I recently took a stroll to a country pub, with a small group of friends plus a dog. The dog was wearing a muzzle. When I enquired as to why, I was told that it had recently picked up the habit of eating dog shit.
That's a pretty unpleasant thought and you can see why any dog owner would want to break that particular bad habit. The thought of the dog licking you, or mooching around the kitchen after indulging in its scatological passion is enough to put anyone off their breakfast. Joy of joys I have to dog-sit this particular mutt in a few weeks time.
Unpleasant as the talk of faeces is, there is a profound sense in which humans, as part of the wider animal kingdom, are the daily creators of this wonderful thing called dung. Rich in bacteria, each "doing" shoots off down the sewage system, to join a nether world of unseen (and unsmelt) effluent. If you want to know the correct relationship between an all powerful Creator God, and a new universe, look no further than Man, trousers rolled around his ankles, sitting upon his throne.
It's not right for a man (or woman) to pay too much attention to their own business - once it has been released into the wild it becomes a taboo. Concentrate instead on a good digestion and a regular habit, then you will have done enough to set this new microverse of DNA and roughage spinning down the pan, and out into its own nascent world.
Much as I used to enjoy Channel 4's series "You Are What You Eat", if only to witness helpless souls being harangued by Gillian McKeith, I'd never be as daft as to try and follow her advice. It's not just that "@gillianmckeith is a poo-bothering quack" as twitterer eleanora_ succinctly puts it, it is also a fact that McKeith is offending the very laws of creation. When all is said and done, each and every one of us leaves behind a glorious trail of steaming turds. This is not to denigrate the wonderful work of professional sewage engineers. Anyone who helps expediate the evacuation of waste from my house to any anywhere else must be applauded. On the other hand, anyone who thinks you should defacate in a sandwich box then poke it around with a spatula needs their bumps felt.
In a funny way of thinking, this brought me around to the Pope. Andrew Brown at the Guardian wants us to design an anti-Pope t-shirt. I had a go, and then I realised I had quite mixed feelings about him. On the one hand, I think the superstition and pagentry of the Catholic Church is ridiculous. But on the other hand, the world would be quite a bit more drab without him. This is a romantic notion, that somehow I need other people's refined eccentricities to liven up my day. Perhaps I should be putting a lot more work into my own passions, and pay a lot less attention to the passions of others? Something to ponder, at least, the next time I am sitting on the lavvy.