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Friday, October 21, 2011

Potty Mouth



Before indoor plumbing afforded most of us proper flushing toilets, people relied on outhouses during the day in which to conduct their business, and the chamber pot at night, when it was dark out, and the threat of being attacked by wolves, bears, raccoons, stray cats, errant moose, mice, snakes, spiders, bats and highwaymen (even in the city) made the thought of roaming too far from the bedroom unappealing.

Far more preferable was to relieve yourself in the company of your siblings or spouse, hoping not to wake them, then storing the used pot back under the bed where it sat the rest of the night waiting to be emptied in the morning. Life smelled different back then, what with the raw sewage and camphorated mothballs.

The chamber pot was designed therefore in the most practical shape possible to “catch and carry.” Made from china with two handles and nicely decorated (if you were rich and had burly maids to lift them) or enameled tin with one handle (if you weren’t), antique chamber pots have become quaint collector’s items.

The trouble is, they look a lot like soup tureens. The difference between them is that usually the tureen has some kind of pedestal or legs to hold it up from the table’s surface to prevent scorching, whereas the chamber pot is less likely to tip over and spill with a wide, flat base.

Dear soup-makers of the world: do not serve your creations in the wrong one. Also, do not sprinkle paprika on avocado soup because it looks like someone in the last stages of tuberculosis coughed on it. Also, refrain from making avocado soup in the first place.

Soup, Salad, Sandwich Cookbook, Ideals Publishing Corp., 1981

Also from this book: One Is Such A Lonely Number, Frosted Sandwich Loaf, Penis Salad

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