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Someone from WeedWorld back in the 1980s told me about this college professor at Quahog University who apparently knew more about 'good shit' than anyone else in the country. He sent me to interview him. Needless to say, I was skeptical that there could really be an academic who specialized in 'good shit', especially as I had been told that he was called Professor Hash. It had to be a joke. Despite my skepticism, when I arrived at Quahog University and asked for Professor Hash I was courteously directed towards a small Victorian building at the rear of the college. I knocked on an old oak door and was met by a middle aged man with thick pebble glasses and a mass of wiry white hair.
“Professor Hash?" I inquired.
“Ash,” corrected the old man. “You are the interviewer from WeirdWorld, I presume?”
“WeedWorld,” I corrected. “Yes, I would love to know about good shit. What constitutes good shit, how to spot good shit and so on."
The aged professor, obviously happy that someone had taken an interest in his work, invited me inside the old building.
“Do you have a problem with the sewage system here?" I coughed. There was this terrible smell inside see, reminiscent of the filthy dilapidated toilets found in remote Turkish villages. Well, worse actually.
“I am afraid the smell comes with my line of work,” explained the professor as he led me into his study. “Since I have amassed several thousand copralites, it stands to reason that the, er, fresher ones, exude a certain, er, odor as it were.”
“Copralites?" I quizzed. I thought that maybe this was a scientific word for good pieces of hash resin. After all, any science dealing with 'good shit' would have to utilize some pompous sounding buzzwords in order to maintain an air of credibility. In fact, I suddenly recalled some Bob Marley song where I was sure he sang about “chilling with copralites” or something like that.
“Copralites are specimens of fossilized excrement,” said the professor as he invited me to sit down in front of his desk.
“Ehs?" I squeaked. Maybe the Bob Marley song had been false memory syndrome.
“Fossilized feces," said the Professor as though I should have known what he was on about. “It is my area of expertise. I have more copralites in my possession than anyone else in the entire world. Take a look at these.”
Dumbfounded, I watched as the old man opened his desk drawer and fished out about a dozen brown objects wrapped in cellophane. He placed on the desk and began to unwrap them. They were definitely not hash samples.
“These are my best items,” he explained whilst licking his lips. “This one, for instance, is a Neanderthal copralite.”
Having taken the item out of its wrapper, the professor offered it to me for inspection.
“It's just an old dried turd!" I stuttered as I cautiously reached out and took it. It was about the size of a Mars Bar. Similar colour too.
“Not just any old dried turd," explained the professor. “It’s 30,000 years old.”
“It's just ancient shit!" I protested whilst inwardly cursing the editor of WeedWorld for having set me up like a right kipper. “You mean to tell me that you specialise in shit? Literal shit? And that you get paid to do so?”
“Copralites my dear boy,” answered the professor avidly unwrapping another of the dried turds. “It’s a fascinating, albeit esoteric, area of study. Consider this beauty. It’s the biggest human copralite in the world.”
I was stunned into silence as the professor placed a very long brown dried object before me for inspection. It measured about a foot and a half.
“That's too big for a shit,” I said. “No one shits that big, not even a large lumbering Neanderthal. That looks I more like a burnt French stick than ancient poo."
“I assure you that it is the genuine article," replied the professor earnestly. “And it was not deposited by a Neanderthal but by none other than Albert Cornish, man servant of Sir Isaac Newton.”
“Come again?" I retorted. By now, I was almost heaving at the sight and smell of all these old dried turds. The nutty professor was seemingly hell bent on unwrapping dozens of them.
“A heavily built man, Albert Cornish performed this masterful act of maximum bowel evacuation whilst he worked in the employ of Sir Isaac Newton,” explained the professor whilst tapping on the preserved dump with a pencil.
“When Cornish saw the sheer size of the stool and realized that it would likely block the drain, he informed his master Newton who, realizing that this was indeed a candidate for the largest ever fecal deposit made by a single man, immediately set about preserving it. As you can see by the smooth tapering at each end, it was evacuated in one long movement. And there are no signs of blood so one must assume that Cornish’s anus was capable of profound expansion...”
