The call of nature

Jim Kalafus

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Also, Mahala Douglas told exactly how women relieved themselves in the lifeboats. Not before the Senate, of course, but her information is out there.
 
Dec 2, 2000
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Easley South Carolina
>>So, a gassy Titanic passenger could have availed himself of anything from fibre tablets to medicinal colonics, to judge from the 1912 ads.<<

Did any of them have something a little less toxic then cyanide in them? A lot of the "medicines" of that era were barely to the right of rat poison.
 
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Anna Mcpherson

Guest
Monica: I shall wait even if I am about to explode,I am a lady, non ladies don't care. Are you one of those ladies that Shriek Aloud? and don't care?

Bob: I am being serious,what does that chair got do do with my question? That chair would differently make things more noticable,and by the way,this is question is right for this thread heading (The call of nature)if you are not interested than don't join in.

Take care.
 
Jan 28, 2003
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I think, 'Anna', that you have been rumbled, and very easily too. And the 'call of nature' has been discussed many times before, with a great deal more dignity - and humour.

I'm vaguely interested in your 'take care' sign-off line. Take care of what? My reputation as a lady? Nooo, I don't think so - I'm just a woman.

So much more fun to dance with Jim and Tim, or witness Bob's 'chair'. Even if none of it's true.
 

Jim Kalafus

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Dec 3, 2000
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>Take care of what? My reputation as a lady?

Exactly. Having immersed myself in the patent medicine ads of 1912, I can assure you that nothing, and I mean NOTHING, is more important than to have the terms "Dainty" and "Fastidious" applied to you. By all rights, the very theme of this thread should have made you faint dead away, while, at the same time, making you feel underconfident. At least that's the message I get from 1912 adverts.

>Did any of them have something a little less toxic then cyanide in them?

The ads did not expand upon on of what the products were composed. They only drove home the point that if a man wants to be "VIGOROUS" his bowels must be sound in EVERY way, and that a woman with audible gas will end up a social pariah, and living at the county poor farm while pathetically clutching a scrapbook kept in the old days before her friends deserted her.

So, the ravages of Titanic-era gas are gender divided. A man would be rendered less "vigorous" and therefore less "manly" by what was (rightly) called a health issue. A woman, of course, was less "dainty" because, in her case, it was purely a social/hygenic faux-pas over which she had complete control if only she knew.

I assume that in first class, a gentleman thus afflicted would wait until a staff member was standing near, vent gas, and then glare accusingly at the staff member while those at his table pretended not to notice.

In third class, an extended forefinger and "pull my finger" challenge, followed by gales of post-expulsion laughter, were probably deemed appropriate for mixed company, these being hearty, salt-of-the-earth folk. Sulphur-tipped matches, and a certain trick still popular amongst frat boys, were considered inappropriate in all three classes.

If you WERE serious about gas passing broken down along class divisions, you'd have to research how the various cultures traveling in third class viewed bodily functions, and proceed from there. You'd also have to determine the social strata from which each of the passengers travelling in third class originated, since even among the non-English/non-American passengers there were those who did not come from "the huddled masses," and determine how gas passing vs gas retention was viewed within their segment of the larger culture from which they originated.

This is one of the VERY few aspects of Titanica not yet excessively delved into. You may be on to something worthy of expanding upon here.
 
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Anna Mcpherson

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Monica:I have the right to post on any thread,and if I wish to post on a tired thread,than so be it. I not forcing you too read and respond to my posts,you did so on you're own accord.
There's no reason for you too follow me around the board if you are not interested in this subject.
As for my " Take Care" sign off line,I guess you don't know what polite means?
I am very interested in Titanic not you or any one else for this matter but I do enjoy (very much so)conversations with MOST members on here (not all though)about the Titanic and other related topics.
I do agree,that picture (second picture) of bob's made me giggle.HAHA (I've got humour)

Take care (means I am being polite to wards members I am conversing with on this subject)

Jim: "You stated this "This is one of the very few aspects of Titanica not yet excessively delved into. You may be on to something worthy of expanding upon here"
Well Thank you,since I am the one that thought of this subject. I brought this subject up cause I really thought no else has actually spoke about (Although it is not a polite subject to talk about but it's rare on Titanic forums)
In the yearly part of the 1900's (Titanic's era) I would thought a man (or women) would excuse himself/herself away from the ladies/Gents to a private area to relieve himself/herself (unlike todays area when it's done right in front of you)

Take care.
 
Jan 28, 2003
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Chastened. Yes, that's the word - chastened. By Anna, for responding inappropriately (rudely?) to her post in a public forum. Oh well.

But also by Jim's trenchant observations on the topic. Speaking as a retired academic researcher, I realise now how easily one gives up the quest for knowledge, and the rigorous approach. I intend to position myself + clipboard all weekend in a ladies' public convenience to interrogate them to discover how many of them have actually dashed in to relieve themselves of wind in private, thus preserving their reputations for being both dainty and fastidious. I know we can't extrapolate this to 1912, but I still think it will be worthwhile scholarship.
 
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Anna Mcpherson

Guest
Not rudely love,"I like to have conversation with other members" and you think it is rude?


Well,I see that you are going out and about for my request for information,but you would have to work hard ,ladies don't like to come forward in this situations of not lady like proformence.
Well,I know one thing for sure,ladies back than would have done it other wise they would have blown up (or there bows would have blown up) bad thoughts here.

Take care.
 

