This article originally appeared on VICE UK.
Every few months, some truly wretched discussion concerning human behaviour will dominate Twitter for 24 hours, throwing all previously held assumptions about how the world works into disarray.
There was the time everyone spent like a month arguing over whether you should wash your legs, and the time a load of people logged on to suggest it's actually not necessary to wash the underside of your plates. So I suppose it was really only a matter of time until poo came into all this – but I could have easily gone my entire life without discovering that one in 30 people shit in the shower.
Typically, this kind of thing emerges from a random survey of a small number of people, and indeed, this unwelcome faecal data stems too from a recent survey of 1,000 people about general hygiene habits, from bathroom shop QS Supplies. At first you think: 'Ah yes, naturally that must be why the results are so unusual.' But then real people with real accounts will chime in and say: 'This is me. I shit in the shower and stamp it down the drain with my foot. This is my truth.'
As news circulated, a Twitter poll – featuring an even greater number of participants – seemed to reveal a similar ratio, further bolstering the evidence.
Beyond basic moral upset, there's a lot going on here, administratively speaking, and we have several questions. For example:
ARE YOU NOT WORRIED ABOUT IT GOING ON YOU?
Even before "How are you managing to poo in the shower?" – which, rest assured, we will come to later – I feel compelled to ask: are you not worried about getting poo on you? I know you are in the shower, and so it doesn't technically matter because it will ultimately come off, but to me, it's just more seeing it there. A fully formed human poo just sort of… on its side… resting on my foot is the sort of thing that would haunt me for the rest of my life, and when I shut my eyes at night I would think about how I had brought shame on my family. But perhaps that is just me and I'm being squeamish. Apologies to the 1 in 30.
HOW ARE YOU MANAGING THIS?
Setting aside instances of follow-through, which can happen to the best of us, one wonders how actively going about doing a poo in the shower might look. To my mind’' eye, there are only two ways around it:
i) You stand erect, scrubbing your armpits and foaming up shampoo in your hair, whistling away without a care in the world, as a steady tide of shit just sort of… falls out effortlessly, in which case please skip immediately to question three. Or;
ii) You squat, nude and sopping, to drop a log at your own feet. As much as this sounds like the sort of primal behaviour that might be encouraged by the ladies of The Goop Lab, you do have to stop and wonder at this point: if all the usual motions are required, why not simply step out and do it in the toilet like normal? I don't mean to be a prude, but if it was a choice between a simple plop + flush or scraping bits of my own shit out of the indents of a soaking wet ceramic floor that I'm standing on barefoot, like a dog walker in a storm, I know which one I would go for.
IS YOUR ARSE ALRIGHT?
If you often find yourself in the process of showering – a process that is typically determined to improve your levels of hygiene and mental wellbeing – only to be struck like a bolt of lightning by an urge to shit so intense, so immediate, that you have go do it right there and then, perhaps consider the answer might be: seek medical assistance.
HOW DO YOU DISPOSE OF IT?
There are only a few options here, as I see it, and they are:
i. Do you squash it down the plughole with your foot?
I cannot imagine squashing a human shit with the sole of my naked foot, under running water, but it would appear that this is the most efficient method of doing away with the shit. Does it go in between your toes? Do you have to just sort of hold your foot under the water until all the poo is off? Do you have to get your heel right in there to make sure it's all gone down? What if the plughole gets blocked? Lots of sub-questions here.
ii. Do you pick it up and pop it into the toilet?
This depends on the logistics of your bathroom really, but I suppose there is a possibility that, having done the shit, you could sort of Hand of God it into the toilet. But then what if you missed? Troubling.
iii. Do you just leave it there?
If you would just leave a poo chilling in the bath / shower tray then there is no telling what else you might be capable of.
WHAT IS YOUR THOUGHT PROCESS WHILE ALL OF THIS IS HAPPENING?
The fact is that if you are a shower pooer, nobody strictly needs to know but you. Perhaps your daily shower poo is the only thing that brings you a moment’s peace and contemplation, and if that's the case, then who are we to judge? But at the same time, what is it like to just be casually squashing a human shit down a plug hole with one's foot? How are you feeling? Alarmed? Beleaguered? Serene? I just want to understand.