Archive for January, 2009
Toilets I have known
Val’s Baby Blake
It was New Years. I can’t remember the year but it had been a riotous end to the old one and I awoke in the morning with a hangover and a real need to evacuate my bowels, to start clean in this virginal calendar. That I was on a thirty-foot sailing boat, anchored in a remote bay not a thousand miles from the Antarctic, with assorted bodies strewn across bunks and floors, did not seem to be relevant, this beautiful morning. I removed myself to the ships bathroom euphemistically called the head. I sleep naked and the presence of my thirteen-year-old daughter’s friends in the forward cabin and on the main cabin floor did not dissuade me from that habit. Although I am a modest man, I am also known for my stubbornness. This morning’s evacuation was particularly noted for its largeness and smell. The mixes of alcohol’s and fine food certainly do wonders for the gut. Marine toilets are amazing feats of cunning plumbing. You fill the bowl of the apparatus with seawater through an ingenuous pump, do your business, and then through another turning of a valve, pump it all out again. Usually this takes a few fills of the bowl, and, with a particularly recalcitrant deposit, some manual assistance. This morning the pumping out phase seemed to be particularly hard. Despite rather more pressure than usual on the pump handle the load in the bowl had only half disappeared. Thinking that an over judicious use of paper may have made the business harder to move I resorted to the manual method and bailed water form the nearby handbasin and applied it to bowl. Still the handle was hard to move so I resorted to the typical male’s response. Pump harder. The veins in my forearms and forehead stood out as the handle refused to budge. Just as desperation entered the equation, a loud explosion was accompanied by the dismantling of the entire toilet plumbing and the outpouring of mine and at least two people before me waste products. This stream of faecal and paper matter rapidly breached the lip of the bathroom and flowed into the main cabin and occupants. I emerged, covered in product and it was not so much my nakedness but the overpowering stench and screaming that startled everyone in a surreal New Years Day.
The Long Drop
She sat at the bottom of the section, just on the edge of the swamp. My father, grandfather, and I had dug her two years before, after we had built our holiday house. I say we, but my contribution only slightly exceed my tender age of five. She was a good six feet deep, six wide, and four from front to back. Slightly smaller than a grave and that did not escape my thinking. A corrugated iron shed had been erected over the hole and an elaborate bench of tongue in groove was topped buy a wooden toilet seat and lid. She was a work of art. Along the wall on the left hand side was a nifty little holder my father had fashioned out of No8 wire (yes No8 wire) and it held not one, but two rolls of lavatory paper. I should explain that my father was left-handed and it never occurred to him the incredible difficulty this posed for most of the right handed members of the family. The right had held a selection of magazines deemed suitable for all users of the apparatus to read while contemplating the universe. ‘ It was here that I first saw Marilynn Monroe in her infamous Playboy spread, though Readers Digests and The Saturday Evening Post were more common offerings. If Normal Rockwell knew he was admired by people with undergarments around their ankles, he would probably turn in his grave. The toilet was self-flushing. Yes a self-flushing long drop. She was situated on the edge of a tidal swamp and as the tide rose and fell the level of water moved in unison this providing Natures own Way of removing smells and product. Things lived in the depths of that long drop and visiting was always a compromise of the pleasures of the read and the evacuation and the fears of losing a testicle or appendage to the things. I can assure readers that there is simply nothing bas fantastic as a long drop in the rain.
ElectroSanRotoToiler Mark III
A proud moment as I stepped back and admired my handiwork. Installing an electric toilet in a boat can be an arduous task, especially if you have two left hands and the mens handyman part of your brain has been used for higher intellectual pursuits since high school, and since you discovered ‘Hire a Hubby’. She gleamed in the forecabin. White porcelain contrasting with marine stainless steel. The range of knobs and dials made her look like a flight deck rather than a waste disposal unit. Proudly scrolled across her top ELECTRO-SAN-ROTO-TOILER MkIII.
Toilets located in the Juneau AK. Federal Building were designed a little too powerful. If one lowers the end of the toilet paper into the water and flushes repeatedly, the entire roll will be consumed within ten or fifteen seconds, right out of the dispenser.
And the signs I had constructed were pure genius. ‘Press Lever A so that it is aligned with the red inlet pipe’, and a clever little diagram so no-one could mistake the pipe and the lever. ‘Open lever B so that it is same. Turn knob C located on the top of the unit to position TANK. Flush bowl with water using pump P with lever C in the F position. Perform ablutions. NOTE do not flush sanitary pads, excessive toilet paper, or solids into bowl. Remember if it hasn’t been eaten its not to be flushed”. Turn Lever C into the E position. Pump with pump P until the bowl is clean. Close Levers A & B. If the gauge G on the unit is indicating that it is over ¾ full then turn Lever C to the OUT position and operate switch X until the red light comes on. Return Lever C to TANK position.’
