What’s Up With Adults Who Smear Feces In Public?

I’ve decided to broach this disgusting topic which has been on my mind for the last few days. You have probably heard of this or perhaps encountered it. I want to know what you think drives the behavior.

Being 8th house types both the soldier and I have encountered this phenomena (people who smear feces) more than once and not only that, we’ve been the person who has had to do the clean up. The soldier has come across this in the military a few times. He has always been the one made to clean it up and let me tell you it’s disgusting. It is not something you forget, that’s for sure.

The soldier has specifically said that it he ever catches someone doing this in the act he is going to beat the hell out them and having cleaned up this kind of mess myself (more than once) I can’t say that I blame him.

In my case, this happened in my HOME twice. You may think this incredible but it is very common if you live near the Mexican border which I did at the time.

What happens is people come over in the border on foot. They break into your house and tear it up looking for small things they can carry like jewelry, money or guns.

They also cook breakfast. It’s very strange. It is surreal actually. They just help themselves to whatever you’ve got, have themselves some bacon and eggs and pancakes while you are at work and when they are done eating breakfast, they take a shit.

You can tell how many people were in your house to some extent by the number of piles of shit. They shit on the floor typically but one time one of them shit in the frying pan where they had cooked the eggs and left it on the stove for me once and if you think I am making this up, I am not.

The first time this happened it was a big shock but the sheriff filled me in when he came out. He said it was trademark and happened to someone who lived around the area there a couple times a week at least. He said it was to show contempt and I just stared at him trying to comprehend.

A month later when there was another break in, I didn’t even blink. By then I’d asked around and found it was in fact commonplace. I mean, it is what it is but when one of the guys I worked with at Frito Lay called me to tell me someone has broken into our small (shack-like) warehouse, I was simply not prepared.

Our warehouse was a large metal shed split into 3 sections with chicken wire. The place was full of chips, and there were three doors for three trucks just to give you an idea the size. I got down there and threw my door open and the smell of shit just about blew me over.

All I can say is thank God my section of the warehouse was the least spoiled of the 3 but even then to walk into this warehouse was to be surrounded by shit. It was smeared all over the walls, the floor and the ceiling. It was absolutely STUNNING. I mean the ceiling was high and there were no ladders or much stuff to climb on so we had no idea how there were globs of shit were smeared on the ceiling but by God, they were.

The warehouse next to mine was hit worst. I was glad and grateful at the time because I’d have had a hard time not taking it personally had it been me.

The words FUCK YOU were written on the wall in smeared shit and the rest of the shit (and there was no shortage of it) was arranged elaborately. I mean, there were three little piles of shit in a row. There were trails of shit that made is appear someone squatted down and walked like a chicken to create the effect. There were turds balanced on bags of Doritos of course… and cases of chips that had opened, shit into and then closed.

The 3rd warehouse was nearly as bad, shit smeared in streaks on the floor, the walls and the cardboard cases and I have to tell you I don’t think I could have coped with cleaning this up. I may have simply quit my job if the company had not hired a crew to come in there, throw everything out and disinfect everything.

Matter of fact we wound up moving to a new warehouse a couple months later, we just could not shake the memory I guess. We had rented the shit warehouse for more than 15 years but you know. We just couldn’t shake the memory.

So what do you think of this phenomenon? I am asking because I am trying to place it on a continuum possible symptoms of mental illness. In other words, I am wondering if this behavior falls on the extreme end of some set of behaviors, like vandalism for example. I did find this:

When I was in high school, there was someone known as the ‘Mad Pooper’ who would smear shit (either his own or an outsider’s) all over the stalls, mirrors, door handles, sinks, et cetera in the restroom. This went on for a few weeks and the bathroom passes went into lockdown mode.

Anyways, they finally caught him. He was this normal (seeming) guy that was into tech theater. I hypothesize that he used shit because it was easy to produce, and it causes a revulsion the likes of which is hard to beat.

So for those who are more in control of their actions, shit-smearing can be used as the ultimate antisocial stunt.
posted by amicamentis at 9:14 PM on May 9

That seems a rational analysis but do you think? Anyone know anything about this?


What’s Up With Adults Who Smear Feces In Public? — 100 Comments

  1. Bizarre and disgusting – amazing stories.

    Here’s mine: years ago I worked in a group home for developmentally disabled women. Most of them had been in institutions (this was in the mid-west) before living in the group home and one of the women (she had some retardation and was downs syndrome) used to smear her shit– not huge piles of it but smearing none-the-less. Supposedly this habit was much much worse at the institution and it was one of her goals to stop doing it. She would smear on walls, the rug, clothing– actually, now that I remember, I think was a psycho-sexual thing for her because I think she, well, picked it out.
    Sorry this prob FAR too much info!!

