Toilet talk

UPDATE: Excellent, entertaining and informative read, has persuaded me to be more mindful of washing my hands and also reducing the number of handshakes with male friends, fistbumps at fifty seem so wrong though…

My Dad always says that any conversation will eventually degrade into a discussion of either sex or sh*t given enough time, and usually sufficient booze. It doesn’t matter who’s in the room, where they are or what they were originally talking about. There is an inherent convergence on taboo topics and this is despite the fact that if prompted so many people would say, “we don’t talk about those sorts of things”. Well, there have been plenty of conversations that have ended in published books about sex. But, defacation has not made it to the coffee table until now, as far as I know…

In his latest book, Adam Hart, self-confessed “biologist, bug botherer, broadcaster” turns the tables on that particular taboo. The book’s title?

The Life of Poo: Or why you should think twice about shaking hands (especially with men)

Hart takes us on what is described as “a humorous, inspiring and myth-busting journey” (just my kind of book) from the poo in your toilet to the cutting-edge of scientific understanding. He settles us down by asking us if we are sitting comfortably and revealing that surveys suggest that 40% of us read while sitting on the toilet. So, this is not so much a coffee table book as I earlier alluded but two-fifths lavatorial tome. I was certainly curious to see how the habits of my own bowel sit with Hart’s discussion and he certainly provides a lot of detail to help one digest the elements of the alimentary. Despite the light tone, “Poo” is an important matter and Hart does the necessary of backing up his facts and assertions with plenty of reference citations. Final thoughts are given in the “Captain’s Log”…as if we hadn’t arrived at the bottom of the book with sufficient puns.

Poo (or poop as our Amercun cousins prefer it) is an essential part of life. It’s fascinating, as Hart reveals, and really it is no surprise that conversations almost always reach the bottom line at some point. In fact, with this book proudly on display in our toilet (oh, okay…it’s on the coffee table right now), I expect even more household chats to reach this point sooner than later, from now on.

Incidentally, the title of the book is cleverer than you might think…almost two-thirds of a turd comprises bacteria, apparently.

Here’s the thing though, is it safe and sensible to read this book while sitting on the toilet? I’ll ask Adam.

Strange fact of the day: Not long after you’ve eaten your stomach fills with puke and some time after that your intestines fill with poo…well, not quite fill, but you know what I mean…

Author: 雷竞技官网

Award-winning freelance science writer, author of Deceived Wisdom. Sharp-shooting photographer and wannabe rockstar.