Part of becoming an adult is the process of learning that most things that happened within your household growing up were not even a little bit normal.
I was 20 when I realised that not everyone refers to individual hair ties as ‘ponytails’. Outside our house, when I asked someone if they had a ‘spare ponytail’ they looked at me like I wasn’t making any sense, which upon reflection, I most definitely wasn’t.
But a recent Reddit user has shared a confession about his weird upbringing that will make you feel like your family and everything they’ve ever done is perfectly sane. Because for this person, who we’ll call Jack, a ‘poop knife’ was a normal part of his household.
Let me explain.
“My family poops big,” Jack begins – a detail that will later prove to be important. “If anyone has laid a mega-poop, you know that sometimes it won’t flush.”
“Growing up, this was a common enough occurrence that our family had a poop knife,” he writes.
Sorry… a… what?
In case you're not quite there yet, Jack's family's poop knife was used in cases where a poop was so big, it needed to be cut into smaller pieces in order to be flushed.
"It was an old rusty kitchen knife that hung on a nail in the laundry room, only to be used for that purpose. It was normal to walk through the hallway and have someone call out 'hey, can you get me the poop knife'?"
Jack continues to explain that when he was 22, he went to the bathroom at a friend's house, and realised it was one of those poops. The ones that require a poop knife. So he cracked open the door and called out to his friend, who had literally no idea what he was talking about.
"Obviously he has one, but maybe he calls it by a more delicate name," Jack writes. "A fecal cleaver? A dung divider? A guano glaive? I explain what it is I want and why I want it."
Predictably, none of these terms help, and Jack's friend, as well as everyone else who happened to be at his house at the time, explain that poop knives are straight up NOT a thing.
LISTEN: Speaking of weird family traditions... what do your kids refer to you as? Is it appropriate to call your parents mummy and daddy when you're older? We discuss, on our family podcast. Post continues after audio.
Jack then had to have an uncomfortable conversation with his wife, who somehow, had never asked what the rusty (was it... was it rust though?) knife hanging up in their utility closet was for.
She hadn't known it was a poop knife, and luckily had never cooked with it. She had, however, used it to open packages, which is problematic.
Jack's post has attracted a lot of attention, with people sharing their own toilet-related habits that were definitely unique to their family. There's the person who had a 'shatula' at home - a spatula used to... do the same thing as the poop knife? I assume? Poop scissors are also a thing, apparently.
Another person's dad had a 'pee jar' which he would urinate in when he couldn't be bothered to go upstairs to the toilet, which is not even a little bit okay.
When I asked my colleagues, it became clear that everyone's families have weird traditions that don't exist elsewhere.
Emma*, 28, said her family has a game where when a celebrity or famous person dies, whoever texts the group first with their correct name, age and profession wins a point. It started with Steve Irwin and they've been playing since then.
Katie, 34, said whenever she played Monopoly growing up, her sister always made sure one person was the 'financial advisor' to help everyone manage their money properly. She then got really confused reactions whenever she played Monopoly with friends and asked who was going to be the financial advisor.
For Rachel, 31, a comment by her mother years ago has turned into a permanent tradition. Her mum, who is the type to constantly over-shop, came home one day with a bag of tomatoes, despite having been told that there were already some in the fridge. When Rachel counted, there were 22 tomatoes already there. Now, every time any member of the family sees tomatoes, they take a photo of them and text their mum asking if she needs any.
FAMILIES ARE SUPER WEIRD. But if you didn't grow up with a poop knife, you're one step ahead.
*Names have been changed because: shame.