Go ahead....squeeze it......I dare you. No, I tripple-dog-dare you!

Toilet paper. Most of us use it. There's no shame in that. I mean, do you really want to sit next to the person who goes wipe-less?

Granted, there are better ways of making like Captain Kirk after you've done your doody.

Seriously? You don't know that joke? How TP and Kirk are alike? *sigh* They both circle Uranus, wiping out Klingons.

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Some parts of the world prefer to use the bidet. I've used them, and while they work, it just feels weird. Plus, I can see teenage boys spending too much time with one of those things....

But, here in America, we use toilet paper. Now, if you get right down to it, the process of wiping your butt is pretty gross. Think about what you're doing. What it is you're actually holding in your hand. Gross, right?

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Well, if you think so, you obviously have never read any of my posts.

Before toilet paper was invented, people were fairly creative when it came to cleaning up the leftovers.

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In the middle east, it was customary to wipe with your left hand. Just the hand. And remember, sinks, or water, for that matter, weren't readily available. To this day a lot of Arabic countries consider the left hand to be unclean.

One of the most common things to use was whatever was at hand. If you lived close to the sea, you probably used a sea shell. If you lived in a temperate climate, you used leaves or grass. An agrarian society would use things like corn cobs.

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The wealthy preferred to use linnen or handfulls of wool.

Ancient biblical and talmudic texts suggested using broken shards of pottery, or small pebbles. In fact, Jewish peoples of antiquity were known to sometimes carry a pouch full of carefully selected pebbles to use.

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The Romans, however, take the cake for being gross.

In the Roman world, pooping was a social event. Bathrooms were public, and usually consisted of 20-40 seats carved into stone. They were about 1 foot apart, so, rubbing elbows was something that couldn't be avoided. A great deal of business was conducted in the Roman bathroom, and I'm not talking about the normal bathroom business.

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When they were finished, they would scrub the area clean with a sponge attached to the end of a stick, and soaked in salt water. It actually would be effective. However, (oh, you knew there was a catch), the sticks were kept in a communal bucket. You'd pull one out, shake off the excess water, scrub-a-dub the poop-chute, and stick it back in the bucket for the next guy.

Oh Rome.....no wonder you fell....

I'll spare you the joys of learning about Chuugi. All I'll say is, they were Japanese, and were also called kusobera, which translated means, "shit spatula".

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'nuff said.

So, I suppose I should apologize for my shitty choice of subject matter, but I wont. Because, frankly, the history of poop amuses me. (ooohhh....I just got a great idea for another Oddities post...)