Archive Anecdotage

14 Thud!

'Plop plop or wee wee?', a young English mother might enquire of her recently evacuated child; subtly satisfying herself that regularity of base function is being established in the traumatic post-'do it in your pants' era.

I don't know what the German word is for 'thud' but it should be something special in order to describe that most frequent and calculating of events in the life of the growing kinder. I speak of.... the moment the scheisse hits the pfanne. As regular as the function may or may not be, the result, in Germany, is inevitable.... 'thud'. Not 'splash' or 'plop' or even...oops, but, hopefully, an equally and onomatopoeically, accurate German word for 'thud'.

It's the shelf. Yes, the shelf, or ledge if you prefer. A porcelain interrupter. Why?

When you've got to go, you've got to go - and in the wild early days of mankind it was probably not a major issue; collectively speaking that is. As we learned to live together and families became tribes, villages, towns etc., ways were developed to deal with our smelly rubbish.

To Parisiens, of course, the 'silent footstep' is, or was until recently, a way of life; but that was mainly because of the dogs, who did it in the street, perfectly coiffured grinning pooches imitating their masters in the pissoire.

This is the story of Lenny Haze, an American drummer, on tour in England. Having a bit of trouble with the old rear gunner he felt a sudden need to visit the bathroom. Permanent disorientation makes everything difficult for Lenny and so as he tried to leave the bed he fell upon his head on the floor. This triggered a release of such force and magnitude that two-thirds of the ceiling found itself re-decorated. A twenty pound note was his way of apologizing to the maid.

The point is that most of us try and get rid of the sight, smell and sunbstance of our waste as quickly as possible. Not so the Germans. Oh no! They capture it; I am told, in order to examine it.

What are the looking for?

Something that shouldn't be there? A lung perhaps? A few small creatures? Or could it be that, like tea-leaves, the random nature of the droppings can point a finger at the shape of the future?

I only insult my friends, my friend. The rest can go to Hell.

© Ian Gillan 1996

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