(Writer’s note: I had intended this to be a stylistic and eye-opening segue into Saigon after a year of going fictionally mental in the actual jungles of Burma last year. Instead I’ve just written about pooing again. Sorry.
Readers I don’t actually know in person booed when I returned after ages with about 12 words split between two posts. If you read the words, though, they were quite good. Not what was wanted, though. More words, I got the impression. More mad shit.
Tonight, I can’t promise to give you want you want either. Soon. Bad mad shit happened this last week involving someone I considered a friend and was developing a business with for six years, dropping me in an incredibly drunken and cuntish way that nobody with an ounce of dignity would forgive. I need to think about how to write it, or even if I should.
Not cool on my birthday. There we go.
Saigon’s fine, in case you’re wondering. I found work with everyone I applied to and could work out something cool here for a couple of years. It’s quite a city.)
I am drinking coffee at a relaxed joint when I suddenly need to get up for what is not the first of the day’s poos and is at an unseemly hour.
Unlike earlier poos in this alimentary cycle, it has not been sloppy enough for its remnants to be simply sloshed away with a vigorous hose of the bum gun then a pat down with about 8 sheets of loo paper.
This was a tricky customer, and no mistake, requiring multiple applications of squirting and scraping. It had probably been my casualness in not drinking fluids regularly throughout the day which had caused such a recalcitrant bum cigar.
I write this not because I am scatalogically obsessed, one has to understand, or that I mistake the mysteries of the Orient for one trouser leg hitched as high above a lake of piss as it can be while the rest of the body tries to decide if it even CAN squat, let alone which way round it should face.
“Cars are cars all over the world” sung Paul Simon back in the 70s and before he got big by not boycotting South Africa. But “Poos are NOT poos all over the world.” Not now and not then either.
As an aside to younger readers: wealthy artists breaking the Apartheid boycott was a big thing in its day due to the boycott being all about a racist, separatist ethnic group deciding it could call the shots. In return, the performers of the West keen to be seen for fighting for social justice, refused to ever visit South Africa again until its government changed and they could justifiably charge enormous ticket prices in celebration.
A constant piss-take of white South Africans was enough to keep British comedy afloat for two years, taking in such gems as Never Met a Nice South African, which is still genuinely thrilling if you want to make a South African really upset (whites only, otherwise it’s kinda racist):
Long before Nelson Mandela shakily walked to freedom or the bus stop or wherever, many, many of the 80’s top crop of pop and rock were chanting “Johannesbugger off until there’s liberty and justice and everything!” Almost everyone jumped aboard the boycott boat.
It was a lot like the Israel thing these days only it wasn’t just Roger Waters.
Sting was so affected by the need for justice in South Africa he spent six months as an ambassador for Amnesty International living as an Amazonian tree frog. Not having gills, his many years of vocal training helped during underwater spawning and, unofficially, inspired Paul McCartney’s ‘Frog Chorus’ shitfest.
But it wasn’t just Sting who was gunning for Apartheid. Elton John was so miffed he wrote a song about the bus service there and this was years before he’d even be eligible for a pass.
After that, the song “Free Nelson Mandela” was a worldwide anthem that seemed such a simple and easy to digest message that even a young child could work it out.
While I now have no problem with the sentiment of “Free Nelson Mandela” or even the historical facts, I must say that as a small child, however, I had been expecting some kind of Nelson Mandela action figure along with the single so didn’t bother buying it.
A Nelson Mandela play figure to go along with the Star Wars characters would have been great- either delivering sagacious homilies to the Jedis or planting bombs for the Empire or whatever. (I had a Handy Bendy Gandhi toy figure once so theoretically have no issues fo sho with ethnic toys, but you could only really get Gandhi to stay in that Buddhist meditation pose. He also posed insoluble canonical problems to the Star Wars Universe as, even cross-legged, he was nearly as big as the AT-ST.)
Yes, the 80s was a time of war. The race war. The Class War. The Falklands War. The Cold War. Star Wars (again). It was all there and frankly tedious.
Cars are cars all over the world. Remember that?
I hope you do as I put it in near the beginning of this piece and obviously for dramatic effect it would work better if you had that in mind rather than just forgetting what you are reading as you go.
Cars are cars, according to that notorious Apartheid-blockade breaker and SCAB Paul Simon in the 70s.
Yeah cars are cars, right, Simon. But countries aren’t countries (unless they’re the same country pluralised) and people aren’t people if they’re not just allowed to be people by people who just think cars are cars when people are people– so why should it be that you and I should get along so awfully?
Had Cunt Simon been less disingenuous he might have also added a verse or chorus or whatever it was to the effect that “Bogs are NOT bogs all over the world.”
Certainly in the 1970s, Asia was generally awash with squat jobs (quite often themselves awash with the invariably female cleaners mopping out the Gents- still happens to this day) and as a Western crap-packer it eventually became a matter of
- bearing the white man’s bum burden and keeping it all in, stiff upper lip, no alarms and no surprises, no alarms and surprises (except sudden sharting) or
- being so sick or drugged that even just shitting yourself provides relief for a while (at least until others notice the stench and take action) or
- just getting on with it, nearly fall over undressing, nearly drop your ethnic trouser-wear in water, piss or shit and then just do the squat. Splash water. Bum gun. Hope there’s soap. Remember to eat the rest of your coach Pringles with your left hand.
While all this sounds a great adventure, it really isn’t and South-East Asia has been phasing out squat toilets for decades (except where you really need them like bus and petrol stations) and going for the more Western sit-down poo method. They’ve got the message it’s somehow posher, like a sit-down wee.
Historically, while some experts have demonstrated that pooing, much like childbirth, is best done while squatting with gritted teeth rather than leisurely checking your Facebook feed and shuffling from cheek to cheek, official research has yet to explain why anyone should be as concerned about laying a log as birthing a youngling.
Frankly, nobody gives a shit.
Thais and Vietnamese have taken to these Western contraptions like ducks to water (only they don’t swoop on downward wings to the water- they do what you’d expect them to, maybe dropping a fag butt or sour fart while they’re at it).
In Cambodia, warning signs are everywhere that the toilet seat of a Western Crapper is not for squatting on but for plonking the buttocks- public safety campaigns regularly feature nearly-lacerated locals who were as clueless to our way of pooing as we have been to theirs.
So, Paul Simon: if cars are cars all over the world, how come poos aren’t poos all over the world?
And could this lack of cultural awareness have made you do that Graceland album (which, admittedly, was rather good)?
Poos aren’t poos all over the world, Simon. And if you took a good look around Graceland, you’d have seen the bloated, waxen King left untouched yet still slumped on his Graceland throne, with some funny Elvis song pun here if I could be bothered to go back and look at his songs again.
Poo suede shoes?
No. Not very good, that one.