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On your (skid) marks

  • By ian hook
  • 02 Nov, 2015

The starting gun

AWAKE ! for Morning in the Bowl of Night
Has flung the Stone that puts the Stars to Flight:
And Lo ! the Hunter of the East has caught
The Sultan's Turret in a Noose of Light.
[1st Stanza of the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam]

Well, ….. I’ve re-written it

AWAKE ! for Morning in the Bowl of Fright
Has flung the Turd that puts my hope to Flight:
And Lo ! the Surgeon of the West has caught
The Rectal Tumour in a Noose of Light.

And this is where it started, with a view down the pan, which I will return to later, but first I want to reflect on the human fascination with bodily products. Too many of us don’t pay much attention to what goes in, but you can bet we have a good look and fiddle with what comes out. Even if few of us would admit to it.

Imagine this, you’ve had a night out on the town and you’ve over done things a bit so you find a quiet spot and chuck up. What’s the first thing you do? You look at it and say, “I don’t remember eating that”.

And it doesn’t seem to matter what orifice it comes out of either. Whether we, cough it, sneeze it, pee it or poo it, there is a morbid fascination with giving it the equivalent of a bit of a prod.

I remember on one occasion, I had just returned home from an extended visit to Nepal, and the combination of my time at altitude, and the long haul flights, had clearly had an effect on me that I was unaware of. Sitting, watching TV, I sneezed, and became instantly aware that something had happened inside my head. I gently teased out this thing that was now in my right ear, and to my surprise, and immense pleasure, discovered that I was now the proud owner of a one and half inch high Henry Moore look-a-like sculpture made entirely of ear wax! I stuck my sculpture on the mantelpiece and proudly exhibited it to anyone that came to the house. I took pains to explain that it was not for sale though.

If you try to tell me that you don’t do something like this on occasion, I think you’re in denial and might possibly benefit from some counselling.

Anyway, returning to the case in hand as it were. I had noticed the occasional bit of blood on the bog paper and kept an eye on my daily ‘productions’ for a few weeks. The blood came and went, but eventually there was more ‘coming’ rather than ‘going’ as it were. This was accompanied by the occasional bit of ‘sculpting’ of the stool. By that, I mean that every now and again, a stool would have a little trench carved into one side of it. As charming as these adornments were, I thought it’s either, an infestation of pixie poo artists, or something medical. I was hoping for the pixies, but thought I would seek a medical opinion first, before running off to Middle Earth to have a chat with Gandalf about my 'ring'.

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