If you pay attention you may notice that, if allowed to run long enough, any human conversation will devolve into talk of some kind of bodily function. We are enthralled by the stuff that goes into and comes out of our bodies, and are filled with lamentations should any of our normal and weird-enough-already processes go haywire. In 2013, I think we are all pretty understanding of the fact that unless you have a re-routing system, you have to go poop. If you have trouble pooping, you should: increase your level of physical exercise, drink plenty of water, and eat lots of whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. Simple, huh? Well, not so simple for Peoples Of The Past! Constipation was actually a much bigger problem then, as the population moved from primarily agricultural (with the attendant emphasis on hard physical work and the eating of whole foods), to primarily urban industrial/consumer, where physical exertion was replaced by desk jobs and TV watching, and commercially-processed foods slowed the gut down to a stop. They hadn't yet Got Back To Nature, so looked to other medical solutions. That's my theory, anyway, and I think it's pretty good crap.

Today, I bring you some vintage ads taking you back to the amazing world of LAXATIVES! I am just old enough to once have been given a HIDEOUS dose of castor oil in my childhood, which so scarred me I can still remember it in fine detail. I actually cried because my FEELINGS were hurt that my mother would choose to make me ingest something that tasted so BAD. Needless to say, I would have rather had poop back up out my ears than swallow that bilge again. But the regular (pun) dosing with castor oil and other laxative agents used to be considered normal and positive for overall health for both kids and adults. Really, I think I'd just rather eat some granola and apples.

Dang! Look at the scary doctor! He's all, DON'T! (You can click on the ads to enlarge, should you want to read the excellent ad texts.)

It kinda looks more to me like he's been drinking whiskey for an hour.

I'm not saying one. word.

What kind of Man makes the Best Husband? A Good Pooper, of course!

Oh, now I'm REALLY REALLY not saying ONE WORD about this one. Holy feces!

Why fear colds, grip, or influenza? POOP EM OUT! What the heck is "grip," anyway?

I love these Fletcher's Castoria ads, letting mothers know that modern, special children should drink that HIDEOUS OIL.

I love that the laxative pill stands in for the sun here and that the joyful man and woman are just basking in its chemical bowel-propulsive glow. "No perturbing effects" = "You might not shit your pants."

I'm assuming this is heroin.

 The bizarre Poop Trolls here are amazing. What if this was real, and everyone had a Poop Troll hanging off their shoulders talking about Ex-Lax? Wow, right?

Oh, how early hint for ladies to try using laxatives to slim down! Hey, Karen Carpenter says "hi" from the future, Saraka!

And we shall end with this vintage TV commercial starring basketball legend Wilt Chamberlin and his mother talking about his childhood constipation. YES, IT'S REAL.

Wilt Chamberlin & Mom Fletcher's Castoria Commercial