Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Wait! I'm not d


[I'll explain in a minute.]

The Junior hallway at Pauline Johnson Public School.
Those are classrooms on the left, with the library on the right.
This is pretty much what it loooked like when I went there,
though I'd heard they had put up walls. Or maybe that was a dream.

The school I went to from Grade 1 to Grade 6 was an ultra-modern experiment in open-concept education, and I was among the "plank holders" who attended it during its first year. The classrooms were divided from each other by low partitions that could be moved aside for larger group activities.

The library, which was in a sort of sunken courtyard, formed the core of the school.

Each section was crowned by a pyramidal vaulted ceiling plastered with sound-absorbing tiles.

The whole thing must have driven the teachers absolutely crazy, but it was pretty cool for us students.

So, here's the explanation for the intro: one of the lasting memories from that school, however, has nothing to do with its contemporary architecture, and much to do with its conventional plumbing.

The toilets overflowed with alarming frequency. Or perhaps it was just me.

In any case, I eventually adopted a "cover me with septic water once, shame on you; cover me with septic water twice, shame on me" attitude. Since those early years, I have always waited until I am fully wiped, zipped, buttoned, tucked, and belted, with the door unlocked before I flush the toilet.

So I can make a speedy escape, of course.

And every bathroom in our house has a toilet plunger beside it.

Technology, however, has caught up with me. Now the newfangled contraptions flush automatically as soon as you (a) stand up, (b) lean forward, or (c) twist to reach certain parts of the anatomy that are not reachable without twisting (yes, I'm talking about ankles).
And every time that happens -- every time! -- I panic. OMG - the toilet's going to overflow and I'll be swept away in a tide of fetid, toilet-paper-strewn water! And people will see it and say, "Oh, look, there's her pooh!"


No. It hasn't happened yet, but I live in fear.

Not to mention the ickiness of backsplash while sitting on the throne.

I hate those infrared sensors, though I do like the idea of not having to touch the plaguey toilet handle. [Not entirely sure "plaguey" is a word.]

I don't even want to think about what astronauts deal with. (Or, for the grammatically sensitive among you, "with which astronauts deal.")


  1. Puts a whole new spin (or swirl?) on anal retention!

  2. Groannnn. And here I was thinking that no one made any scatological references.


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