Is there an expression “it’s as easy as wiping your arse”? There really should be.
Imagine for a second that you’re about 50 years old. In fact, imagine you’re the bloke on the right, over there. For your entire life, you’ve been having a bit of a problem. It’s dead embarrassing, but basically, you’ve been letting off a bit of an odour. You’re really self-conscious of it, and on occasion, perhaps on hot, sweaty days, other people have commented on it. You smell a bit, well, you have a distinct smell of shit.
Being a public spirited sort of person, you want to bring awareness to this horrible condition. There must be hundreds of other people out there, suffering in silence, sweating out this shitty whiff. So you head off to the Embarrassing Bodies clinic, where Dr. Christian and his team undisgustable team can poke, prod and pull at your repulsive rectum. You’ll have to appear on the telly, but so what if strangers find it revolting? Clearly everyone who has ever met you is aware of the nastiness lurking in your Y-fronts.
The big day comes and you’re given the most thorough medical since Caster Semenya. They bend you over and get to work with their inspection tools. The test for hemorrhoids comes back clear. As does the – presumably incredibly glamorous – check for anal fissures. Skin tags, that’s another option. Nope, none of them. Your sphincter is able to close itself properly. This is all very positive.
And then comes the difficult bit. Dr. Christian tells you that all these things. He’s very positive that actually, medically, you’re probably fine. And then the bombshell drops. A big dirty bomb. A big, brown dirty bomb dropped in your pants and not removed completely. He tells you:
“You are quite dirty around the outside.”
That’d explain the smell of shit, then. It’s shit.
A lifetime of difficulty and humiliation, distilled into seven words. Seven words that betray an ignorance of basic hygiene. You’re acutely aware of all the cameras, the studio lights warming you up. Aware that the flecks of shit in amongst your bum-hairs are letting off THAT smell right now. You’re praying for the world to end. Dr. Christian continues:
“I want you to revisit your wiping technique, and see if you can’t do it….” he pauses, “…better.”
That’s it, that’s all you have to do! Be more efficient with your wiping. God only knows what you’ve been doing up until this point; dabbing at it with a bit of paper? Massaging the cheeks together until it goes crusty? Leaving the boxer shorts to catch the residual damage? Nobody will ever know. The short term problem is maintaining a touch of dignity, nodding along with these instructions as though he’s simply giving you directions to the pub. ”uh huh, yeah, sure…”
At least nobody put it on YouTube, to be preserved forever.