In Defence of Batshit

Monday, 2 November 2009

"It's boring as batshit," I said about something recently. Not sure where that colloquialism first stemmed from but it was my ex who first said it. I took a mental note and tucked it away because there is nothing like nonsensical similes to delight my imagination (or is it metaphors? I always get them mixed up).

MikeF is a Franciscan through and through. Lover of the natural world, an ex-dairy herdsman, Mike has a love both for the strained gnat and the swallowed camel, for the bat and its shit.

And so here is Mike's defence of batshit:

I must speak up for batshit, however. Not boring. Not remotely boring. Full of the most fascinating bits of bugs - you can tell loads about the local ecosystem, not to mention the foraging habits of the bats themselves, from a good pile of batshit. (Of course you might have been referring to your great big Aussie fruit bats' shit - in which case it probably is pretty yawn-inducing.)
We lose so much of the world when we insist on boxing it all in, don't we? As soon as you box something you begin to lose your ability to see things in their isness. And I confess, now I contemplate the concept of shit, I realise not all shit is the same, and that perhaps lumping it all in together as boring really means you don't know shit about shit. After all, just because some shit - for example, that of a meat-eating human - is of the most hideous pungency, requiring quick flushing and the striking of an entire box of matches does not mean that it is boring, necessarily. I'm sure under a microscope it would be way less than boring. Might make you feel ill, but it would not be boring. And indeed, to state that the human meat-eater's shit is bad and evil by dent of its smell is to deny the amazing workings of the human body to get it there in your toilet (if you are one of the people who looks at their poo, but we've already gone over that haven't we, bloggers.)

And truly, all shit does not stink because look at horse shit. How good does horse shit smell? It's a shame my dog isn't a horse I must say (he would have to be of the miniature variety of course to still sleep on the bed), I would have preferred he was a horse on Saturday as I was reminded, when I trod barefoot in a dollop deposited on the concrete out the back, how dog shit is not like horse shit in the smell department.

And so this fine morning, I find my interest is piequed by what batshit looks like with bits of bugs in it. How does one go about finding some? Unfortunately, Google can't help because I cannot see any bugs in this batpoo collected from a cave and sold online for people's gardening pleasure. (I guess "screened" means taking all the bugs out of it - and really, looking at this picture, this really does look boring. So I guess I'll just have to take Mike's word for it :)


  1. forgot the link to my story

  2. Here's an interesting story about crap

    And Sue, in one of the episodes of Planet Earth they film from inside a cave where millions of bats live. It was rather interesting.

  3. Sue, you are the only person I know that would have shit to say about shit. Personally I enjoy examining coyote scat along a hiking trail. It either has fur or berries in it depending on the season.

  4. i recently wrote an article about my up-close encounter with bats in a cave in PNG

    we were doing an Indiana Jones exploration of the Japanese war tunnels, and slid down a chute on what we thought was mud

    uh uh

    bat shit!



  5. Sue, you really ought to do a tag-cloud for your blog. It would make fascinating viewing ;-)

    This article will tell you all about appreciating the finer points (ow!) of batshit.

    Kel, I was trying to advocate the study of batshit, not bathing in it in bulk. Not a nice thought, though surely nicer than the actual experience!

  6. I'm studying spider shit at the moment. They create far more than you might think. A spider has set up home across my kitchen window and I'm trying to use it as therapy to cure my phobia, feeding it flies and so on, trying to see it as a beautiful piece of creation.
    Hell, today I found out the bastards live around a year. I'm probably going to squish it when I can work up the courage.

  7. Be kind to spiders, Tess! We'd be overrun with flies and creepy crawlies without our 8-legged allies. Just you go on feeding it - they make loyal friends, get quite trusting. Truly!

  8. How utterly delightful all of these comments are, all about shit! It makes me laugh. I bet posts on the internet about shit with delightful comments on them are as rare as ... well, as rocking horse shit, I bet :)

    How strange it was today to hear workmates in the tearoom talking about bats. I was about to launch into an account of this post but people were eating :)

  9. Excellent discussion, Sue! But then of course, as a herdsman, I had to become very attentive to excretory matters - one of the best indicators of a cow's health!


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