Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Knute The Doot

Be still, my churning colon. There is a fossilized Viking turd on display at the Jorvik Viking Centre in York, England. The Lloyd Bank Coprolite dates from the 9th century. People have studied it to determine various things about the donor. We all do that. We're all at least a little interested in the provenance of our poop. Most of us aren't set up to do a really good analysis, but sometimes we can recognize stuff. Besides corn--you don't get any extra points for recognizing corn.

Anyway it was decided that this particular Viking did not have a particularly good diet. He seemed to be short on vegetables and fruit, for instance, even though it was clear that vegetables and fruit were available at the time. I think that is a little judgmental. Many of my own maternal relatives, all of whom are diluted Vikings, also disdained things that were not meat or potatoes. My Uncle Irvin, for example, was reputed never to have eaten a green vegetable or salad in all his years. Which numbered 85. Take that, Kale-Boy.

They further conclude that our Viking was constipated, because the turd was so large, both in length and girth. Judgey, judgey, judgey. This was a Viking, not a pansy-ass poop scientist. He probably dropped a dirigible like that once a day and twice on Thor's Days.

We certainly have an interest in poop in this house. In fact, the only acceptable excuse for walking away from a conversation is "I have to poop." Sometimes, if Dave is especially wrapped up in what he wants to say, and suspects my condition is not critical, he'll follow me all the way to the bathroom and ask if I'm crowning.

Veterinarians are also interested in poop, at least professionally. I remember following our dog Boomer around for hours waiting for her to produce a sample, until finally, finally, after I thought to take her to the neighbor's yard, she grudgingly presented a sad, small, gray, chalky, brittle, sorry excuse for a turd, and I bagged it and took it to the vet. I suppose he was looking for tapeworms, but any worms she might have harbored would have been ground into flour by that thing. The vet was judgmental and annoyed. "What have you been feeding this animal? Bones?"

Well, excuse me. How should I know what she's been eating? We worked off the same bag of kibble for her entire life. She didn't care for it. This was a dog that was constantly on the front porch knocking at the door when we thought she was already inside. We'd let her in after she'd made her rounds of the neighborhood, and whatever she'd eaten wasn't known to us except on the occasions she ralphed it up on the kitchen floor, but primarily, I believe, she favored meatloaf, biscuits, gravy, sausage, and beer. Possibly bones. Never had a sick day, either, but she did drop dead at 17, so there's that.

At any rate, I see no reason anyone should be all tut-tutty about the diet of our friend Knute the Doot, who made his fine deposit under the future Lloyd's Bank building twelve centuries ago. The day any of your shit lasts that long, get back to us.

36 comments:

  1. Since I live with three parrots, poop is a constant in my day. I give it cursory glances to make sure it looks normal (when they eat beets, it can freak me out), clean it up; and occasionally step in an "invisipoop" that Max has produced after eating an especially juicy pear, and left mid-hallway for maximum steppage potential. Yes, I realize that I'm making up words here. You do that when you're cleaning up bird poop all day.

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    1. All those words look fine to me. I used to have a parakeet but she didn't get to fly around all that much. Because, probably, Mom was in charge.

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  2. Umm, wait. Are there two toilet paper dispensers in that bathroom? What would poop-behavior scientists say about that?

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  3. The Jordvic Museum is great fun. You take a train around the village and helpfully don't provice authentic smells as you pass the toilet area!

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    1. YOU'VE SEEN THE VIKING TURD???

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    2. Sadly, the Jorvik Museum was badly damaged in the January floods which again (it's a fairly regular thing) inundated York. The scale of the recent one was larger and the curators have a big job (sorry!) on their hands restoring order.
      No word on the coprolite though...

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    3. I hope someone put a little sail on it.

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  4. I've taken this as a personal challenge to spot the six (?) differences in the photos. Here they are: 2nd roll of TP changed places, bath mat moved, TP on the right is in a slightly different position, dude's ear has changed sides on his head, dude's facial expression has changed, ..... dang it, I never CAN get the 6th difference ...

    Where did dude get the cool hat?

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    1. Oh yeah, like Children's Highlights magazine! Vikings are born with hats like that. To sturdy Viking women.