Mark Baber

Moderator
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Dec 29, 2000
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by the way,this is question is right for this thread heading (The call of nature)if you are not interested than don't join in.
Monica:I have the right to post on any thread,and if I wish to post on a tired thread,than so be it. I not forcing you too read and respond to my posts,you did so on you're own accord.
There's no reason for you too follow me around the board if you are not interested in this subject.
As for my " Take Care" sign off line,I guess you don't know what polite means?
Moderator's hat on:

Anna, comments like this have no place here. They're rude and disrespectful to Bob and Monica, whose postings were wholly unexceptionable.

Please desist. If you have problems with responses to your messages, contact a moderator.

Moderator's hat off.
Jim: "You stated this "This is one of the very few aspects of Titanica not yet excessively delved into. You may be on to something worthy of expanding upon here"
Well Thank you,since I am the one that thought of this subject.
Anna, I think you need to look up the definition of "sarcasm" in your dictionary.
 
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Anna Mcpherson

Guest
Mark: I certainly will take you're advice and contact a mod.(I see i am being ambush on here by other members)

Monica: Good on you,now you and i can depart from this conversation after when you receive our answers.

Best regards
 
May 1, 2004
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No sarcasm from me, I think it is a neglected aspect of the early twentieth century. (Any century, for that matter) What did a polite person do when he, she or someone else broke wind? And what could a person in a lifeboat do when his or her bladder and bowels signaled they were about to expel? I suppose all he or she could do was sit there and let it go. Remarks from other passengers, as well as the discomfort, must have added insult to injury. Maybe the passengers and crew were too caught up in the fight for life to worry about embarrassment.
 

Mark Baber

Moderator
Member
Dec 29, 2000
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I see i am being ambush on here by other members

What do you mean by this, Anna? How are you being "ambush[ed]"?
 
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Anna Mcpherson

Guest
Marilyn Penner- I had never of thought about the persons stuck in a lifeboat and there situation that they had to deal with,if nature did call.
You may hit the nail on the head,people would have to just do it,there is no other escape or sulutions if you're bows are singing out to you,I just glad I was never in that situation,(I'd would rather explode)

Mark: I posted a serious post (I know a bit discusting and weird)but I feel like members are making fun of me and poking at me. I made a serious posting about 1912 era "The call of Nature" if I did misunderstand the thread topic,I would rather a member just tell me politly that I made a mistake instead of making fun of my posting and having digs at me.(I don't mind humour but as long as it is not directed at me)
Just felt like i am being ambush by funny remarks,when I was being dead serious. I happen to be very interested in the 1912 era and I can't help that I want to know every thing about that era.

Kind regards
 

Jim Kalafus

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Dec 3, 2000
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>What did a polite person do when he, she or someone else broke wind?

A polite person never broke wind in public, so the etiquette books are silent on how one went about it graciously.


It WAS approached obliquely, in that people were advised NOT to eat food known to... disagree... with them before receiving guests or paying call. Advice which still holds up well.

HOWEVER, if someone unintentionally broke wind in your presense, that was what was known as "a mortifying accident" and, like all other mortifying accidents, was left uncommented on by the witnesses. If the...flatulee?... apologized, one maintained the polite fiction by seeming befuddled over for what they were apologizing.

NOW, if someone was crude enough to INTENTIONALLY pass gas, the response was, of course, a frozen face, a cold stare, and then no further acknowledgement of the repulsive act.

And, actually, this time I WASN'T being sarcastic! On the off chance that this was not veering off in the "obeast" direction, I was actually speaking entirely on a surface level. Mahala Douglas explained how women managed to urinate in a lifeboat. Lucile was sick in HER lifeboat, but less forthcoming with the details of how she remained... dainty... while vomiting. Perhaps there IS enough material out there, in the form of VERY private correspondence, to warrant further investigation. Believe it or not, "fart references" in Civil War era letters are so numerous (and not just among soldiers) that several dead serious articles and an entire book chapter have been devoted to them.

And, now sarcasm enters again... think hard about this line of research. "Author of A SOFT RUMBLE FROM BENEATH THE FLOOR: Titanic and Flatulence" will probably NOT earn one a comped cabin in exchange for a series of lectures during a cruise or crossing.
 

Jim Kalafus

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Dec 3, 2000
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ON TO SOMETHING? Never being one to rest on my laurels, I selflessly pulled out my copy of Last Dinner on the Titanic and...my GOD... all three classes plus restaurant offered some fairly lethal food choices.

A formerly silent (but deadly) area of research suddenly seems promising... was not Charlotte Collyer felled by her course choices that night?

Braised Savoy cabbage. Bacon/onion/ 1 medium cabbage/ sugar/vinegar.

Spring pea soup.

Spring asparagus Hollandaise, which included amongst many flatus-producing ingredients, hard boiled egg.

Vegetable Marrow Farci.

Asparagus salad with Champagne-saffron Vinaigrette.

Vegetable soup with asparagus tips.

Ragout of beef with pickled red cabbage

This being just a random sampling. The food combinations were fairly ghastly in all three classes, in a way that prefigured 1970s "deluxe" cuisine, and no doubt would not have sat well, particularly among the elderly.

The preponderance of asparagus raises another spectre... in addition to its celebrated gas-producing qualities, there is its equally unfortunate ability to make some people's urine smell particularly vile. Might this explain the dearth of "how we did it" accounts? Unless Mrs. Douglas randomly climbed into a boat occupied by singularly uninhibited passengers, one figures that calls of nature must have been heeded many times that morning on the various boats. Yet, only Mahala shines a light.... and only poor Charlotte HINTS at the gastric uproar likely induced by the food combinations readily available in all three classes.