It couldn’t fail.
I retired to my bunk for a nap and to contemplate my genius. I was awoken by a scream from the forecabin.
Tie in with test messaging
We aim to please!
You aim too! Please!
The hands that clean these toilets also make your food, so please aim
BOGTRASHER’S INC. is a select group of guys who love nothing more than to waste toilet paper and try to flush toilet brushes down the toilets in public places. Anonymity is essential here, and no names are revealed so try for a membership into their secret BogTrasher’s Club.
She thought she could figure it out herself. After all, she was a superwomen. It must be simple. Men had done it for years. Sucked out drains. Cheerily smiles and presented the bill. And they had all ended up at that little square t at the bottom of the section. Just put down a snake ( techniquaterm- a male appendage, elongated, erect, flexible- a womens dream) and it works its magic. So she did. Snake in hand she approached the T. Sniffed! A faint odour but nothing to be alarmed about. Pulled the top. A thirty foot fountain of shit, toilet paper and tampons, exploded into the air. And over her. She scrambled for the top. Capped it. Called a MAN. Retired – partially defeated. A day thinking. And for the next week all she saw was tampons in trees.
The Big Adventure
Horatio wolfed down the last of his vet approved chicken pieces. His fawn, brindle and white coat shone with good health that came from the nightly baths in milk that his grown-up gave him.
That bloody obedience whistle. One day he would ‘lose’ it when his grown-up was out to work. Sometimes it seemed that she blew it for hours on end. Yelling – H-o-r-a-t-i-oooooo, in her shrill scream, and he was supposed to roll, beg, fetch. And worse. She sometimes really hurt him with that wrapped up ‘Marie Claire’.
He didn’t like men. His grown-up uttered a little shriek every time one stopped to touch or admire Horatio when they were out for walkies. She lectured him when they got home.
“Don’t jump on men. Dirty. Bark when they came close.”
She rewarded him with very tasty morsels, venison, fresh mountain trout, liquorice, when he growled as one glided past.
The last ten days had flashed past in a blur. There was the fight with the big Spaniel, chasing that bloody cat and the hurt to his foot, the embarrassment of the possum, and finally the ignominy of nearly hanging himself from that piece of barbed wire. And being cut down by those men in black hats and the red truck, laughing as they pulled and poked him. And what did all those signs with Scotties dogs with big red arrows through them mean?
But it hadn’t been all bad. A palatial residence called Felines Retreat where big cats worshipped the sun on gracious loungers. A curious castle-like residence with a large sign out front showing a dogs head adorned with a golden crown and the words BarkRoyal Dog Lodge. His most intriguing find was a building called the K9 Bath House where he could hear the excited yaps of his brothers cavorting in water. The world was a wondrous place.
He stopped outside the shop that served as butchery, grocery and betting shop. Sometimes, the kind lady gave him food. To his horror there was a picture of himself pasted over the front door. He knew what he looked like because his grown-up had posed with him in front of the mirror many times gently cooing
‘”who’s a lovely boy then, who’s soooo gorgeous then, who’s my little baby then?” before she squeezed his nose or neck and then planted a big sloppy kiss, scented with lily-of-the-valley. He kind of liked it but sometimes her big round glasses hurt his head or her dangly earrings brushed his eye. If he could have read, Horatio would have noted that beneath the picture, in bold, 46 point, Times Roman font, were the words ‘Reward Reward Reward. Anyone reporting the whereabouts of my fawn, brindle and white 7 years old Whippet will receive $1000. He answers to the name Horatio and is kind and affectionate. Contact 8762319 anytime night and day.’
It was dark. All Horatio could make out was the glow of the light that illuminated the small house at the bottom of the hill. But oh! – the smells. It was like the tinned salmon that his grown-up sometimes gave him. But it had a sharpness, a tanginess, an out-of -this world flavour noise that he had never experienced before. He edged forward. Had Horatio knows his gourmet cooking he would have realised that a dish of mountain oysters, or sheep’s testicles, were being gently soused in a white wine sauce. Horatio edged nearer the door. Finally his gastronomic conditioning overcame caution and he leapt up and yelped. Inside, the lady owner looked up from her newspaper and spotted the funny looking dog at her back door window, She looked at the newspaper, the dog, and back to the newspaper.
Horatio was finishing the last of the mountain oysters in white wine sauce when he heard the unmistakable sounds of his grown-ups Peugeot pulling up outside. Should he run or should he hide? He really had had enough of this running stuff. What he wanted was a nice long sleep on his favourite chair.
He turned his tired old head from the depths of the velvet cushioning and spat out the pip from the olive. Bliss. His grown-up looked over at him and whispered
“Hey little guy, get with the plot, concentrate on the nuts”.