With all this time in quarantine, we’ve been told we should at least try to be a little productive. Attempting things like making bread. Starting a side hustling. Learning a new language. Or, in Brad’s case, taking the perfect shit.
Well, not quite perfect. One commenter on the “Rate My Poo” subreddit only gave him a “7,” remarking that while his shit was aesthetically pleasing, it “lacked structural integrity.” Others, though, raved, calling it “beautiful.”
“I hadn’t taken a shit in two days,” the 22-year-old tells me of his massive feat. “And I stayed away from processed food. I only ate whole grains, nuts and proteins.”
r/RateMyPoo is relatively small (2,000 subscribers and counting), at least compared to ratemypoo.com or rate-my-poop.com, popular destinations for any extremely online teen in the early 2000s. And for most of its existence it was pretty quiet, too, with one or two posts a month, and at most, a single comment. In the past few weeks, though — or more or less since everyone has been forced to stay indoors — the subreddit has seen a surge in posts and the number of people commenting on the “wholeness,” “texture” and “contents” of the bowel movements that reside there (“Love how we can see food in it,” one commenter opines).
Brad attributes the uptick in interest to the boredom that comes when “there’s nothing you do except eat and watch Netflix.” But he’s sure to point out the poetry in a quality number two as well. “Sometimes when you’ve shit out a log that just looks really good — when it’s smooth and long, or when it takes a lot of energy to get it all out — you just have to congratulate yourself,” he confides.
At the same time, the subreddit’s denizens also insist that it’s a public service. Posts depicting a discolored shit usually result in comments urging the poster to change their diet or to consult a doctor. Meanwhile, for regulars such as Timely_Rooster, fewer visits to the doctor during quarantine means that he has no one else to rely on to help ascertain his bowel health. “My family has a history of colon cancer, so I regularly have to check my poop more than most people,” he tells me. And though he doesn’t exactly know what constitutes a perfect 10 poop — beyond that it “looks weird or blocks the toilet” — he’s confident that a healthy one is within the three to four range on the Bristol Stool Chart (i.e., it’s “long, large and bulky with minimal odor”).
Brad, however, still remains in pursuit of that immaculate shit — a symphony of brown that not even the haters couldn’t rate as anything less than a 10 (and healthy or not). In fact, he’s been adjusting his diet to increase the mass of his dumps. The only problem? His girlfriend, who is quarantined with him. And so, he tells me, “When I try [again], it’ll have to be when she’s asleep.”