Hot shit

Heisse Scheisse translates to hot shit. One would think that with a rhyming like that, more people would say it. But no.

The first time I used the phrase, my German husband, bilingual except on those occasions when it is convenient to misunderstand, looked at me as if I suggested it as a meal.

“Yes honey, hot shit for dinner tonight. Its part of that South Beach diet.”

He suggested that I not say it to strangers as they wouldn’t understand. However, since I’m an American LEARNING German I have an out. People just look at me and smile as I butcher their language. Except for the time I said “evil pussy” to my mother-in-law, most people give me the benefit of the doubt. (Evil pussy was a total mistake, BTW. It rhymes too. Böse Möse. How can you not put those words together?)

And Germans have kind of an obsession with poop. The toilets beg you to look at the poop, the heisse scheisse. They have shelves and take lo-flo to the extreme. Your poop lands on the shelf. When you push the button to flush, the water lifts it off the shelf. The button is on the top of the tank or on the wall above. Even the most pious have to look. It stares you down, it dares you to look. It double dog dares you to examine it a little closer.

After a while, I became poop-obsessed. I started to wonder why some days were more “productive” than others. I added fiber to my diet, I ate apple sauce. I even started to consider a high colonic.

Sparky’s mother instructed me to place 1 sheet of toilet paper on the shelf when I need to relieve myself. If you forget or if your “product” doesn’t fit on the small square, every toilet in Germany has a toilet brush right next to it for quick cleaning. Another fascination of the Deutsch, cleanliness of environment. I’ve had poop and cleaning raised to new levels of awareness since moving here.

When designing our bathroom, we ordered Italian toilets. The model name ‘Sweet Life’. It’s the antithesis of a German toilet. Rather than a shelf, it has a deep dark hole. Once something enters, it is never seen again. Its nice, but sometimes I miss the shelf.


10 thoughts on “Hot shit

  1. dude, i remember those shelves. i couldn’t stop talking about that shit shelf when I went to Germany. no one else seemed to think it was an issue.

  2. What a riot! So true…never really put it together! but I’ll deal with that for public rest “rooms” that close without just enough of an opening to get a peek…and you do have to say, they are clean…unlike that shit hole at restops in Italy!

  3. or in switzerland with the feet holes so you can use the shit hole. those were awful to look at, but surprisingly practical when it was snowing. germans have the metal toilets at rest stops and those are so cold, even with the toilet paper ring, its miserable.

  4. Hi Jen!

    Heisse Scheisse! I think it’s hilarious – I have to tell my 19-year old son – he loves that kind of mangled-cross-language stuff as much as I do. Our favorite expression is “Quelle the hell?” (we both took French in high school, 36 years apart.)

    Your essay on German toilets brought back memories from the late ’70s when I was in Germany on business at least once a month. I *do* remember those funny toilets – I think you are supposed to “examine the stool” before flushing? And yes, I remember every toilet stall had one of those brushes – I did get in the spirit of things and used them!

    I have to say, I genuinely enjoyed my visits to Germany, and would very much like to go back after all these years.

    BTW I saw your link on Prarie Girl’s blog, and couldn’t resist taking a look. Glad I did.

    Best regards,

  5. I believe when this type of toilet was invented the shelf was actualy intended to inspect the poop. To check if you had worms or other health issues.
    I once saw a very old one beautifull decorated inside with a blue delftware decoration. How beautifull it must have looked in use.

  6. Terriffic! How relevant! You have really made it clear how superior American restrooms are…
    And you culture! Imperialism wins!

    Love it – change it or leave it.

    Why not divorce your impossible German husband (impossible because he is apparently part of the culture described by you here) and go back home? Oh sorry, then you could not feel so superior and would miss out on fun like that.

    What really is not more than the title of your blog are its contents. Waste of time.

  7. Seriously, it might be a waste of your time. I think you need to concentrate more on your reading comprehension. I do NOT say my culture is superior and on this post I even mention that I miss the shelf.

    My husband is the best man in the world. It’s people like you who make this a more difficult place to live. Grow up.

  8. Just typed to see if it worked. It didn’t. It’s crap alright, but not hot.
    BTW; the shelf is not for ‘inspecting’ (clearly, only an already-poop-obsessed-human-being can think of such a thing!).
    It prevents splashing.



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