When I think of the classic works of literature I have read in my lifetime — works that have really impacted my life — I don’t think of great works of fictions from legendary authors such as F. Scott Fitzgerald, William Faulkner, Leo Tolstoy, Kurt Vonnegant, or George Orwell. Nor do I think of authors like J.K. Rowling, J.R. Tolken, or Stephenie Meyer. No — I think Taro Gomi’s masterpiece Everyone Poops.
Now, what constitutes an epic? The dictionary defines it as “a long poem, typically one derived from ancient oral tradition, narrating the deeds and adventures of heroic or legendary figures or the history of a nation.” Bingo! Everyone poops. Barack Obama poops. Jennifer Lawrence Poops. Snoop Dog poops. Your mom poops. The Pope for sure poops. Anyone who ever eaten food has pooped.
I don’t really know how much more epic a topic you can get for a novel than poop.
Amazon’s book blurb reads: “Everyone Poops by Taro Gomi is part biology textbook, part sociological and a celebration of a very natural process.” However, to me, this book is more like the Bible on life’s most important extracurricular activity.
Now, before I mark this book as a “classic,” it must qualify with some criteria that would marks a book as such:
1. A classic usually expresses some artistic quality — an expression of life, truth, and beauty.
Um, yeah. Being a 20-something in today’s dating scene, it seems that all men swear by the same standard of LIES: girls don’t poop or fart. Well I definitely don’t fart ever because I’m super human, but I definitely poop. Whatever, deal with it. That’s the truth, and you know what? It’s beautiful, too.
2. Classics stands the test of time. The work is usually considered a representation of the period in which it was written, and the work merits lasting recognition.
Every human and animal that has ever existed on this earth has, at one point, pooped. As Gomi so artistically puts it, “all living things eat, so everyone poops.” There is nothing that is more of a timeless classic than pooping. No matter how many times in our life we spend doing this activity, it never gets old.
3. A class has a certain universal appeal. Themes of love, hate, death, life, and faith touch upon some of our most basic emotional responses. A classic makes connections. You can study a classic and discover influences from other writers and other great works of literature.
I think that Everyone Poops speaks to a very important universal message: “despite our differences; we are all the same.” Different animals make different kinds of poops. Different shapes, different colors, even different smells. However, in the end, everyone poops all the same. No matter our differences, ages, or backgrounds, everyone all still participates in this very activity everyday (hopefully). All great people throughout history have done it, just like we do now. In this, we are all connected.