    I have no further insight into why she did it. She was a very sweet person actually.

    • interesting that you should say sexual. I have seen the same practice in gay bars (the washrooms) and im sure it has some sexual attraction. weird. maybe they got disturbed when they were being potty trained

  2. That happened at the last place that I worked. A man did that in the bathroom floor.

    In his case, he was just a permanent immature ass. He would strut around like a little rooster.

  3. Extremely disturbed, possibly psycho-sexual. This immediately makes me wondered if they washed their hands. That contamination could go to the next X amount of places. A real F-U to the world at large.

    That is so awful…I’m sorry. It would take a much bigger person than me to clean it.

    My guess is that a person(s) who does this is unable to process the more sophisticated emotional/cognitive levels of thought. It seems extremely childlike. I know several people in bars/restaurants who have had to deal with this, and apart from that the only time you really hear about it is with infants/toddlers or addicts. There is a lot of human shit in my city, which I attribute to a dire lack of public toilets as well as mental health facilities.

    (It must be said: the title of this post made me laugh)!

  4. “Childlike” – Kash, I agree with you. Childhood gone way way wrong!

    Freud does talk about an “anal phase”

  5. I’m sorry but this is some funny shit. Nyuck nycuk.

    I worked at a bookstore about 4 years ago. It was the only public restroom open past 6PM and we would get all kinds of people picking up a newspaper or a nudie mag on the way to the john, taking a dump then leaving. We got a lot of old people. One night, I was on with a manager and this old man came in. He made a bee-line for the bathroom and was only in there like, 4 minutes. He left, then when it came time to close I went to take the bathroom trash out and found in the men’s room MOUNDS of shit EVERYWHERE. And this was not normal shit, it was neon-green Hulk diarrhea. It was piled up in the toilet, on the seat, on the bowl, on the handle (I don’t know why, it was obvious there was no flushing involved), on the top, on the base, all over the floor on the walls, on the sink, in the trash can, on the door handle, it covered the floor. It was tremendous. The color alone rivaled Renoir’s garden paintings. This artist was a master of his crap.

    Anyway, I walked in, stood mouth agape for about a full minute–a flaccid can liner in my hand– before I walked out and told my manager “There is no way in HELL I am cleaning that up”. “Cleaning what up?” she asked. She went to check it out and immediately grabbed the industrial strength bathroom cleaner and went to work. Sorry, I only got 6 dollars an hour. She was on salary.

    At a bookstore! Neon green! We figured it was one of the people from the local half-way house on some serious meds and on a serious bender using the only toilet he could find. Still, that was bad.

  6. I have difficulty understanding it when viewed in comparison to people who have difficulty using public bathrooms. I think it must be a real continuum with some just “over the edge”.

    I worked grocery years ago. We would find piles in the aisles every so often. The person was never publicly caught but was quietly let go. He was the night manager and would return to work after drinking (we closed at 9pm) and would leave “gifts”

    He did have problems with alcohol and dated a girlfriend of mine for a few years (thankfully now over) and I remember an incident (before we knew about who was doing it at work) where he was walking with her and she was walking her dog. She had properly bagged the doggie poo and he was angry for some reason and so grabbed the bag from her and started hitting her about the head and face with it.

    A very difficult time to sit by and watch your friend continue on in such a relationship despite your urgings that “that isn’t normal, healthy or respectful” I’m so very happy, and downright relieved, that he is out of her life now. He stalked her when he’d be back in town until I called him up and threatened him. Nothing violent just what her legal options wereI’d be by her side through the whole thing. He disappeared after that.

  7. My thought is primitive….it is a primal and completely uncivilized view from an a civilized society. Where I was raised, most people did not have bathrooms…they used the outside…anywhere…many did not even have outhouses….you cannot imagine the savage primative place some of these people come from. And, of course, it makes sense that the mentally ill do not have the where with all to go that distance, most show signs of poor hygiene at the very least.

    I remember on my first visit to China….I was shocked and aghast at the dirty, smeared bathrooms…everywhere…in restaurants, museums….if you could call them that….

    These people have been repressed for centuries…held down by powers that be with very little hope of “making it” in any sense of the way…most don’t even have a 6th grade education….ay! I could go on….but that is my view

  8. denamarie – this is just a clarity question.

    Are you saying that the people there didn’t understand basic hygiene? Or that they were reacting to their oppression?

    I got a bit lost. Sorry.

  9. As far as what drives behavior like this (which is disgustingly bizarre) in people over the age of..oh, I dunno, four years and not old enough to be demented yet, I tend to think they’re either mentally ill (or severely emotionally disturbed) or drunk/drugged out of their friggin’ minds.

