chapter  1
32 Pages

A Short History of the Unmentionable

The disposal of human wastes is a subject normally buried in euphemismand avoidance – at least in public. Privately, every single person on theplanet is intimately concerned on a day-to-day, even hour-to-hour, basis with the need to relieve themselves in a congenial place and fashion. The physiological necessity of excretion cannot be averted, even if it cannot be spoken of. No-one can attain the purity of the perfect saint who manages to digest every single thing he or she consumes – a power that certain holy men in the ancient world were believed to possess. Even the most rigid toilet-training can enable a person to postpone their visits to the ‘rest-room’ only for a certain length of time.