A Thomas Crapper Original

Over the years while traveling, I taught my daughters the cardinal traveler’s rule, “you go” when you have the chance.” I was reminded of that rule often during our recent road trip. In fact, that rule led me to a discovery of sorts that now makes me almost want to re-do my bathroom at home.

We were in Seattle and had decided to walk from our hotel to the waterfront and downtown, taking public transportation as and when needed. They have a great public transport system and even offer free bus rides to everyone within a designated area of old downtown, and a transfer pass can get you in and out within a certain period for $1.50 or $1.75, depending on whether it’s “peak rush hour” or not. Our onfoot foray was to turn into a daylong adventure, and I was often reminded of my traveler’s rule.

Since we’d read drastically conflicting reviews on the underground tour of Seattle, we were resting our tootsies sitting on a bench in Pioneer Square and trying to decide if the underground tour of Seattle was worth the ticket price of $12 for seniors. Anyone who knows me also knows my seriously weird, some might say “warped,” sense of history. The more ridiculous or seedier it is the better I like it, and my head is full of useless facts about various things. I was very curious to learn more about the seedier side of the old underground city destroyed by the fire in 1889 that gave Pioneer Square the reputation that eventually gave rise to the expression “skid row.”

We more or less had decided to give it a go and learned that there would be no sitting down for this tour. Turns out we’d be on our feet for a full hour and a half or more–depending on the verbosity of our actor guide–so we decided we weren’t quite up to it after walking all those blocks already. Since we were already inside and nobody seemed to be kicking us out, we opted to have a look around first in the attached Rogue’s Museum and antique shop instead.

Soon I noticed the sign that pointed to “Women’s” and automatically turned to go in since all I’d seen so far were signs in every storefront saying “wash rooms are for customers only.”

The “facilities” were so pretty that I just had to take a picture to remember. Even the wash basin and the matching backsplash were pretty.


Back outside in the museum, one of the first exhibits I saw was either “the” or “an” original toilet designed by Thomas Crapper. While propriety or a certain sense of decorum prevented me from photographing the interior of the toilet above, this one was fair game.


Aren’t they pretty? I found you can order one for your own bathroom from the U.K. at a ballpoint figure of $1,000 American dollars. Guess I’ll be keeping our old crapper toilet instead. By the way, in doing all the research about Thomas Crapper, I found out that he really wasn’t the “inventor” of the modern flush toilet after all. I just may flush out this story more fully in a future post, but for now I hope you like the pretty toilets.

Seven Random Things About Me

I was tagged by G at Big Apple to Big Bear to write another meme making the rounds, seven random things about me. Because the cartoon I drew for yesterday’s class and thought I’d post here today didn’t turn out so well, I decided to do the meme today instead. Too bad I’ve lost any inclination I ever had to draw good cartoons. Getting old makes me lazy! As an assignment we were to draw a cartoon character and fashion a hat for it from odds and ends around the house to signify the 500th hat of Bartholomew Cubbins. (Dr. Seuss’s first published book THE FIVE HUNDRED HATS of Bartholomew Cubbins)  So instead of my tacky cartoon character, here’s what you get instead:

(1) Since G (above) lives in Berlin, I was reminded of my visit to Berlin in the late 1990’s. It was around this time of year and I remember it rained a lot and was quite a dreary city overall. Hubby and I stayed in a B&B hostel and rode the buses and trains everywhere. In every one of my travels abroad I’ve noticed how easily people can tell who the Americans are. It’s our clothes! I like bright colors, and because I’d just come from a week in India where it was hot, I had mostly summer clothes with me. Lots of white slacks and bright colored kurtas and blouses and sandals. Everywhere I went, people were dressed only in dark colors, mostly black. I might as well have painted a sign on my back. AMERICAN! but I had a great time anyway. I loved the big department store restaurants popular for afternoon cake and tea. The parks were luscious, the museums superb, I especially enjoyed Saturday morning at the Turkish outdoor market. AND Hubby and I fell asleep during a performance of the Berlin Symphony (jet lag).

(2) I have a bad habit of doing the laundry and a million other things at the same time. That often means bringing the clothes up from downstairs and carefully folding them over the dining room chairs so as not to wrinkle until I can get them folded. Then I get too pooped from everything else I’m doing and they often stay there for a day or two until I get around to folding and putting them away. It’s an awful habit made all the easier because there are seldom visitors to our house during the week. I get away with it because I CAN! (Today’s laundry is waiting there for me right this minute!)

(3) I started taking writing courses at Ohio U in 1987. One of the first things I ever wrote was a children’s book that I called A KITE FOR BALU about a small boy in India and his infinite patience waiting for a kite to fall from its tangled resting place in the tree outside his grandmother’s home. It was the first thing I ever sent out to a publisher. Lo and behold, it initiated some interest and the editor pitching it asked me if I could rewrite it for a different age group. Well, I didn’t know enough about writing at the time but I said I would and did. But it was turned down, and I could certainly understand why. It had lost the charm and the flavor of whatever worked so well in the first version. I think back and know that it’s good it was turned down; otherwise I might have gotten cocky and quit going to school to learn how to write.

(4) I hate to cook! For about eighteen years I cooked essentially two meals, one meatless for Hubby who’s a vegetarian who doesn’t care much for vegetables or fruit unless they’re cooked to death, another with meat for the girls growing up, so they would be invited to friends for dinner without worry. I used to like baking, but since we moved to a high altitude here along the Wasatch I haven’t yet re-mastered my baking technique. Now that he’s retired and home 24/7, it sometimes feels like food is on my mind constantly. I married him for better or for worse but not for lunch! Poor Hubby. He puts up with me. He’s a saint. (But don’t tell him I said that!)

(5) I like people, but I have to admit that sometimes I like animals more. If I were filthy rich I’d buy a huge facility where I could take in all the homeless animals in the world and take care of them. the way I see it people make messes of their own lives, but too many animals have to put up with the mess humans make of their lives. I worry about wild animals and those who don’t have homes or have bad keepers. I keep a little two-story carpet-covered “apartment” thingie outside below the upper deck so the cat that runs around the neighborhood all winter will find a warm place to sleep when it snows. Hubby says they let him inside at night, but I’m not so sure!

(6) When I visited my mother-in-law in India for the first time she didn’t know what to do with me. For a highest caste Brahmin such as she I was an untouchable you see, and I knew from the stories Hubby had told me that as soon as we left, she’d probably be scrubbing the benches I’d sat on while I was there. So he told her I was an American Brahmin. I couldn’t touch her, yet she was adamant about preparing food for me to eat while there to show her hospitality for her infidel daughter-in-law. I don’t think it was for my benefit at all, but I noticed she had a picture of Jesus Christ, the one with the beating heart on the chest, in a frame on the wall. There was also a portrait of Hubby’s deceased father as a young man. They were the spitting image of each other (Hubby and his father, not Jesus).

(7) I’d rather read or write or tell stories than eat when I’m hungry, which only exacerbates the situation of which I speak in item #4. In fact when I’m doing any one of those things I often forget to eat unless Hubby reminds me it’s time! And now it’s time to stop just because I’ve shared seven random things already. But I could go on and on. Aren’t you glad I’m limited to seven?

Thanks G. This turned out to be both easy and fun, and fast too. Now I’ll pass the gauntlet to another of my new young blogger friends on Strawberry Mountain. How about it Monni? Seven things! And if anyone else reading this is hankering to give it a go, please be my guest!