But What About the Crapper?

Colin came home from school yesterday excitedly spouting information he'd learned about George Washington. It brought back memories of all the influential people I learned about throughout my own school years. All the essays I had to write about presidents and Frederick Douglass and Susan B. Anthony and Eli Whitney and Thomas Edison and the like.

Look, I know these people made critically important contributions to our society and the world. I don't dispute that today's slacking youngsters need to learn about - and take some cues from - these historic movers and shakers (and pull their pants up while they're at it). But thinking about it yesterday, I realized that there are contributions of EPIC proportions that we don't even acknowledge, especially not in school. Contributions which, darn it, deserve at least a nod.

Like the toilet.

I don't know about you, but I enjoy not having to soil myself. I kinda dig the fact that I'm not pooping in a hole somewhere and wiping with a leaf. I like that I don't have to squat in the dirt, hoping I don't pee on my jeans. I don't have to venture outside - in, for example, the seventeen inches of snow we just got a couple weeks ago - to do my bidness in the subzero freeze or the blistering summer heat. And it's nice that when I'm done, I can flush it all away to some magical land far from my house, instead of having to carry my little chamber pot outside and dump it into a public waterway.

I mean ... isn't that pretty awesome? Instead of all that, I can settle down onto my comfy padded toilet seat with a good book and read until my legs fall asleep.*

*In my dreams, of course. In reality, I haven't pooped outside the presence of my children in like five and a half years. 

I'm gonna take this a step further by proposing that because of our modern toilet, other great ideas have come about. Since we don't have to worry about squatting or freezing or wiping with leaves, we can sit and think on the toilet. (Well, those of us who aren't distracted by "Mommy? Mommy? Mommy?" and random items sliding under the door.) Who knows what inspiration comes to great minds while they're "occupied?" I'm willing to bet that the lady who wrote the Twilight series thought about it at least part of the time while she was taking a dump, and look at it now: a veritable empire that has, I'm sure, made her a millionare many times over.

Anyway, my point is this: I get that we need to teach our children about the Abraham Lincolns and the Mahatma Gandhis of the world. I agree. But the historic and life-changing contributions made by people like Sir John Harington and Thomas Crapper (yes. "John" and "Crapper." Seriously), who helped shape the modern toilet as we know it, totally deserve a shoutout.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go pay homage.


Did I inspire you to learn more? Or do you just have some time to kill (perhaps while you're on the toilet)? There's a pretty interesting article on the subject here. Now don't forget to flush.


  1. They definitely deserve more credit! Thanks for mentioning Twilight, that got me excited. :D Also, in the picture you used it appears that there are two toilys facing each other....I have never seen that but it could be used for brainstorming and collaborating.

  2. I believe you are totally onto something here, woman!

  3. I don't have any idea how many times I have to say this, but ladies don't poop. I'm sorry, but those are the rules. Also, I've thought of a great many ideas on the throne, but alas, none of them have come to fruition.

  4. Yes, loos are surely one of the better inventions in history. Now we need something for "mal-aimers" I have boys and some days, after umpteen misses, I'm ready to send them outdoors, like the cavemen they are!

  5. And really, who needs to think about the Cotton Gin anymore? Although, that is one of the only inventions I can remember learning about, besides the telephone. (Just kidding Eli Whitney... don't roll over or anything)

    You are totally right, truly IMPORTANT inventions deserve more shout outs!

  6. Absolutely they need more credit! I am very appreciative of this modern invention. But like you I never get to pay homage in peace...always with an audience. Still, I love it. My parents grew up using an outhouse. Can you imagine!!? I have to pee at least once every night, and when I'm pregnant...forget about it!!!!

  7. LOVE this! I too am ever so grateful for the toilet....could NOT do life without it.

    And, just because I'm being a name dropper here..."that girl" who wrote Twilight is totally one of my best friends cousins. Just saying. And YES, it has made her a millionaire. But, the best part of it is. She just wanted to be able to buy a mini van when she came up with the idea and started writing the book. HA!

  8. I had this thought about the time my daughter learned to talk: "I think I'm using the bathroom as quite place to gather my thoughts and tune out all the noise in this place." And then my daughter learned how to open doors. There went that plan.

  9. Funny post, so true! I was saying to a friend the other day that it's been a long time since someone invented the toilet, I figured someone would have invented a self-cleaning one already!! That's my only complaint about the porcelain throne!!

  10. I love that you embrace toilet humor!!! Everybody poops therefore everyone pays homage whether they intend to or not. We just bought two new toilets and I've never been so excited to flush money down the drain!! Thanks for the chance to actually write that! : )

  11. Shout out for the toilet! LMAO - love it!

    Oh, but we can't forget it's European counterpart - you know - the bodeux or something like that... where they don't use toilet paper, they use that thing that shoots water out to clean your tush. Oh, word of warning if you use it, check the temperature of the water!

  12. Sad to say, I was pretty excited recently when I realized I could take my smart phone into the bathroom with me, on the crapper, and get a lot done.


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