The days when your scoutmaster told you to dig a trench toilet are OVER.  There are many places now where you are expected to pack in your food and pack out your… not-food-any-more.  There are good reasons to do this- mostly having to do with courtesy for the next people who will be camping where you’re camping now.  That sort of reasoning seems to be losing traction these days, so let me re-phrase the situation as-  YOU are the next people camping after someone else.  You don’t want coyotes or rats or ants or other creatures waiting around the campsite when you get there, knowing there’ll be poo buried in a shallow grave when you wander off again.  So unless YOU want to be the chimp that messes up the deal for everyone else (including yourself if you have plans to return to that campsite) you’ll play Good Camper and do what you oughtta.

Hm.  That intro got out of hand.

But that’s part of the issue here!  Everyone, especially small children, knows that the funniest thing on the planet is poop.  Second funniest is other people making poop and third is other people dealing with poop.  Actually, I may have that list reversed.  Doesn’t matter. The subject causes giggles, then outright laughter and general hilarity. I have a good scuba story dealing with poop underwater, for example.  Conversations about poop get out of hand and tend to go on a while.

So, how come there isn’t more literature on poop?  Is it because of the indelicacy of the subject?  The difficulty in using good and proper language when dealing with the subject?

Nuh-uh.  For example, this review is for this here book:

See there?  No trouble dealing with indelicate language, even in the title.

The book doesn’t even deal with generalized poop.  No underwater scuba poop, no doggie doo, no daylight bombing raids around the chimp enclosure at the zoo.  No, this book is entirely devoted to poop along a river, and more specifically, what happens when it’s been taken away from the river and has to be dealt with.

There are twelve chapters.  Twelve.  About Poop.  Making it, carrying it in a boat, disposing of it properly, accidentally disposing of it horribly, horribly wrong and who had to pay the price.  There are probably some countries where doody is not the secret shame of every man, woman and child.  A buddy of mine has lived in India, where there are neighborhoods within which a far more cavalier attitude toward bodily function prevails.  Apparently it makes for some sidewalk art that no one in the states is going to fund.  No one.

The best chapter, and one that was repeated while I was on a Grand Canyon trip is ‘Mirage Of Poo’.  Turns out that if you spill a river toilet out of the back of a truck across a steaming hot highway, it takes on the glassy appearance of a water mirage- at least to the bicyclists that are approaching.  It also turns out that applying caliper brakes on your bike while in the middle of a large hot puddle of dookie, the brakes don’t work the way you’d like them to, and you… ahem… go down. at speed.  I don’t say this as a spoiler to the book, and I can’t bring myself to say that I’m trying to ‘whet your appetite’ for the book.  That’s nasty.  I’m just saying… it’s a book about poo and it’s as funny as… a book about poo.  River poo.

Plus!  Plus!  There’s a GLOSSARY in the back… in case you’re not a rafter (I’m not) and it has definitions to all the rafter-specific words used in the book.  PLUS, there’s a whole page of EUPHEMISMS FOR POOP!  Both words AND phrases!  I note with dismay that my children’s favorite ‘Pop a squat’ (not that they are redneck trash, thank you) is not on there, but I’m sure you have a pencil for when you get a copy of the book for yourself. You can add it to the list.  Freebie!

I bought a stack of copies of this book years ago, just to give to other paddlers as Christmas gifts.  I can recommend you doing the same.  It’s cool.  I don’t have a trademark on the idea.

I’ll make it easy.  You can shop the book HERE.

Good night and good poo.