apologia pro vita sua

March 9, 2009

Many winters ago, Kim and I went to New York City to visit my brother, who lived in Manhattan at the time. While there, naturally, we ate at some pretty nice restaurants, including one just off Central Park, where Patrick Stewart sat in the next booth.

In one restaurant, I forget the name, as I do ALL names, Liz went into the bathroom, came out and said “you guys have GOT to go see the bathrooms.”

So I went to the mens room, and yes, it was spectacular. The urinal was a wall to wall, floor to ceiling waterfall. Very cool. I don’t even know what was cool in the womens, since I didn’t go in, and they don’t have urinals. But the women seemed quite impressed with it.

A few weeks ago Kim and I ate with her dad and some friends in Park City, at a fairly upscale steak house. The bathroom had a picture of Sharon Stone, naked except for her well placed hands and some mens briefs.

And Saturday we went to the Tower theater in Salt Lake City to catch Revolutionary Road. The bathrooms were down a super narrow, creaky stairway, and seemed positively dungeon like. I felt like the Gimp was going to jump out of a box.

Why do I tell you all this?

Because bathrooms are INTERESTING. I mean, we all use them, multiple times a day. Some are spectacular, some are unbelievably gross, some are mundane. But they’re worth talking about. Like, if someone took a tour of all the major cathedrals in Europe, and published a book about the journey, but only talked about the bathrooms, I would BUY that book.

You know how in Mont Saint Michel and Chartres, Henry Adams tried to use the architectural differences and similarities between those two famous cathedrals as a metaphor for medieval society and Catholic theology? This bathroom book would be kind of like that.

I’m just saying.

Here’s a pic from the bathroom at the Tower theater:

tower urinal ick

This is a public building, one which often contains people. And I don’t think that’s just randomly applied spray paint, because the neighboring fixture has the same, um, ickiness.

tower urinal right

See how interesting? Okay, maybe you wouldn’t get back to your seat in the theater and say “you guys have GOT to go see the bathrooms–I think there is a living fungus on the fixtures.”

But I would.

11 Responses to “apologia pro vita sua”

  1. KanyonKris Says:

    I agree, bathrooms are interesting. But if wikipedia got the latin of your title correct, A defense of one’s life, are you saying bathrooms are your life? Maybe a topic that interests you, but your too broad to call it your life.

    I can see you writing a book about bathrooms. Your opus. I’d read it.

  2. tohellandback1st Says:

    i like it; ‘The Cathedrals of Europe and their Urinals.’ road trip

  3. bikemike Says:

    the chrome is cleaner on the ends of the handles…at least, it would appear, people flush the nasty things.

  4. keithmo Says:

    How to make millions with a toilet:

    1. Install one of these in a public place: http://www.boingboing.net/2009/03/08/worlds-most-flushing.html

    2. Setup a kiosk next door selling carrots, chess sets, Gummi Bears, hot dogs, golf balls, etc.

    I spotted this yesterday on BoingBoing and, naturally, thought of Dug.

  5. steveA Says:

    Now that’s a toilet. Add the magic toilet seat and you have the perfect toilet.

    you may want to avoid that theater from now on. The same people who don’t clean those urinals probably don’t clean much else either. Also, we get a shot of the green goo but no pic of Sharon Stone? That just isn’t fair journalism.

  6. KanyonKris Says:

    I got a kick out of George Costanza (Seinfeld) knowing where all the best bathrooms are in New York.

  7. bikemike Says:

    what…no review of Watchmen? i’m appalled and yet, probably pleased. there’s been rumblings of big blue…uhh…man parts, that must use green toilets.

  8. Eber Says:

    totally on the same page – I am intigued by public bathrooms. Elsa’s on the Park in Milwaukee has a full length wall urinal with splash/drip basin inlaid in the floor. The best part is that they fill the splash basin with ice and then shine a blue light up through the ice. shazaam. the new dodo in Sugarhouse in the old Le Avenue building has intrigue as well.

  9. chtrich Says:

    I need to pee now

  10. tonks Says:

    There actually IS a book about toilets across Europe. I’ll find it for you for your birthday. My favorites are the squatjohns…you shoulda seen the look on my very pampered 15 and 16 year old students’ faces as I explained with a straight face how they were supposed to do their business on a squat john in the South of France. Priceless.

  11. Carlo Says:

    An excellent sentiment and a great post!

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