I was on the phone with one of my sisters the other day, when the subject turned to politics. In reference to our fearless leaders, I said, “Those bastards don’t know shit.”

She corrected me with, “Oh, you mean those guys don’t know poo?”

Oh shit, that’s right, I remembered, I’m talking to my religious sister. She’s an uppity-up with the Jehovah’s Witnesses. Her husband’s an elder, you know, so she’s big-time, and has to set an example for everyone. And in that religion, “shit” is apparently an unacceptable way to refer to the fecal matter that drops from the anus.

The appropriate alternative is “poo.”

Worldly people say, “shit,” whereas those who are not of this world say, “poo.”

Poo is acceptable in any Kingdom Hall of the Jehovah’s Witnesses. You can say that word repeatedly, while attending their meetings, and they’ll just smile, and maybe even giggle, and you will be tops with them.

In fact, you can say, “poo” to any religious person. Nuns love poo. So do ministers. And so do Sunday School teachers.

Poo goes well with religion, but it’s also appropriate for mixed company. I don’t quite know what “mixed” company actually is, but from a small child I’ve heard admonishments along the lines of, “you can’t say that in mixed company,” or “don’t do that in mixed company.” I suppose it means you’re in the company of people who are mixed up about things, and thus are easily offended.

When you’re in mixed company, it’s risky to say the word, “shit,” because sometimes people will find it objectionable. But it’s never risky to say, “poo.” You can even add an “h” to the word, then double it, as in, “I pooh-pooh that.” Which I think means, “I shit on that.”

Adding an “h” to poo brings to mind Winnie the Pooh. Kids love Winnie the Pooh. I never cared much for that sanctimonious, priggish, moralizing, turd-shaped bear, but maybe that’s because I discovered the word, “shit,” at a young age. When I first became aware of Winnie the Pooh I wondered, why don’t they call him Winnie the Shit? Does calling shit “pooh” make it any less smelly or disgusting?

I prefer “shit” to “poo.” Shit is more authentic. Also, it’s a much more versatile word. It doesn’t always refer to the stinky material that draws all those flies. It can mean all kinds of things. But when you try to use the word “poo” to refer to anything other than the defecations secreted by our bowels, it really falls flat.

For instance, when someone says, “I have to get my shit together,” everyone knows they’re not referring to that awful stuff that gets flushed down the toilet. No, they’re speaking in the abstract. They’re referring to their life, and various aspects of their life that may be a bit disorganized at the moment.

But when someone says, “I have to get my poo together,” it leaves me in a muddle. I’m picturing them collecting the brown stuff from their toilet, and putting it all together in a sack. Perhaps a blivet bag.

If you’re going through hard times, and someone commiserates with you by saying, “Wow, that’s some tough shit, man,” you know exactly what they mean, and you feel consoled. But what if they say, “Wow, that’s some tough poo, man,” wouldn’t that sound a little weird and off-putting? Tough poo? There’s nothing consoling about that. That just brings to mind the sort of stuff that’s requires multiple flushes to get down the loo.

And yet, many religious people try to use the word “poo” in just this way. For them it’s a substitute for “shit” in all of our scatological idioms, bromides, and other cliches.

To me, it comes off as awkward, dorky, and wacky. If someone considers “shit” to be a taboo word, then they might not want to say it. But it strikes me as strange when they use “poo” as a substitute. It just doesn’t work, unless they’re actually referring to the fecal matter that drops from the anus.

But even then, it sounds like toddler-speak, in my view. And so does “poop” and “caca.” I hardly ever use those words. I grew out of them before I lost my baby teeth. I will, however, utilize the heteroclitical term, “crap,” fairly often. It’s a semi-taboo word that can pass without raising many eyebrows, in mixed company.

I sometimes feel sorry for religious people who seem compelled to resort to silly measures like saying the word, “poo,” to avoid taboo behavior. But perhaps that’s the price they must pay to get on the list for housing in heaven.

I violate taboos right and left, so I’m not on that list. I guess me and my filthy mouth are going to hell. And that’s some tough shit, man.

Categories: Humor

226 replies »

  1. I’m with you, TG. So I guess we’re both on your sister’s Shit List 🤣🤣🤣

    I’m reminded of one time when I was a teenager, riding in the back of my friend’s family car. Her mom was driving, and she had a near miss with another vehicle. She yelled out “Farmer!!!!”, as an f-word alternative. Man, I thought we were going fall out of our seats from laughing.


    Liked by 5 people

  2. Oh gosh! Leave it to you to write a post about shit that has me laughing!! But hey, how can you be so mean to Pooh Bear! The adorable, lovable, cuddly, full of wisdom and fluff bear! You obviously don’t know shit about Pooh! 😛

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Oooooooooooh .. I have a real issue with JW. They have a “two witness rule” which dictates they do not get involved in any issues unless there are two witnesses to verify. We recently had a documentary on child sexual abuse within JW, where nothing was done because there were no witnesses. It involved some very sad and evasive responses by JW officials when confronted with the fact that child sexual abuse will virtually never have any witnesses. Not only did they take no action within JW, but they did not feel any obligations to report the incidents to the local law agencies!

    We had a JW couple as friends at that time and when I confronted them with the video, they had no answers, and chose to disconnect from us!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I’m with you, Tippy. Some shit just works better than others. Crap is OK, too. Poo is too soft, too difficult to rhyme. The world is made up of two types of believers: 1) bodily functions are funny and should be joked about, and 2) bodily functions are gross and should remain private. Most of my friends are in Group One. Years ago, a clerk in my office said with alarm, “Oh no, I might have sharted!” This was a new term for me, so I asked what it meant. “It means,” he said, “that I need to run to the bathroom for a quick maintenance wipe.” Yikes! I got an invitation this week to put my hat in the ring to perform a 2-minute comedy routine at the Erma Humor Workshop. I decided not to sign up when I saw this in the rules: “All comedy must be CLEAN.” C’mon, what fun is that? 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

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