The Bog, John, Dunny, Jazz, Crapper, Potty, Can, Sh!tter, Lavatory, Loo, Water Closet (WC). There are many more, in English, but obviously every other language has its own variants too.
The Humble Toilet, A Place of Great Thinking
Of all the facilities every person, and traveller, will have to make use of, in some form or another, is the humble toilet. Sometimes there just isn’t one and you still have to go. Like in the middle of the desert on a group safari tour without so much as a rock or bush in sight to hide behind, or on a mountain trek, or worse case scenario, in the middle of a major European city and you don’t have cash on you to pay the toilet mafia to use the ‘public’ facilities. If you’ve ever been to Europe, or you live there, you will know what I’m talking about.
But for the most part, any seasoned traveller will develop this sixth sense of when is, or is not a good time to go. This all depends on the availablity of facilities, or the cleanliness thereof. What most often inspires me to use a particular throne is the novelty, design, or location. Even if I don’t have to go urgently at that time, I’ll install myself anyway just to enjoy the view. I guess it’s the one thing women will never quite understand…the reason men sit so long. Maybe it’s the one place we get our best thinking done.
Over the years, many people have contributed to the design of the camode. One person who made a significant contribution, along with his name, was none other than Thomas Crapper who invented the floating ball cock, the thing that automatically fills the cistern with water. His name was emblazoned across the cast iron tank which, back in the day, was higher up the wall, pretty much at face level. Apparently, American service men stationed in England during WW 1 coined the phrase “‘I’m going to the crapper”. Born in Thorne, Yorkshire, UK in 1836 Crapper founded Thomas Crapper and Co, the company that owned the worlds first bathroom showroom in King’s Road, London until 1966.
Now the more I travel, and the more the earth is populated, the more I appreciate the need to dispose of ourselves properly. It is possible that a lot of people might never give any consideration to where their crap goes after they flush, but they should. Maybe the origin of the water used to flush said crap is another important consideration, unless you are using a filthy pit latrine like many people in various locations around the world. Perhaps the next time you assume the position, you can give a thought to the millions of people who don’t have the use of a suitable facility.
What is the purpose of this article? I’m not actually sure. Maybe just for fun, or to make you more aware of the things we often take for granted.
I should also add that every one of these fine specimens featured in this article was personally used by yours truly.
Feel free to list other names for the toilet, in your language, or tell of your most memorable experience on one.
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