Your Unauthorized Guide to the Golden Age of National Lampoon Magazine

91. Canadian Restroom Editorial & “Last Man on Earth”

March 22, 2004

Q: I am looking for an editorial that appeared in the True Facts section of the magazine. It was written by some guy in Canada, I think, and he goes on and on about public restrooms and their health risks and how people wouldn’t need to use them if they were “regular,” etc. Also, what is the name of the story about a geek who ends up as the last man on Earth because he isn’t watching the Super Bowl, and has sex with Jaqueline Bisset and Farrah and one other chick?

A: Thanks to Steve and E. Nice for answering this one. The editorial appeared in the March 1977 (Science and Technology) issue and was reprinted from the Toronto Sun November 12, 1976 edition. The other story was “The Last Man on Earth” by Ted Mann and appeared in the June 1981 (Romance) issue. More details (including a complete transcription of the Toronto Sun editorial) in the Comments link below.


The True Facts column in the March 1977 "Science and Technology" issue consisted of a verbatim reprint of an editorial that ran in the Toronto Sun. The author of the editorial said that he had waited 40 years to write his column about the deplorable habit of some men to use public bathrooms for more than urination. In his words, "There is something wrong with a man who defecates in some washroom outside his home. He is either ill, ignorant, or unclean." He goes on for eight more paragraphs, telling the reader that they should defecate at home so that they can use soap and water to scrub out their, um... well, he goes into a lot of detail for a family newspaper. The other story definitely existed. It may have been titled, "The Last Man on Earth" and ran in the mid-Eighties when the magazine was crap.


March 23, 2004 12:25 am

(Gah! Sorry Steve, I didn't notice someone had already answered this. But now I've typed in the wretched thing, I'm posting it anyway.) The True Facts report is from the March 1977 (Science and Technology: Poisonous Junk, Stuff That Blows Up, and Large Dangerous Things That Go Fast) ish. Like an idiot, I have typed it all out. TRUE FACTS The following column is reprinted verbatim from the Toronto Sun of November 12, 1976. It was sent to us by our Toronto correspondent, Alison Gordon. Body Hygiene by McKenzie Porter For more than 40 years I have wanted to write the column that follows. But I have refrained on the grounds of an old-fashioned sense of delicacy. Now that general attitudes toward bodily functions are more candid and wholesome I think I may deplore, without being obnoxious, the washroom habits of some men. The most depressing spectacle a man may see on entering a public washroom to urinate is that of the feet of another man who is seated behind the half-door of a water closet in the act of defecation. There is something wrong with a man who defecates in some washroom outside his home. He is either ill, ignorant or unclean. The custom of reading the newspaper regularly in a water closet at one's place of employment is not merely a theft of one's employer's time but, often, an offence to the eyes, ears and nose of one's colleagues. A healthy, intelligent, fastidious man defecates in his home or hotel bathroom in the morning before he takes his shower or tub. In this way he ensures that his body is immaculate before he dons his underwear. Defecation in any place where it is difficult to wash the anus is unhygienic. No matter how good is the quality of the toilet paper available it is never as effective as soap and water. One of the most impressive ablutationary provisions I ever saw was a latrine for private soldiers of the Indian Army during World War II. Although it was a makeshift affair in range of enemy guns it was equipped with a rudimentary shower made out of old gasoline cans. The private soldiers of this particular regiment, famous for their salubrious appearance, were not content in a latrine with paper. They expected, even in the front line, facilities for washing. The celebrated freshness of the Indian Army is dependent to a large extent on the regularity of bowel movements. By developing the habit of excreting shortly after arising from sleep, a habit easily acquired by anybody else, the Indian Army soldiers are able to wash conveniently before they dress. Taking a tip from the Indian Army, many years ago, the British Army introduced the seemingly incongruous barrack-room custom of serving morning tea to soldiers in bed. Such refreshment is called Gunfire. It promotes the routine of morning evacuation, use of the showers and higher standards of cleanliness and health. Any doctor will tell you that washing with soap and water after excretion is a precaution against minor and major ailments of the rectum. A common cause of so-called food poisoning is the handling of dishes by restaurant workers who have failed to wash their hands properly after defecation. All staff washrooms in restaurants should be equipped with bidets, or showers, and the use of such, after defecation, should be mandatory. It is essential, of course, to provide water closets in all places of employment and public buildings for the use of persons who need them at odd times. But to encourage better habits in the general population each public water closet should carry on its half-door the notice: For Emergency. On the inside of the door, for the edification of the user, the following notice should be posted: "This Water Closet Is Provided For Persons Suffering From Temporary Irregularity of the Bowels. Healthy Persons Use the Water Closet At Home Where It Is Possibly To Wash The Body Before Adjusting the Dress." Copyright 1976, Toronto Sun Syndicate.

—E Nice

March 24, 2004 7:45 am

Blimey, did I really type all that out? Anyway, I've just found the Last Man story - it was called The Last Guy On Earth and was written by Ted Mann, and appeared in the June 1981 (Romance) ish. The women were Bo Derek, Jacqueline Bisset and Lieutenant Uhuru From Star Trek.

—E Nice

June 17, 2004 12:32 pm

Thanks to both Steve and E for these answers. I meant to thank you earlier but I forgot.


June 17, 2004 1:12 pm

Thanks very much folks. Been looking for that piece for years. And here's a picture of Mr. Porter himself...


August 1, 2004 10:35 am

Not sure what you mean the magazine was crap in the eighties. That was ten years. The mag was crap in '71, but the 70's were pretty good, generally. and '84 had the OC and Stiggs issue, which was funny enough to float five years lameness on either side.

—Jackson Smedle

July 17, 2008 12:25 am

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