own different ways, although I am not privy to the details, I’ll wager that The Dalai Lama, The Popes Coptic and Roman Catholic as well as a collective noun of religious leaders worldwide start their day with substantive, ritualised prayer, but only after they have attended to their morning toilet. And here beginneth the lesson.

Whether in the Sistine crapper, under a Bo tree, “on the throne” or behind a bush as an uncomfortably large percentage of the world will do, as the sun rises over our cultural horizon of a morning, an immense percentage of the world’s population will start their day by having a dump, crapping, pinching a loaf or launching a brown torpedo.

And doing so successfully and succinctly, can be, if not the key to one’s day, at the very least a successful overture to it which may reference your attitudes towards the remainder of it.

If I go to Graceland, I’m finding the King’s toilet and leaving a souvenir.

Elvis died for our sins. He did so on the crapper, the bog, the big white telephone, mission control, the throne, the lavatory or john. The head if you are of a military bent. If I should ever visit Graceland, apart from not going with Paul Simon, the thing I want to do most of all, is to bide my time until the tour and security guides are otherwise occupied, remove the velvet rope preventing access from its holder and sneak into Elvis’ water closet to check out the acoustics.

I’ll wager most of us have enjoyed a verse or two of something or other as we make stool of a morning. It may be that it is only to disguise what is a rather forceful performance filled with gusto, and it may not be a full throated rendition of “Oh what a beautiful morning” that we share with the world, but instead perhaps something more mirthful like, “Ta, ra, ra BOOM de-ay! Ta, ra, ra BOOM de-ay” etc.  But I would like to sneak into Elvis’ loo, sit myself down and just see how it sounded to be him of a morning by going, “Uh-huh-huh! Thank you very much”.

Having a poo, doing your duty or disposing of a chocolate iguana of a morning is the one action which we all have in common, colostomy bag wearers notwithstanding, from the Queen of England right down to Justin Bieber, we all get to perform the same function during some early part of our waking day.

You don’t need me to tell you this of course, you are already quite aware of this fact, have been since you developed control over your own sphincter muscles and were old enough to do the paperwork associated with this function yourself. But maybe, just maybe, there is a need for fearless edgy bloggers such as myself (yeah right) to raise this most delicate of subjects into polite conversation. Find your own reasons why.

The faecal dreams of Mr Freud as John Cooper Clarke had it in a line from his song “Beasley Street” and we can all think of a few albums that were shit that we’ve heard during our lifetimes.

In olden times, that would be in REAL historical terms i.e. European, there was such a person as the “Groom of the Kings Stool” which, despite being literally a “shit job” was also one greatly sought after due to the proximity to the Kings person it afforded the bearer, and in those pre-toilet tissue days one can only speculate as to what was used to cleanse the old “chocolate starfish”. Fine damask maybe? With a splashing of Rose water for fragrance perhaps?

A Close-Stool c.1650. Hampton Court collection. (Wikipedia Commons)

Rabelais was a man who spent some time in consideration of the activities surrounding the voiding of the bowels which was all neatly contained in the epic discourse between his two giants Gargantua and Pantagruel, whose final verdict on the subject of the finest thing on which ones arse could be wiped was the neck of a swan, although I have always favoured the tongue of a fawning lickspittle lackey myself. Perhaps it’s my English blood.

Blood in ones motions can be a sign of early bowel cancer and is to be checked for regularly. Large quantities of blood can be put down to unpleasantness due to a bad attach of the “farmer giles” in Cockney rhyming slang, or “Sigmunds” for short. These can greatly detract from the simple pleasures of “draining off” of a morning.

I myself once had the misfortune to acquire an anal papilloma, which interrupted an uneventful innings at bat which had lasted many years. It caused me some discomfort, as, when meeting the surgeon who was to deal with the beast, I did not know whether or not to shake his hand. When said object was removed, and after enduring a few moments of quite reasonable trepidation, the resultant outcome was most satisfactory. Like having had ones arse re-bored, or fluted as you would a rifle barrel.

Many things can be a necessary precursor to successful performance of the “Indian rope-trick in reverse”. A morning coffee for many is an effective lubricant of the nether regions. For my wife the occasional jazz cigarette can be known to have the same effect. For some people the mere actions of opening one’s eyes and drawing the first conscious breath of the day is sufficient.

Some are even woken by their need, being blessed or cursed as you will with the peculiarity that is the “daylight seeking turd” and its accompanying delightful metaphor of the “turtles head”.

Laxatives are to be frowned upon unless they be provided by nature. The finest example of this type of which I am aware comes from Canada. Imagine the scenario, a beautiful morning in the mountains somewhere as the sun is about to rise. A scarlet glow suffuses the horizon, and our hero, bent on communing with nature, departs his idyllic log cabin and shuffles the short distance to the small wooden outhouse nestling in its leafy locale wearing its colourful scarf of crocus’ and daffodils.

Gargantua and Pantagruel tells the story of two giants— a father, Gargantua, and his son, Pantagruel—and their adventures, written in an amusing, extravagant, and satirical vein. (Wikipeida Commons)

Our hero opens wide the gate of this earthly paradise – for it faces south – and commences his morning meditations to the sounds of birdsong. All is bliss. His body, rapt as it is with his current surroundings, sees no need to hurry its process’ along and so he sits, entranced, as WB Yeats had it, “Like a long legged fly upon the stream, his mind moves on silence”.

Into this silence comes the slow realisation of something moving through nature with a distinct familiarity, which increases along with the volume of its movement as it draws nigh to our hero, engaged in his tranquil recreation on the threshold of a dream.

All at once his view of the serene Canadian sunrise, framed as it is by the rustic woodworking of his outhouse door, is augmented by God with the simple addition of a mightily clawed bear paw curling around the doorframe.

Our hero speaks:

“Shit came from nowhere. Shit that I had no idea I had within me came out of me. For all I knew I could have shat out my spine”.

This all may sound as if it took significantly longer than the time it took to recognise the bear paw, but I may assure you it did not. From the soundtrack of “Grease” the song “Greased Lightning” could have been written for this very moment. Forgoing the customary paperwork associated with a transaction of this kind, our hero, or some deeply located primal part of him, had decided that discretion was indeed the better part of valour and added to it, “Feet’s don’t fail me now!”

He had just given birth to an anecdote.

Those of you familiar with the “British Sense of Humour” (I believe we sent you a boatload of it some centuries back) may be aware of a certain genre of films – high comedy to some retarded elements of our citizenry – The “Carry On……” films. I shall close by combining two of their “classic” bottom jokes.

Doctor, “Do you move your bowels regularly?

Patient: (for it is I) “Yes Doctor. As regular as clockwork, once a fortnight. At six o’clock in the morning”

Doctor, “Then what seems to be the problem?”

Patient, “I don’t wake up until seven o’clock.

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