WARNING: The following contains more than the recommended daily allowance of parentheses, to include liberal uses of the words “pee” and “poop” (and variations thereof). People who are easily offended by questionable language may wish to discontinue reading. Or they can just lighten the frig up.
First, a short RECAP: Last week, in Modern Medicine, I recounted my efforts to soothe cracked heels with a concoction called Heel Balm. The ointment, while ultimately effective, contained something called “urea,” which I thought sounded strangely familiar.
My fears were later confirmed when I checked the dictionary and saw that “urea” is made from mammalian urine. Essentially, pee.
So, even though I now have a pair of heels which would make me a shoe-in (no pun intended) for “Dancing With the Stars,” they come with a disturbing cost: feet lathered in piss.
Wow. Now that I look at the above, it wasn’t such a short RECAP, after all. Sorry about that.
Over the course of the past week, you lucky few who are followers of mine (talk about winning the lottery, huh?) have been treated to several lively debates over the relative merits of using bodily waste to treat skin disorders. I was even informed that I could have merely urinated on my feet to save me the cost of heel cream and prevent any manual contact with the offending substance.
Unfortunately, I neglected to read that part about peeing in the shower. My neighbors are still pretty hacked off that I peed on my tootsies while in the backyard. “Oh, oh, don’t you eat that yellow snow!”
Then I read a comment from BlackLOG (it was only tonight that I noticed his blog name has the word “BLOG” in it. He’s very clever and I’m a dunce.).
Unsolicited Plug: BlackLOG’s blog can be found at http://the-blacklog.blogspot.com. Check it out. It’s well worth a look and, if nothing else, he has a cool video jukebox which automatically starts playing when you click in. Why not? Don’t cost nothin’.
Anyway, he reminded me that the Ancient Romans used urine to clean their togas, since Irish Spring hadn’t been invented yet and only pussies-like the Visigoths-used Wisk.
According to BL (can I call you “BL?”), well-to-do Romans sent slaves around to collect urine from townsfolk in an early type of recycling program (his description, not mine. I wish I could claim it-it’s pretty funny). After collecting a pissload (as opposed to the eminently more offensive shitload), they brought the buckets back to the washing area (I’m thinking it wasn’t in the main house). Whereupon they handed them off to another group of slaves (who else but slaves would even do this? There apparently was no “Slave Union”).
These slaves, called “Fullones” (from which “Fuller” is derived. If you know anyone with that name, go ahead and tease them-you’ll probably piss them off. OK, THAT pun was intended), proceeded to mix the pee pee with water into a noxious cocktail in bigger vats (called Urinarium Terrariums. Well, probably not. But, it sounds cool, don't it?).
They then hiked their tunics to their knees (well, I would hope so), tossed in the soiled togas, called sorditas (or gorditas. I’m too lazy to Google it), and proceeded to stomp away like Lucy in a grape vat. Only they weren’t making wine. Finally, the aristocratic clothing emerged sparkling white, if a tad pungent.
Not only did the senators impress other fragrant patricians, but the fullones had the softest feet in the empire. “Win-win,” if you want my opinion.
Too bad about the lower-class Romans, though. They had to settle for washing their tunics in poop.
Of course, in that day and age of no central air and the aforementioned lack of soap (let alone AXE bodywash), no matter where you went, it was like the monkey house at the zoo.
No wonder the Roman Empire fell.
I remember something similar which happened to me.....ok, not completely similar. But, it did involve pee.......
When my baby brother was still a...baby forty years ago, it often fell on me and my sister to help mom out with changing the little drape ape.
One such morning, as I got ready for school, my mother asked me to change his early-morning pissy diaper. Even though I would have much rather preferred hauling my bowl of Cocoa Puffs over to the TV for a little Underdog, I knew better than to give her a hard time.
She had a metal spatula and wasn’t afraid to use it.
Anyway, I placed the little wriggler on the changing table, removed the plastic pants which covered his sodden diaper (this was a few years before plastic Pampers), and bent down to retrieve a dry set of clothes.
Unfortunately, I let go of him and he proceeded to roll right off the table. Like a veteran outfielder, I scooped him up just before he hit the floor. Cradling his body against my chest, I placed him back on the table and changed him.
I considered myself something of a hero, despite the fact I was the knucklehead who let him go in the first place. I reminded my friends in school how I had saved my brother from injury or possible brain damage (he did that all on his own in college).
As the day wore on, though, and the heat climbed in the classroom, I started to smell something a little funny. At first, I thought it was Richie Serilla next to me. He usually smelled like cabbage. But, no, it wasn’t him.
I bent my head and brought the front of my shirt to my nose.
You guessed it.
I could have used that shirt for my heels.
OK, that's probably all the laughs I could get from my feet.