The world’s looking a bit bleak just now, so I thought this would be an opportune time to talk about bowel habits while we all still have some nominal control over them.

I’ll start with the politician in the US, the notorious Kentucky Fried Chickenshit, Mitch McConnell. Now as I understand it his detractors often refer to him as Turtlehead, which afforded me some considerable amusement, as it did my friend Kev.

I think in the US a turtle can apply to a marine or aquatic turtle, or one living on land. In the UK, a landbound member of the Chelonidae is referred to as a tortoise*. With this in mind, I now have to explain to you the phrase ‘tortoise’s head’. It’s a phrase blokes (usually blokes) use when they’re desirous of defaecating to the extent that a turd is extruding from the bum, and is, as we blokes also say, ‘almost touching cloth.’ In a pub, a mate might hand you the money for a round of drinks and tell you, ‘Get the beers in. I’ve got a tortoise’s head.’

Under this meaning of the phrase, is this not an appropriate metaphor for McConnell? I think it is.

Now we turn to proper dinosaurs, not KFC and the GOP in the USA. As you’re all aware, they died out about 65M years ago in the KT extinction. There have been many marvellous theories as to why this happened. One of the best ones is that (for some unspecified reason) their brains became smaller and they were too dumb to survive. Nice try, but implausible, I’d say.

Here’s the one that’s truly insane, but was genuinely mooted back in the 1970s. Those dinos that were vegan mainly ate cycads, and these have a naturally high oil content. When the meteorite struck off Yucatan , the weather systems changed, and the cycads couldn’t survive, so the vegans’ diet had to change. The new diet had a low oil content, and the vegan dinos died of, wait for it, constipation.** With no bunged-up herbivores as prey, there was nothing for the badarse carnivores to eat, and it was bye bye all round.

Nice story. Unlikely, but interesting, the sort of wild-eyed scientific speculation I like.

This last piece of scatological detail is from Kev, so blame him not me. He has a friend who claims that when you move your bowels after a meal involving sweetcorn, ‘It looks like you’ve been eating bumblebees.’

On that not I shall bid you adieu.

*Posh people pronounce it ‘tortus,’ but I persist in my childhood habit of pronouncing it phonetically.

**No, I don’t want any jokes about brontosaurarses, thank you very much.

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