The humble beginnings of the modern era’s undisputed and unrivalled heavyweight defecator champion of the world, Sir Brian 'Pooh Pooh' Taylor, can be traced back to the steamy, tropical streets of Bali in the late 1980’s. It is written into mythology that a bright-eyed, bushy-tailed Brian Taylor was nursing a heady case of sunstroke following his first full day in the Indonesian archipelago, surfing the world-renowned breaks from Airport Rights to Kuta Reef on the cusp of Bali’s Bukit. He took to the waves with the grace of Michael Peterson, but having arrived fresh from a brisk winter on Sydney’s northern beaches, a youthful Brian’s Anglo-Saxon skin tone was no match for his equatorial environs. Day 2 of the surf odyssey would have to involve a rest day from the ocean.
He took to the Jalans of Kuta, smeared in Aloe Vera, exuding an angelic glow from his parched pores, and embarked upon a sightseeing journey of culinary discovery in his formal occasion Okanui boardshorts, a brand-spanking new Bintang singlet and a pair of double-pluggers that could fetch a fair fortune amongst the flimsy flip flops on offer along Poppies Lanes One and Two. He was looking sublime but feeling peckish. A lifetime of meat, three veg and mushroom gravy was far from ideal for the imminent deathtrap dishes brewing in the fetid grime of a Padang curry cart halfway along Jalan Pantai Kuta. Little could Brian know he was moments from devouring a strain of giardia so wretched, not even the zero-latitude heat nor the slow burn of the cart’s sole bunsen burner could subdue the microbial stew lurking in a broth of squalid, lime green Nasi Padang.
A misplaced notion of iron stomach credentials mixed with the playfully welcoming smile of Ketut (or Nyoman) as he waved Brian across to the roadside cart overlooking some high tide Kuta Beach peelers was all it took for a near death experience to ensue. Ketut’s (or Made’s) Gado-Gado curry ensemble was momentarily delicious, Brian paying a healthy tip and smiling courteously through his “terima kasihs” and “selamat pagi’s” as he munched into a brunch that looked suspicious but tasted bloody beaut. Ketut (or Wayan), no stranger to a clueless western man with severe sunburn and an empty stomach, was quick to cycle his Bali Belly Curry Death Cart away as Brian continued to consume his meal while watching geriatric, toothless Balinese women on the black sand beach yelling out Massssaaaaarrrge from the high tide mark. What a wonderful day and a refreshing dose of culture.
As the mid-morning sun started to bite once more into Brian’s skin, his fight or flight nervous system alarms went berserk with the disturbing assault of rumbling guts and a rapidly weakening sphincter. Oh God! What have I done? He had to bolt, the comfort and familiarity of his 5 star hotel’s Royal Doulton was his only hope. Through narrow streets, heavy traffic and spurred on by cheering stall-keepers, Brian’s running was swift but hampered by shoots of stank oozing through his sweat-laced Reg Grundies, drafts of Trolly Cart Curry overpowering the incense-filled air. He was technically too late…A trail of fecal chocolate from the hotel’s entrance gates all the way to room 207 was undeniable but at the bottom of Brian’s priority list as the welcome site of a western crapper was tantamount to Abraham seeing the Lord.
Whatever Ketut had served up to tantalize the palate, decimate the duodenum and comprehensively obliterate the porcelain, Brian Taylor could never have known the following 8 days of near death shitting heroics would become the benchmark of Olympic Dumping. Each day as the legions of fans grew and grew into thousands of admirers, 50 Shades of Brown would pour forth from Brian’s colon, illuminating the Doulton with the spark, verve and severe pungency we take for granted nowadays from a man who has sat unchallenged at the helm of defecation brilliance and creativity for three decades. Those lucky enough to have followed the signs into Brian’s Kuta Hotel in 1988 and witnessed the mastery at the base of Room 207’s lavatory knew there and then they were far more fortunate than most. History was being written, the gold standard of shitting redefined.
Brutally emaciated, and with his hotel room declared an idyllic Balinese treasure, the Room 207 Royal Doulton now serving as a Hindu Shrine, Brian returned home to Mona Vale to continue in his carpentry trade, much to the chagrin of his global fan base that could not bear the thought of such a prodigious shitter unwilling to commit full time to the World Tour. In a sport as old as time itself, for the first time since the bubonic plague wiped out many a noble log layer, an Anglo-Saxon stood a real chance of overcoming the Indian subcontinental stranglehold on shitting superiority.
Olympic Dumping had always been a three cow race with India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka consistently light years ahead of the rest of the world when it came to stink, consistency and overall flair, especially when the added criteria of bowl presentation was introduced to the official judging criteria shortly after World War II. Sure, some fluky Kalahari Bushman or Nepalese monk would occasionally upset the apple cart with phenomenal chute work, but a man with the easy to pronounce name of Brian Taylor, not to mention the rugged good looks of a windswept warrior who was quite simply born to shit…this was too good an opportunity to miss. The sponsorship dollars flew through the floodgates and a knighthood was offered if Brian would be so considerate as to lay his tools to rest on the building site and focus his efforts on shitting Australia to the top of global defecation honours. He had no choice.
Initially unable to replicate those glorious craps of his Bali rise to prominence, Sir Brian Taylor’s destiny was sealed when Ketut sought out the naïve westerner who’d dared to eat from his Curry Cart that fateful day on the shores of Kuta Beach. Ketut, son of Nyoman, brother of Made, Father of Wayan, arrived unannounced on Brian’s doorstep and served tirelessly in the Sir Brian 'Pooh Pooh' Taylor Shit-Your-Way-to-the-Top-Dream-Team as a horrifically splendid chef, never ceasing to flout the rudimentary requirements of western hygiene as he whipped up meal after hideous meal that sent Brian’s gastrointestinal tract into kamikaze somersaults and provided the fuel to the fire of a shitstorm the likes of which this world has never known.
A visionary and servant to the fine art of stupendous shitting, Brian meshed Ketut’s dishes with the fibrous ingredients of Weet Bix and Vegemite toast, thus changing the world of Royal Doulton forever. To witness a Brian Taylor log was to catch a glimpse, and a waft, of heaven itself. Who among us can’t instantly recall the sight and sniff the wonder of a 'Pooh Pooh' Taylor creation at one of his gala dinners in Sydney, London, Paris or New York?
Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and others have greatness thrust upon them. The man we all grew to know so well and love so fondly as “Pooh Pooh” was quite assuredly the greatest ever to place his sphincter above a bowl and let nature take its course. His trademark 50 Shades of Brown would go forth to rule the Number 2 Universe until his death at home on the NSW north coast atop his personalized training potty that was the site of so much magnificent shitting, a fitting end to a wondrous life.
Rest in Peace, Sir Pooh Pooh
Gone but never forgotten.
Liam Carroll is the author of Slippery, a story set in Southeast Asia about capitalism on steroids, it makes the world of Gordon Gecko look positively gentlemanly, and Sweet Dreams of Fanta, a nostalgic romp in time back to the Sydney of 1988, seen through the eyes of a freckly, moon-faced, seven year old Fanta addict and devoted Balmain Tigers lover.