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How to be a Graceful Pooper

How to be a Graceful Pooper
Ella Tan
  • On November 6, 2015


I know at least two people (one male and one female) who cannot do Number 2 at work or in a public toilet. They will drive home as soon as they feel a rumble down under, determinedly holding it all in while praying for smooth traffic conditions.

Some of us consider releasing a load as a seriously private affair. There is no letting go if there are people within hearing or sniffing distance of gassy explosions, splashing, or the odour of eau de toilet.

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But holding back is both unhealthy and dangerous. Traffic cops don’t take kindly to speeding just because you’re about to sh** your pants!

If only more toilets were built to mask the stinks and noises of bowel movements. Only the super-polite Japanese seem to include features like deodorization to neutralize unpleasant odours and music of your choice – Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony will cover wind and splashes but might cause constipation in others.

We’ve come a long way from our rural origins. Our village relatives might still be unabashedly doing their poo-poo anywhere convenient (field, roadside, train cabin, back of bus, park) but as citizens of a world-class city, we must show more regard for others.

Besides lighting a match or two (phosphorus neutralizes methane) when you next let-it-go bear in mind advice extracted and modified from Women’ – by Patricia Rossi, author of Everyday Etiquette


 poo sign

In the Office Rest Room
Space yourself out. Pick a stall as far away as possible from any that are already occupied, so you and other poopers can maintain a little privacy.

Put a layer of toilet paper on the water surface. The toilet paper muffles the noise poop makes when it hits the water and creates less of a splash.


Do a courtesy flush while you go…and another after. Besides masking any embarrassing sounds, flushing as soon as the poop plops prevents the odor from reeking up the entire bathroom.


Don’t carry on a conversation. If you recognize your coworker’s shoes two stalls down, resist the urge to chat.


 poo men & women

Check to make sure the bowl is empty before exiting. “Don’t be that rude person who leaves a deposit behind for the next user to have to flush,” says Rossi. Oh, and if you’ve left skid marks, do a few flushes to get rid of them.


Leave your phone at your desk. Texting or talking on it in the stall is unhygienic (and it’s gross for the other party to hear flushing sounds). And don’t use office toilet time to catch up on reading. Others might be waiting to use the loo.


 poo newspaper

In a Friend’s Home

Open a window or turn on the overhead fan. You’ll diffuse a stinky poop faster than lighting a match. Frantically fan the air with the hand towel.


Do a courtesy flush…or three. Whatever it takes to clear the evidence and remove the stank.




Spritz air freshener. If you don’t see any, squirt toilet bowl cleaner into the bowl, or at worst, spray a tiny bit of deodorant.



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