Origin of the FecesAnd now, because no zine would ever be complete without scatological humor, I’d like to take a stab at this shopworn topic. For many people, when they enter romantic relationships, they tend to avoid all discussions about bodily functions. For personal reasons, I don’t feel the need to share the excretory details of my life, because they’re neither interesting nor meaningful. For the first four years of our relationship, my wife and I silently agreed to avoid discussions of bodily functions and to suppress them whenever possible. It wasn’t until our honeymoon that we “broke through” this barrier. It was a hideous trip—cold, gray, rainy, crowded, gross, expensive, scary, confusing—but we pulled through together. And four days before we were scheduled to return, we couldn’t take it anymore and decided to do whatever we could to get back to New York as soon as possible. I remember it like it was yesterday, though I don’t remember who farted first. It doesn’t matter, the cat was out of the bag at that moment, so to speak. But we’re both crass, dirty, sick, gross and quite perverted. As a result, our relationship has always been interested in scatological jokes as a way to avoid discussing our own bodily functions. Consequently, we’ve evolved our own language that I’d like to share.
It started with my wife's friend Kilborne (or Kib, as he’s called). He used to call defecating “taking a grumpy.” We used that for a few months until I observed that I’d recently encountered some senior citizens who smelled like they’d soiled their Depends. So, I said that it was “taking a gramp,” because you smelled like grandpa. Then it became, “I’m feeling grumpy,” which meant you were full of shit and needed to release it. At some point we switched to “dropping the kids off at the pool,” which I read in my favorite sex column “Savage Love,” and that phrase lasted in our shared vocabulary for a long time.
After a while, we needed to find a way to describe farts within this context. We decided that a fart was like shit in that it smelled, but had no physical attributes. It existed, we could sense it, but it wasn’t really there—like a ghost. So we called them the “ghosts” of our kids that were going to get dropped off at the pool. And here’s two more lovely additions to our lexicon.
Cutting Muffins. In Brak’s excellent song “I Love Beans,” he wonders about a lot of things. He loves to eat beans, and when he does, he “sits in his own little cloud.” No one comes to bother him in his cloud, probably because, as he puts it, he’s “cutting muffins,” or farting.
Clean Break. When I was in college, I lived with an interesting weirdo named Brian Miller. For some reason, he grew his fingernails really long and would use his nails to perforate an empty soda can and then tear a perfect line straight down the side. Anyway, Brian liked to discuss his bowel habits with most other people, but he was especially proud of himself when, after taking a shit (or rather, leaving one), he discovered that he hadn’t had a need to wipe. He called this experience, “A Perfect Shit,” and would often brag about how many he’d had recently. Someone else I know calls it "making a clean getaway," but Perfect Shit sounds more regal to me.