WARNING: This column contains flash photography and scatological references which some readers may find so outrageous that it may lead to incontinence.
OK, you asked for it. Now that we have those legal niceties out of the way, there is no way you can sue my Ass off as we embark on the matter at hand, which is that since the world is coming to an end anyway, all civilised people have to stock up on toilet paper fast before stocks run out, so that we do not as a society descend into barbarism.
Historians say that the invention of papyrus by the ancient Egyptians 4,000 years ago marked the genesis of the highly refined practice of scraping one’s backside, rather than the primitive method humans had been using heretofore of rinsing the orifice in question.
Many in Nepal were surprised by videos of panic buying of toilet paper, and shoppers actually engaging in hand-to-hand combat to hoard the prized rolls. The clip was from Down Under, butt it will be safe to say that the clandestine practice of ass swiping has been a distinguishing feature of the Age of Anglo-Saxon Enlightenment, and has been emulated all over the world with Commodefication during the Colonial Era.
The invention of the Water Closet (WC) may have been a small step for man, but it was a giant leap for mankind as it turned Western Civilisation (WC) into an open-defecation free zone.
The outhouse became an inhouse. In other words, the loo became an indoor arena and, as befitting an activity that is practiced within the confines of one’s home, the vulgar action of hosing down the posterior thankfully went out of vogue in polite company. People switched to using paper. And not just any paper, but the newspaper of record.
Of course, there are still shithole countries out there where bad hombres squat and squirt after a dump. Some Turd World nations still insist on keeping outhouses where crap falls through a hole in the floor onto a compost heap, and is periodically emptied for the disgusting practice of fertilising the vegetable patch. That is soooo gross, compared to portable chamber pots that introduced good hygiene to Victorian England.
However, although Nepal itself was never colonised, we have adopted many features of these modern technologies without bothering to be toilet trained. We never really had our shit together.
Take Singha Darbar. Ministers sit on the throne to empty their bowels, but after that have nothing to expunge their hind quarters with. No sprinklers, no toilet paper, but they don’t give a shit. They just have a gut feeling everything will be all right.
The Army is working on a top-secret germ warfare biological weapon in our military arsenal and urinal which is so classified that even the prime minister does not know about it. Which, I admit, is not saying much.