    When you start talking about elderly, though, it becomes a different ball game. Dementia can do some wacky things, and apparently some people become fascinated with their own feces to a completely non-normal degree. I had a patient who would literally paint himself with his own feces, lick his fingers, etc. He was on a doctor’s orders for physical restraints (arms), and still managed to get himself and his bed painted. Ick.

  10. mudlikesubstance….apologize for the confusion…it happens with me….I meant both….because of the fact that as a society in general they were oppressed, repressed…you could see it in their manner. I have read studies…sociological studies where countries that spent more on educating their people and allowing for growth in opportunities for their people also had the lowest birthrate, spent more time in leisure and cared more for the environment..in maintaining and upkeeping it….their sense of pride for themselves and their fellow countrymen was higher. But I also read that China now gets this and the reason they developed the one child policy a while back to stop the growth and develop which is misundertood by many…..I am getting way of topic here….sorry….

  11. Well I have a new fear now, to replace the ones that have already happened:

    1. Suffer stroke/take up painting myself and immediate environment with turd.

  12. Maybe it’s a Uranus thing (no pun intended) than a Pluto (Scorpio) thing. Uranus is rebellious Elsa.

    I also learned that many serial killers show this sign early in life.

  13. There’s definitely a connection between the breaking in and the shitting- both are contempt of people’s boundaries. I would say robbers need to dehumanise their victims to be able to do what they do. It’s a big fuck you, and creates ‘power’ over the victims/ people who get to do the clean-up.

  14. Denamaria – Oppressed & repressed & power… This used to happen in this fancy overpriced couture store in Paris when a harem would come in to purchase evening gowns (and the shop would close for them). The context was oil emirates would fly in for business with a whole entourage of wives and attendees. These wives tended to be heavily chaperoned and have zero privacy but apparently not into the pristine carpeted powder room. Carpets would be replaced, but in the meantime no one wanted to clean. I do remember that the ones ending up dealing with this were the persons who also happened to be mothers :\

  15. It seems like people fall into two camps – either they’re all too familiar with this “phenomenon” or it’s totally a foreign concept. Interesting – wondering how that fits into differences in people’s charts. I am in the second group, and fortunately haven’t had to deal with this directly. Although I’m not generally a squeemish person and tend to be an overly responsible type, I think the power trip aspect of it would make me rebel against dealing with it myself.

  16. “It seems like people fall into two camps – either they’re all too familiar with this “phenomenon” or it’s totally a foreign concept.”

    I think this is true in general. Some of us deal with the shadow day in and day out. Others are oblivious, it’s very strange.

  17. i had a friend who worked at a crafts store and dealt with this in the bathrooms on a regular basis.

    it’s seems definitely a power thing… vandalism in general seems an attempt to take back power from some sort of symbol.

    after all, the power to destroy is easier to enact than the power to build…

  18. Publicly smearing feces in order to get a response? (shrug) Maybe it’s just that no one has introduced them to blogging yet.

    (pause for laughter)

  19. I was talking to my sweetie about this last night. He had one response… (drum roll please, prepare for bad joke…)

    “That’s because they’re shit-nuts!!”

    I actually laughed. Sad but true.

  20. I’ve only encountered this once, when I worked retail, but I have to say that I absolutely had no idea that people broke into other people’s houses and crapped in their skillets. None whatsoever.

  21. LOL Jilly, you gave me my first laugh of the day, thank you! Matthew your comment was funny too and has real merit as well.

    With Virgo strong in my chart I am just grossed out to no end with even thinking about people that would do something like this. I actually think if I were to catch someone in this malicious act I would physically beat them if I had a long enough pole. Dementia is another story and I would guess that it is maybe a reverting to the anal stage of infancy.

    Apparently as a very young child in a rural area, my mother would straddle cowpies with the stroller when out walking, I would pull my legs up high and start screaming and crying. My mother always laughs her ass off when she tells this story, so I guess I have had a bad association with shit since forever. Virgo rising with a Virgo moon was a strong influence even as a toddler I guess.

  22. You know.. this kind of behaviour… hmm.. reminds me of animals! As if these people need to make their mark on where they have been!

  23. Cats do bury their shit, remember. If they don’t, something’s usually up — illness, territory issues, etc. The Talmud speaks of learning modesty from the cat.

    Anyway, I love that this post got so much response. Makes my moonpluto happy 🙂

  24. LOL MoonPluto

    “Cats do bury their shit, remember.”

    And puppies will dig for those buried hersey bars in the box. Truly gross.

    Now I can’t stop laughing even while I am fighting the dry heaving just thinking about it.

  25. Getting off topic, I know, but I am home sick – with all the dogs I’ve known, some do want to/try to eat poop and some steer clear. Wonder why that is. Knew a wonderful hound who would try to eat anything and everything.