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    2. The-hat-with-handles would come in handy for storing toilet rolls on long sea voyages.In case of sudden need...

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    3. Oh, I'll bet you anything that was the original idea, now that you mention it.

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  5. "...you don't get any extra points for recognizing corn." Aw, shucks.

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    1. Seriously, you gotta work harder than that.

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  6. I've been trying to save a baby goat's life since Saturday morning. Enemas are now part of my daily routine. I can't say the rest of the family finds the results as fascinating, encouraging, or discouraging as I do.
    Force feed, force poop. Injections of medications. Rinse, repeat.

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    1. Rinse rinse rinse rinse rinse rinse RINSE rinse rinse rinse RINSE RINSE

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    2. At first I thought Kat was saying she is giving the goat an enema...but maybe she herself needs one after nursing the poor baby animal for 4 days in the barn with no bathroom breaks? Oh dear. TMI

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    3. Oh Susan, you made me laugh!

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  7. At least one of my brothers says that vegetables are what you put on the plate to make the meat look better. And he leaves the 'garnish' with the exception of potatoes and tomatoes which have honorary meat status.
    I am not going to check his crap out though.

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    1. I'm never all that interested in anyone else's.

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  8. Like your relatives I am also a deluded Viking. As long as stuff goes in one end and out the other I won't be concerned, although I never thought about "crowning" in this context.

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    1. And now you will never not be able to think of it.

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  9. This posting has triggered a memory. In the 1950s, I think that everyone's mom read the same Dr. Spock book, which must have told them to 'check your child's poop' before flushing it down. Yep, I have a vague memory -- just about the time I had graduated to pooping-on-my-own -- of Mom, barging into the bathroom to take a cursory glance at the poop in the toilet bowl. Once it was ascertained to be benign, she would give the 'go-ahead-and-flush' sign with a brusque movement of one hand. (Much like at the Westminster Dog show.) I filed this poop-approval process away in the back of my mind for years, thinking that it was just a family quirk. Decades later, it turns out that my lovely spouse, James, had the same experience growing up! Now I"m beginning to wonder if it was a universal, 1950s child-rearing fad? Or was it restricted to mothers who were trained as nurses and home economists? Whatever.....

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    1. Mom didn't do it, I don't think, but I'm also sure she never read Dr. Spock. I DO remember the day she cleverly got me to wipe my own butt. I hollered out the bathroom window to her to come help and she sent my sister Bobbie up. By the time Bobbie had trudged up the stairs I had it all cleaned up.

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  10. so who's the lucky model in the pictures?

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    1. On Odin's honor I am sworn to secrecy.

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  11. I have seen dinosaur poop before at Dinosaur National Monument in Colorado. And lots of the donors bones! Not too interested in seeing Viking poo.

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  12. WHERE IS THE PHOTO OF THE VIKING COPROLITE? Must I Google it myself? This post made me laugh clear through, starting with its title. The second pooping Viking photo kills me. Murre. ha ha haha haha!!

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    1. See, if I don't get out of bed soon enough, you Google it yourself!

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  13. Oh God. My Google was richly rewarded. I feel like I've been to the Jordvik Museum now. Little plexi holders. Do it. Google "Viking coprolite."

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    1. Also, the coprolite fell and broke into three pieces, and it was the job of some museum employee to glue it back together again. I would be SO proud.

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  14. Try this 13-year-old article, about the
    1000-year-old poop:
    http://www.theguardian.com/uk/2003/jun/06/artsandhumanities.arts1

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    1. So, a 13-year-old article about a 100-year-old article.

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  15. Every time I visit my "we are NOT Bavarian, we are from the palitinate" paternal relatives in Bavaria, I am disturbed by the little viewing platforms built into the toilets. Never got to visit the Swedish side of the family - my sister did, but she's way less vulgar than me - so I don't know about their level of scrutiny for sure... but Ikea might have been the first place stateside that I saw the flush options on a toilet, so I have my suspicions.

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    1. Oooh! I fondly remember those toilets from my first (only?) visit to Bavaria in 1972! Your poop would be all plated up on the viewing platform and then the flush whooshed it away from the back end, ironically.

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