“This is a disgusting and deplorable area of scientific study,” I said pushing the old piece of shit away with a long sweep of my arm. In my haste, the giant dried turd went crashing to the floor where it broke into lots of pieces.
Fantastic Fecal Find
“Good God!" cried the professor.
“Ah, sorry about that,” I lied.
“No look!” said the professor pointing excitedly at one of the shit shards. Apparently he had found something amidst the copralitic detritus. “Why, it’s a perfectly preserved apple seed! You know what this means of course?”
“That he ate an apple the day before he did the big shit?" I replied.
“No, no!" cried the professor as he sniffed at the 400 year old shit encrusted apple seed. “This might be from an apple from the apple tree in Newton’s garden! The very tree from which an apple fell on to Newton’s head thus enabling him to discover gravity!”
Well, I was real happy that the old man was not upset by my clumsiness.
Actually, it seemed that he had found something else inside the old shit for he was down on his hands and knees by this point.
"Muffins on Mars will you look at that!" he was crying. I looked and saw that there was something silver metallic sticking out of one of the other shit fragments.
“It's a half crown!" exclaimed the professor. “Cornish must have inadvertently eaten it before he produced this stool. And look at this. It appears to be a note of some sort...”
Incredibly, the professor had found a piece of dried paper half buried in one of the larger shit segments. As he was unable to pull it out, he got up and found a small metal rock hammer which he used to carefully tap around the area holding the note. A few minutes later and he had managed to loosen and retrieve it.
“What does it say?" I asked. It was surreal. You hear about messages in bottles but not messages in shit.
“Looks like a shopping list," said the professor frowning at the rather stained scrap of paper. “In Newton's own hand too if I'm not mistaken. Let’s see now. It lists goats milk, mercury, bone meal. Wait a minute! This is no shopping list! Why, it's a list of alchemical ingredients! It is no secret that Newton was interested in alchemy. He must have written down this list of alchemical ingredients and asked Cornish to go and secure them. And then Cornish must have eaten the note as a security measure!"
“Along with an apple and half a crown," I added sarcastically. “Maybe the half a crown was change eh?"
The mad old professor was obviously intrigued by this excremental treasure trove and, by the looks of it, was trying to find more items of interest in the old shit. Me though, well I was starting to feel ill. The stench was almost unbearable. It was like being in a massive toilet. I half expected to see used toilet rolls and puddles of piss all over the floor.
“If all these so-called copralites are fossilized,” I asked,“then how come it stinks so much around here?”
“That's because members of the public are prone to including sending me fresh samples of excrement,” replied the professor somewhat dejectedly. “Unfortunately they don't realize that I am only an expert in fossilized specimens. Just this morning the postman delivered two parcels, each of which contained fresh stools sealed inside freezer bags. An attached note was from a worried mother who wanted to know if her son’s digestive motions were healthy. I receive about 50 or so such parcels a year."
“That's a lot of shit,” I remarked.
“Unfortunately, some samples sent to me are not carefully sealed," said the professor shaking his head. “I get sent dog turds in brown envelopes, cat turds in cake boxes, and I even once received a bottle of vomit by mistake...”
I nodded and pretended to sympathize with the old nutcase.
“Local youths used to do their business through my letterbox as well,” sighed the professor. “But when you are in my field you come to expect the worst from people. In any case, I tried to raise the height of the letterbox but all that happened was that older boys played the same trick. Eventually, I was forced to connect the metal letterbox frame to my power supply and so burned the ass off the last boy to try that particular trick.”
At this point, I decided to make a hasty exit. All this talk of shit was making me feel really queasy. There was something dirty and sordid about a grown man studying shit samples as part of some fringe science. I mean, would you trust the guy to make you a cup of tea or pass you a biscuit?
Would he wash his hands first?
Seeing that I was about to leave, the professor fished out a small brown bag from his jacket pocket.
“Try one of these before you go," he said offering me the bag. "They are pterodactyl droppings. About 80 million years old. Consist mainly of undigested vegetable matter. Quite tasty. A bit like Weetabix."
Needless to say, I made my excuses and left sharply. That was the last time I would ever interview anyone about so-called ‘good shit.’