  26. LOL @ sanitize your toothbrush!

    On a similar, but less disgusting note, when I worked at the toy store, people would borrow items from the “petting zoo” and take them into the restroom to use, often leaving them covered in semen and other body fluids.

    I totally think it’s a power thing – just not directed at a single person like rape or assault are.

    *shrug* But seriously …. ugh. UGH.

  27. When I was in college, the boys in my hall spent a semester going back and forth with some guys in another hall, crapping in their toilets and not flushing. They made a big deal of it and ragged on each other in the halls. I didn’t get this AT ALL. I kept asking, why do you guys keep doing this? Answer: just cuz.

    The only time I felt saddened by something like this was on the NYC subway – mentally ill guy grabbing his own crap and throwing it around the train car. Thank goodness I was on the other end and could switch cars. They had to stop the train and get him out of there and lock up the car till they could clean it. I was in shock at that time – didn’t know this kind of thing could happen.

  28. Actually, Elsa – just a gloss on your response to me earlier – I wonder if there are different kinds of encounters with the shadow. Some of us know it is there (are not oblivious), but don’t seem to run into it directly, at least not often. For me, as a double Sag with that paradoxical 12th house Jupiter, I feel blessed that I seem to have indirect encounters with shadow. But I know I shouldn’t count on that indirection because I know it’s out there.

  29. zillah – yes, thanks. That is an important distinction and closer to what I meant actually.

    It is how a person treats those of us who do deal with the shadow that is telling.

  30. Daemoness I had a very similar experience while my mother pushed me in the buggy with… a cat. (My mum was just like: get over it! It’s a cat! ha ha)

  31. This is the sort of blog fearlessness I admire, Elsa.

    A young relative of mine from a seriously unhappy home began crapping his pants in his preteens. Power and boundaries and subconscious undermining of one’s self control. As soon as he was in a stable foster home he managed to be a charming and clean kid.

    Another cousin who was autistic had to be reminded to stop what he was doing and go to the toilet or else. He would simply be too interested and think he would miss the fun if he left. Srt of like that astronaut female who drove cross country in depends to wreak her vengeance on a rival. Only no depends.

    These are just examples of non-senile non-infantile cases I have noticed, no cultural profiling. Let’s not even get into the fetish types! Of course that is in private I would hope…

  32. Holy…shit. I just kind of breezed through the comments here, but yeah. Freud’s anal phase was the first thing I thought of. Stuck in a shit-smearing phase of childhood development. “I made this shit, it’s my creation, and now I’m going to MARK your property with it so you won’t soon forget I was here.” It’s shit-graffiti. Tagging, but with poop. Shit art. Wow. That’s beyond fucking gross.

  33. The message is clear: they’re saying “Eat my shit.” This is both cave-man like and Freudian. Weird. And gross, of course. I wonder if the whole lot of them were mentally ill? Escapees from a Mexican cuckoo bin?

  34. No, this was the norm. Nothing the sheriff had not seen before and many times. My warehouse though, was epic. That was amaaaaazing. They had to have been in there for hours.

    Besides the wall smearing, you’d open a case (box) of cheetos and a turd inside. Hundreds of boxes… this one with a turd, this one with diarrhea. Shit smeared on the floor…

    I really had never seen anything like it or ever could have dreamed. It was like a murderer staging a body except it was a group (had to be – various types and colors of shit). one neat coiled pile of shit on one of the guys I worked with side.

    It was one building, separated into 3 parts by chicken wire to the ceiling almost. They climbed to go between them.

    The one guy in the middle, it was like a shit bomb went off. Mine and guy #3 got off lighter.

    We hired a cleaning crew and it took them days. We couldn’t shake the memory or the imagined smell so we moved to a new warehouse shortly after and soon after that, I quit.

  35. — it is very common if you live near the mexican border

    The upcoming Arizona legislation has been on my mind. I’m curious, is the new law intended to address problems of this nature?

  36. The correlation with poop, power, territory, etc. reminds me of how we use the phrase “take a piss” or “take a dump” not “leave a dump.” I’ve always wondered why this is.

    It is like we take a little something from a place and the people there when we use a facility–even under normal circumstances–with the smell, the possible disease, the water, the privacy, etc.

    Or maybe it’s just a quirk of the English language and nothing to do with power.

    (my first post is about poop–ha!)

  37. A friend of mine had a girlfriend in high school — smart girl, if a little wild — who used to get revenge using human feces. For example, there is a notorious story that they all refer to as “The Shit-handle Story”, wherein the girl took revenge on her cheating ex by having her girlfriend take a shit in a plastic bag, waiting for the cheating guy and girl to go into the movie theater, then cramming this pile of shit under the handle of his car doors. All the while, of course, she was lying in wait to watch them get a handful when they returned. She was also known to take a shit into potato chip bags and place them inside certain people’s coat pockets.

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