Arse Wiping ~ A Brief History

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Anyone remember Izal? The tracing paperesque bog roll which smeared rather than cleared excrement from the bunghole and felt like a demon kissing your anus?

This masochistic personal hygiene tool is remarkably still in use to this very day! People actually use it by choice, rather than have it forced on them by a Victorian, draconian school system or place of work. Incredible when you hear what some people think of the stuff, one reviewer describes it as “screaming agony on a roll…”, another says “smears, not clears. Cuts your ring.”

This got me thinking, if Izal was so bad how much worse were things before people started using shiny paper which damaged your gristly polo?

Well in the mists of time the old favourites would be grass and leaves, but there are a few more bizarre choices. Mussel shells! Mussel shells? No thank you.
Fur, which seems pretty good, may be the real reason for the Egyptians domesticating cats? Native Americans once used corn cobs to clean the cornhole,
Do you think they used empty corn cobs or full ones? KFC has a habit of upsetting my movements, maybe their mini corn cobs are sold due to an age old American tradition?

Here’s a good one, ancient Greeks used stones. Fucking stones? The Greeks were never renowned for giving their arseholes an easy time though were they? The Romans had the good sense to use a sponge on a stick, soaked in salt water. A method still used by many morbidly obese to this very day. By necessity.

Eskimos used moss in the warmer months, but would revert to using snow when the cold set in. I think this must be worth a try come next winter, especially on a Saturday morning, as Friday night is traditionally curry night in my house.


A Muslim earlier

In the Middle East, and most Islamic countries, the preferred method is still to wipe with your left hand and then wash your hand. And then eat with your hands. Considering the popular cuisine in Islamic countries I’m guessing this practice is plagued with pitfalls. “Delhi Belly” seems all that more unsurprising really. This method is the one prescribed in the Koran, and along with all the other archaic practices encouraged by Allah it is still practiced 1400 years later. He can deliver 72 virgins but can’t come up with a better method of wiping your arse!

The Chinese could though! During the fourteenth century the Chinese began producing the worlds first bog paper, but only for the Emperor at that time and each sheet measured two feet by three feet. Lard arses!

The manufacture of toilet paper didn’t kick off in the west until as late as 1857 by some Yank in New York. Even then the sheets were impregnated with aloe, and sound a damn sight better than Izal already!

Of course some readers will be well aware that between the Chinese paper and the Yanks paper the French invented the bidet sometime in the late seventeenth century. And so a tradition of being a bunch of sissy bastards began. Whilst the rest of Europe went to the littlest room with a good book to read, which had another purpose other than entertainment or education, the French were busy douching their derrieres in a midgets basin. Soft arsed pampered pansies, no wonder they can’t win a war.

So there’s a brief history of arse wiping, and unfortunately nothing to explain the rise in popularity of the shit smearing Izal!

All that is known of this sadistic product is that it is medicated, probably to prevent infection when you shred your bumring with it, and was the butt cleaner of choice for many schools and other institutions throughout the sixties and seventies. I’ve heard today that the greatest achievement of the civil service’s union, PCS, was to get their members soft loo roll and managed this by no sooner than 1989! I remember it still being used in my primary school in the early eighties, possibly still is for all I know. “I’d rather use a broken bottle” was one of the common remarks. Still, a large majority of the pupils were Muslim so they wouldn’t have needed it anyway.

In my search through the history of bum cleaning I have come to the conclusion that shitting in the river is the best method, the crap floats off and the current gently washes your poo crimper. Of course shitting in a river isn’t very practical these days, but I don’t live very far away from a fun pool with a wave machine etc.


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