Thursday, November 13, 2008

I Shit You Not

Before there was Toilet Paper.......

You should thank your lucky stars you live in the twentieth century, bucko. Let me tell you about ... corncobs. You may not believe this, but it was once common practice in rural America to leave a corncob hanging from a string in the outhouse for purposes of personal hygiene. The string, I gather, was to permit the cob to be reused. For those who were punctilious in these matters, or else blessed with an abundance of corncobs, a box of disposable cobs might be provided instead. In coastal regions, the cob might be replaced by a mussel shell.
For those who had access to it, paper from discarded books or newspapers was often preferred to either of the foregoing. The meteoric growth of the Sears Roebuck company, for instance, is thought to be partly attributable to the protean nature of its catalogs, which, historians tells us, might serve a family of regular habits for an entire season. As with the cob, the catalog would be hung in the outhouse on a string and pages torn off as needed. It is said the use of coated stock, which was nonabsorbent, was a source of great consternation to farm families when Sears began printing color pictures in the catalog earlier in this century.
English lords, in attempting to teach their sons to be cultivated gentlemen, often advised purchasing an inexpensive volume of verse for use in the loo. The idea, of course, was that while you were sitting there in a contemplative state you would be able to read a few stanzas, subsequent to which the paper could be put to other ends, so to speak. It has not escaped my notice that my magnum opus, The Straight Dope: A Compendium of Human Knowledge, is also well suited for this purpose. Indeed, in the next edition we are thinking about perforating the pages, for maximum convenience.

And remember............
Laissez les bon temps rouler!
And as always, thanks for listening!

8 comments:

Indigo said...

I think Leaves would of worked rather well. Then at the very least it would break down naturally as well. (Hugs)Indigo

Lisa said...

I can't believe there is truth in the corn cob!! I can't (and won't) imagine.

Thank goodness for Charmin!! :)

MISSY said...

Indigo's idea is a good one but BEWARE. When I was a kid I was playing out in the woods and didn't want to go home to potty so I wiped with leaves. Just my luck! I wiped with a handful of poison Ivy! Yeah, not a fun experience.

My grandma used to wipe with corncobs she told me. (She was born in 1909 and lived to be 85). *M*

-Missy
http://learningtoadapt.blogspot.com

Sugar said...

we used the old catalogs stacked on one side of the out house, when i was a kid!
;)

Missie said...

OUCH!!

Paula said...

My mama got all the catalogs, Sears, Penny's, and Montgomery Ward. The old ones went to the out house and the new ones stayed inside to order from. No malls back then.

Linda's World said...

I've always lived in a house with an indoor toilet & the appropiate paper. But I've read a lot of historical books and I understand clumps of dry moss had many uses, from serving as baby diapers, for that monthly time & for toilet use. I never would have made it...it's a good thing I was born in the 20th Century. Linda in WA

Marty said...

Jumpin' Jehosephat (sp)! A Corn Cob?!? On a string so anyone could just reuse it?!? That's just disgusting. Makes me wonder what we do these days that folks will find disgusting 100 years from now ...
Best,
Marty