5 Disgusting Habits Everyone Has (When No One's Looking)
We're a judgmental sort of animal, always sizing each other up and deciding we're better than our neighbor because we ever so slightly part our cheeks to fart, while they do it the peasant way into a burlap sack and gather the children around it for warmth at night in their hovels. Nothing gives us more of a sense of superiority than discovering someone else's terrible habit and proudly acknowledging it's not something we do. Smoking is the latest social pariah that fits in here, but there are other more insidious habits that no one ever wants to admit to, and if we ever caught someone doing them we'd mock them mercilessly, all the while being shamefully blind to the hypocrisy of admitting just how common these habits are. Because these things are commonplace, creepily so. Admit it, you do at least one.
You look at the loathsome snail trail left behind on the paper after wiping. I know you do. You've probably never discussed it with anyone, I sure as hell haven't, but we all do it and none of us know why, because it basically sounds like the most awful thing we can do while alone and in the bathroom that doesn't involve tools and photos of relatives.
Any time you make a bold claim like "Everyone inspects their ass wipings," you leave yourself open to that negative sort of critic who must comment on an article like this and say "Nay, Felix, you loveable scamp, I poop in utter sensory deprivation where I neither hear nor see nor smell a thing. You are foolish. Also my blind Uncle Sal has never looked."
"I can't see a thing, but it smells like shit."
Blindness aside, the fact that this question has been asked literally tens of thousands of times on Yahoo Answers indicates to me that, yes, enough people look at the paper after icing the yule log that you're likely in the minority if you don't. You're actually the weirdo, No-Looker. How's that make you feel?
What's everyone looking for in there? That's the real question. For my part, I just want to make sure my guts didn't fall out and nothing sci-fi related is occurring. If I'm free of blood, tentacles, and gold bullion, my day can proceed as planned and I'm pretty pleased with myself. And I must admit, once or twice in my life I've actually paused and thought "What the hell caused that to happen?" when something seemed askew, usually as it relates to hue. For what it's worth, I rarely ever delve too deeply into research after the initial shock of some kind of festive green or marmalade orange disaster; I just assume I probably need to eat a more balanced diet and then go watch Netflix. Rob Delaney has a comedy special on there, you should watch it. Then wipe.
Ah, the sniff test. On some level you know if you're clean, and yet, every so often, you feel the need to push the envelope and maybe skip a shower or two. And that's all fine and good -- I'm pretty sure our ancestors only bathed twice a year on the equinox -- but that au naturel thing gets messed up when you're forced into a social situation and you immediately become terribly self-conscious about the musk you're likely producing. So you do what we all do: casually turn your head to the side, pretend to scratch or straighten your hair, and bury a nose in your armpit for that quick two-second draft. Do you smell like something even a buffalo wouldn't love? Maybe.
I love you like I love buffalo hump.
This is the sort of thing hobos are supposed to be doing, not civilized beings with adequate access to soap, water, and shame. Every time this happens, it's a silent acknowledgment that you have no faith in your own hygiene and you're not 100 percent sure you're even fit to be loose in public.
Alternately, my research has led me to conclude that a small number of pit sniffers do this not because they're fearful of a Chernobyl-level stank leak, but because they enjoy their own stank and can't think of a more suitable method of getting a taste of it. How do strangers address those who seek the succor of Yahoo Answers to explain their penchant for pit sniffing? With shit like this: "It's fine to be attracted to your own odor yes it's weird but who cares?! i sometimes like the smell of my farts ... but it depends what food caused the pungent but thrilling smell." Pungent but Thrilling is the title of one of my least favorite pornos.
There's no need to feel self-conscious if you sniff your own pits. You're joining the age-old quest to figure out how ripe you are, and I'm pretty sure even monkeys do that.
Eating Things from Your Teeth
I remember very clearly the first time I saw someone picking away at their teeth like a tiny dwarf hunting for precious jewels. It was my grandfather, and we'd had a rare family get-together that included a roast beef. After we'd finished, Pop Pop Clay (that's what no one ever called him until just now) busted out this Civil War era implement of unhygienic fuck you-ery that I later learned was a toothpick on one side and an ear pick on the other for some god-awful reason and proceeded to dig out smaller roasts from between his long-neglected corn kernel teeth and then eat the bits he unearthed. I watched as one watches a train wreck, or an impromptu autopsy, adrift somewhere between revulsion and transcendental bafflement.
Since that time, I've run afoul of a handful of tooth pickers who, for whatever reason, are not attaining the required nutrients to sustain themselves via their meal alone and seem to require the extra nutritional boost that errant flesh bits and plaque must provide. I can say without hyperbole that few things disgust me more in life, and if the most beautiful woman I had ever seen started doing it, I'd sooner put my penis through a jagged hole in the side of a rusty Third World dumpster than touch her, but that's my own bugaboo to deal with.
