Daily Archives: February 4, 2009

Don’t Eat With Your Left Hand

What did people use before toilet paper was invented?

*Newsprint, paper catalog pages in early US

*Hayballs, Scraper/gompf stick kept in container by the privy in the Middle Ages

*Discarded sheep’s wool in the Viking Age, England

*Frayed end of an old anchor cable was used by sailing crews from Spain and Portugal

*Medieval Europe- Straw, hay, grass, gompf stick

*Corn cobs, Sears Roebuck catalog, mussel shell, newspaper, leaves, sand- United States

*Water and your left hand, India

*Pages from a book, British Lords

*Coconut shells in early Hawaii

*Lace was used by French Royalty

*Public Restrooms in Ancient Rome- A sponge soaked in salt water, on the end of a stick

*The Wealthy in Ancient Rome-Wool and Rosewater

*French Royalty-lace, hemp

*Hemp & wool were used by the elite citizens of the world

*Defecating in the river was very common internationally

*Bidet, France

*Snow and Tundra Moss were used by early Eskimos

Wow, impressive. Humans are so creative, always inventing new things. Sand? Snow? Coconut shells? Mussel shells? Straw? Hay? Grass? The Roman one, a sponge soaked in salt water on the end of a stick, seems like the best one of them all until Charmin came along 2000 years later.

Do it in the river? Terrible idea. In Africa, to this very day, they do it on the beach. Or maybe they wade out into the shallow water a little bit. They have some really beautiful white sand beaches in West Africa, but you really do need to watch where you step.

I believe that in Lagos, Nigeria, a so-called modern city, only 1% of the population has access to indoor plumbing. Where to go? I dunno. Sidewalk? Better watch your step in Lagos too.

In China they used to put it on the crops. I hope they composted it first. Farmers all over China where wheeling around wheelbarrows full of it 60 years ago. It was called “night soil.”

In the Middle Ages, you just went in a bucket. After a while, the bucket filled up. Then you went to the window and tossed it out into the streets. I’m not sure if you looked before you tossed or not.

To this day there is an expression in Mexican Spanish dating from Old Spanish from the Middle Ages – Aguas! means “Watch out!” Aguas means “waters.” This expression dates back to that period when someone was emptying their toilet bucket out into the street below. People down below would yell out, “Waters!” so they could get out of the way when the shit started to fly.


Filed under History, Humor