No one likes to talk about hygiene. Especially not bathroom stuff.
But, since Uncle Edgar pushed me through that mirror, I've been thinking about bathrooms.
That's probably because I haven't seen (or used) one since I arrived in this "other world." The closest thing to a bathroom here is called a privy, and you can only find them in castles. (Everyone who doesn’t live in a castle has to make do with bushes.)
The privies are indoors, at least. Basically, you sit on a splintered wooden seat (or a cold stone one) with a hole in it, and all your, um, “waste” goes down a chute into the castle moat.
But the king doesn’t use the privy. No, he has something called a “close stool” set up in a room in the castle. Take a look at the picture. A servant called the Groom of the King’s Close Stool helps the king use this cushy, portable toilet and clean up afterwards.
Yep. He’s the Royal Butt Wiper.
Can you think of a more disgusting job? I can’t! But these guys want to do it! In fact, noblemen fight like two dogs over a bone to get their sons this position.
Apparently, the king becomes quite close to the person cleaning his bum – and shares many royal secrets with him. That leads to some pretty cool promotions in the ‘ole royal court.
Talk about working your way up from the bottom! (Sorry! I couldn't resist.)
My sister Kat -- also known as "Miss Know-It-All" -- said there were Grooms of the Close Stool in medieval times in our world, too. I'm sure glad I wasn't a nobleman's son back then. I wouldn't do that job for a million dollars!