I put this pic of Joanna Angel here to make up for the imagery conjured up in the last paragraph. I want to be her friend.
Yahoo Answers provided a cornucopia of insight into this issue as well, with hundreds of thousands of relevant results, all of which are terrible in every way. Why does anyone need to discuss this issue with strangers anyway? Especially when you ask if it's OK to eat your plaque and you're met with insightful answers like "plague is the waste left over from the bacteria that eat the food particles on ur teeth so technically ur eating bacteria poo." Neil deGrasse Tyson didn't sign his name to that post, but it's pretty clearly him.
When I was in the fifth grade, I was working on a class project with some other students and was taken by a sneeze of such magnitude that a small ecosystem was dislodged from my sinus cavity and shotgunned out of my nose onto my thigh. Four of us marveled for a solid 10 seconds at what for all the world looked like a banana slug that someone had beat the shit out of, and then one kid started the chorus of "eeews" that children are so fond of when they can't think of something clever to say about banana slugs. I was publicly shamed and never lived down the humiliation until sometime later in the week when everyone forgot about it.
As my anecdote illustrates, people have strong reactions to snot. Boogers, if you will. And despite the widespread social disgust over the idea of anyone even daring to mine for said nose gold on purpose, studies indicate that 70 to 90 percent of adults have picked their nose at least once. And you know that means more than once.
Thrice a day, every day, bitches!
I submit that people likely pick their noses like starving anteaters sussing out termites on a pretty regular basis when they're alone and, let's be honest, every once in a while you blow your nose so hard that a blood vessel in your eye pops and the clingy little bastard is still lodged somewhere south of your brain and you just have to dig in with a finger to loosen things up. I'll even defend that behavior and support it, just wash your damn hand afterward. That's my motto for inserting a finger into any hole on a human body.
If you need to fully appreciate the scientific relevance of picking your own nose, look no further than the Canadian professor of biochemistry who made headlines recently for letting the world know there's evidence to suggest you can reap untold health benefits from picking your nose and feasting on the clusters of blech found therein. His theory is that, since kids are so drawn to eating their nose nuggets, it may be the body's way of inducing you to consume pathogens caught in the mucus and boost your immune system, which in turn means your immune system is the creepy kid no one sat with in the lunch room. Of course that's just a theory, and if you're a nose picker who eats their discoveries, don't go trying to justify your behavior with that story, it still makes you seem like some kind of forest-born misfit.
Eating in the Bathroom
Have you ever met someone ashamed of their heritage, and they go to great lengths to try to deny their ancestry, even if we all recognize that person is an individual and their roots don't necessarily reflect who they are as a person? And it gets so extreme sometimes that a person may even attempt to reject their own race by acting out against perceived stereotypes and instead co-opting the traditions and mannerisms of an entirely different race or culture? What I'm saying is my dad eats in the bathroom. Full meals, even.
Now, I obviously have no idea what precisely goes on in the bathroom when he goes in there, other than that he and a plate of food enter, and only he leaves again. He could be scraping that plate, bit by bit, into the toilet over the course of that hour, or he could be sitting there neat as you please with a napkin across his lap listening to a concerto by Vivaldi while he dines and reflects on the nature of mankind's struggle to know the unknowable. Most likely I suspect he drops trou and shits profusely while munching on sandwiches like some kind of poopetual motion homunculus that shames not just me as his son but you as a member of his species.
My God, this is more depressing than reading trending topics on Twitter.
For a change of pace, while researching this particular phenomenon I uncovered a number of articles that were written solely to tell readers not to do this. They advised that eating in the bathroom was a bad idea thanks to the bacteria in the bathroom, which is a lot like saying don't swim in a shark's mouth on account of all the teeth in a shark's mouth. No shit, son. Or, in this case, shit. There's shit in the bathroom. The bathroom is the room in your house where you intentionally leave your shit, arguably the uncleanest thing you do in any given day. Shit is the opposite of clean. You could scrub a shit all day and never get it clean, it's literally impossible. You'd just end up with a mittful of soapy shit. Gross.
I appreciate the hypocrisy of an article that insists that this is a gross thing everyone does when I start this entry making it clear I don't do this, but shut up. I deal in generalities. And generally speaking, I have evidence that a lot of people do this. Why do you eat on the toilet, people who do this? Do you not know of the shit? Do you not care? Please start caring.
Do you have a pop culture muse? Channel it in our T-shirt latest contest and you could win $500.