My Word for Poop

14 09 2009

Poop. It’s a funny word. You can’t say it without smiling a little. Maybe because it’s everyone’s dirty little secret. Everyone likes to pretend that they don’t have to and that theirs doesn’t stink. Before Kindergarten, I was unfamiliar with the word “poop.” Mom made up her own word for that embarrassing bodily function—“ahkee.” I don’t now how it’s spelled, and I can’t find it on Urban Dictionary. Maybe the word was passed down from Grandma. Dad called it something else “taking a dump” or “shit.” “Taking a dump” doesn’t lend itself very well to conversation when talking about poop as a noun. And “shit” was not an acceptable choice for a Kindergartener. When the subject came up on the bus (because poop is a subject that always comes up), I chimed in with what I knew about “ahkee.” The conversation halted abruptly, turned to laughter and finally ridicule. That’s where I went wrong in school—not by dressing funny or being overweight or asthmatic. It was because I didn’t have the right word for poop. If I could do it over again, I’d say shit instead.

As a nurse, I’m frequently concerned about other people’s poop—whether or not they are pooping and making sure it’s the right kind of poop. I refer to it frequently as a Bowel Movement or B.M, especially to the 65 and older crowd. If I say that to anyone younger than 40, they look at me like I just spoke to them in Mandarin Chinese. Nurses may have to change their terminology soon.

Jacks says that in her line of work, everything she makes turns to shit eventually. That Coconut Risotto, Gourmet Grilled Cheese, and Artichoke & Blue Cheese Bisque—all goes to shit.

I recently spent a three day weekend at the Wheatland Music Festival. No running water. Just lines of blue, plastic port-o-johns from a company called Fresh Start. Each year, the conditions of these port-johns declines as the festival goers become more drunk and stoned. One year someone decided to shit along side of the hole instead of in it. The piles of shit in the blue water rise along with tampons, paper and foreign objects. Don’t’ forget the flies and the abandoned beer bottle sitting to the side. Why would you ever bring a drink into one of those things?

Fresh Start was out there every day with their shit hoses and tanks of blue water. Each truck had a cute little name with a cartoon. Honey Pot, Honey Jar, Honey Trucker, Honey Bucket. I realize that honey is a product of bee shit. But I don’t really want to associate deliciously sweet golden honey with human shit. Not appetizing. No matter what you call it, it’s still shit. There’s nothing cute or delicious about it. Especially as the smell of raw sewage wafts over you as you take a bite of an elephant ear.

Last week, I was watching the news with my parents.
“No one uses the word manure anymore,” Dad said.
“Oh?” I said. Where the hell was he going with this?
“They used the word scat,” he said.
“Are you sure they used that word?” I asked.
He had been watching a news program earlier that week that referred to monkey manure as scat. I informed him that scat is a sexual practice involving shit. One should never have this type of conversation with your parents. Especially before 6am.

I was having a drunk conversation with JW. I joked that at the next Wheatland, I would just wear a diaper like the NASA astronauts. Whenever I would hold up my index finger and have a strained look on my face, everyone would know that I needed a moment of quiet. And as always with poop, the conversation steadily declined to dirtier and more profane subjects. JW asked if I had ever heard of Space Docking. Of course, I immediately thought of space ships, space walks and satellite repair. Apparently this is a sexual practice that involves pooping in someone’s vagina. Can you say E.Coli? We determined that it would have to be a solid turd rather than diarrhea otherwise it could not be called docking.

No wonder Mom told me it was “Ahkee.”

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