The Club That Dare Not Speak Its Name


Today I want to talk about one of the most pressing issues of our time. Something not even spoken of behind closed doors. A club that nobody would ever admit to being a member of. One that people would never admit exists. A club without meetings, without an agenda, without AGMs or newsletters.

I speak, of course, of the No-Poop Club. This, by the way, is very different from No Poo. No Poo, also known as CG, is a method of hair care used by curly-haired people which involves cutting out products with sulphates and silicones. CG is awesome, by the way. I’ll probably devote another post to plugging no-poo hair care to all the curly-moos out there. Me and BelovedFriend swear by it, and always have excellent hair.

But this post isn’t about No Poo. This post is about the No-Poop Club.

The First Rule Of No-Poop Club

Inside the Cubicle Inside the Little Room in t...

Inside the Cubicle Inside the Little Room in the Office (Photo credit: Theen …)

If you’re a No-Pooper, you know what I mean. If you’re not, you probably don’t even know that we exist. There are ways of recognising us, though. Imagine you’re going into a public toilet. It’s the kind with cubicles. When you get in, there is obviously one- no more- occupied stall. You pop into your own stall, do your business. Wash your hands, dry your hands, leave. Throughout this time there is no sound from the occupied stall. You leave the bathroom, go about your day with no idea that you just encountered a No-Pooper.

A No-Pooper, you see, will not poop where they can be heard. The stall occupant who you so blithely ignored had been scoping out empty bathrooms. They may have even worked out that this bathroom was most likely to be quiet at this time of day. This is the kind of thing that No-Poopers know. And after all their careful work, you walked in. The few minutes that you spent in the loo could have been an agony of bowel-clenching for your anonymous bathroom companion. As you blithely went about your business, they were keenly attuned to your progress from the moment the door opened until they heard your retreating footsteps under the hum of the hand dryer. No-Poopers Know.

There Can Be Only One

No movement is detected.

No movement is detected. (Photo credit: nickherber). A No-Pooper’s nihtmare.

This isn’t all from No-Poop Club. There may have been times that you, blithely innocent muggle that you are, entered a bathroom in the middle of a No-Poop Standoff. To you, it was identical in all respects to the scenario above. Except that this time, there were two occupied cubicles.

A No-Poop Standoff occurs when, despite their best efforts, two No-Poopers enter a bathroom at the same time, intending to engage in some low-profile elimination. Like ninjas they enter their respective cubicles. Each waits for the sound of socially-acceptable urination from the other, which would signal the beginning of a perfectly ordinary Scenario One. But it is not to be. Our two No-Poopers are now trapped. To leave the cubicle would mean signalling their intent to the other No-Pooper. It would mean admitting, as clearly as minutes of noisy elimination, that they were a person in possession of a digestive system. No-Poopers know these things.

So the No-Poopers cannot leave. But they cannot poop. Eventually, one must give in. Unless someone else walks in, of course, and in the confusion of peeing and flushing and hand drying noises, a No-Pooper can make her escape and, while she must suffer the stomach-clenching discomfort of an incomplete poop, she will at least save herself the indignity of being recognised as a metabolising animal. The only other hope to save face is in mustering a respectable pee or unwrapping something sanitary. It’s surprisingly far more acceptable to menstruate than to poop. I don’t know why. Them’s the rules.

Transcending No-Poop Club

When I’m in a public bathroom and I hear the unmistakable sounds of proud, shameless defecation, I feel a moment of pride. Was the pooper never a member of the No-Poop Club? Or did she manage to overcome years of shaming, raise two fingers to ridiculous expectations of womanhood and open her bowels in pride?

Because, of course, No-Poop Club is just another way that women are expected to deny being, you know, humans. We’re supposed to spend our lives eliminating (lol) any evidence that we have follicles, subcutaneous fat or unsexy orifices. And we’re supposed to do it without any evidence of how much work that takes. We’re supposed to never have stubble, never have stretch marks or cellulite- god forbid that our bodies change over time! And our digestive systems must never be truly hungry, and never dispose of waste products.

I wish I could tell you that I was a proud ex-member of No-Poop Club. Turns out, though, that there’s a big difference between knowing that a thing is ridiculous and messed-up, and actually being able to bring yourself to transcend the internalised bullshit that comes with it. Maybe someday I’ll be able to join the ranks of proud poopers. In the meantime, though, I’ll just keep on being happy for those who can.

And, y’know, writing about poop on the internet. I’ll probably keep doing that too.

4 thoughts on “The Club That Dare Not Speak Its Name

  1. Totally me, too.

    Though I have progressed to the point where I will poop in an occupied public restroom.

    But then I cannot leave the stall and show my face — it was me that pooped! — until the restroom is empty once again.

  2. I am with Tori, I can poop in public restrooms, but I will then wait until everyone has left (or at least I know for sure it is new people in there), before I leave… so clearly I still have issues.

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