Wednesday, April 3, 2019

If You Do This, You Might Be a Geezer: C is for Crapper


The crapper is said to be named after Thomas Crapper, the inventor of the modern toilet. In general, the entire room that houses the crapper is referred to as "the crapper." Though youth are often thought of as unappreciative of the ease of their lives compared to past generations, my time at Girl Scout camp taught me to appreciate Thomas' invention:  I was on the outhouse cleaning crew one day a week. 

Now, our Girl Scout outhouses were always sturdy, square two-holers with a well made door. Thank you, mystery carpenter. On the back of intestinal function junction central was a small trap door where the "honey dipper" (or waste removal truck) placed a tube that could NEVER BE CLEAN ENOUGH and sucked up all that....oh heck, call it what you want, I try to keep it clean here on the Flipside. 

Manning a large 5 gallon bucket of water plus a whole bottle of Pine Sol, we opened the door and doused the whole inside and scrubbed it with a broom before we threw some yeast packets in the holes (why? I mean, I can guess, but why?) and got outta there as quick as possible.

Aside from waiting till there was no possible choice but to frequent the upscale nature throne, my cleaning episodes were the only time I thought about or opened the door of said rustic camp crapper. 

(Okay, that is a little white lie, because my friend and I may or may not have been part of the small secret group that may or may not have followed campers to the wilderness loo at night so we might or might not have opened the back trap door and possibly did or didn't shoot their goose-bump covered hineys with small stones or twigs...I do know that screams could be heard all over the camp and made a lovely background sound for ghost stories...or so I'm told...also, girls of that age are very naive when it come to stories about snakes that live in outhouse glop...or so I'm told.)

Please note that the only thing required to perform our necessary "dooties" for the whole summer was a glorified shed with a holey chair, a girl scout leader with a sadistic "to-do" list, and a small business owner willing to maintain the nastiest truck on earth to relieve us of dootie build up.

At home, a bathroom was a basic deal. Sink, tub, toilet, Charmin, soap, towel...maybe a shower curtain and rug, because we are not barbarians. In the bathroom of my childhood home, you didn't hang out there.

What happened as we aged? This is where we turn the corner, people, and view the crapper with new old eyes.

For one thing, the older my dear Hubzam gets, the longer he stays in the bathroom. He takes a book with him. Not to be outdone, I have created a stack of magazines that appeal to yours truly in there, which only makes me linger unnecessarily (I'm part of the problem!). In fact, I've given our bathroom the nickname of "the half naked library."

The Latin crappus means to study, or to drop. Those Latins knew a thing or two about seniors in the crapper. As a matter of fact, there's no way Thomas Crapper can take all the credit for the nickname "crapper." It's too big of a coincidence. Latin comes into play somewhere...or I'm going to pretend it does, because you'll all forget this as I move on to the letter D tomorrow. I know my audience. They're forgetful. Now what was I talking about? Oh, yeah...

In addition to the lengthy stays in the crapper, I have to ask: when did crappers become so complicated and expensive? No one in their twenties or thirties is looking for the most expensive toilet fixtures for their bathroom -- they have basic needs in that department. How did I end up in a bathroom with a $500 toilet? I'll tell you how: I bought a beautiful home from a lovely couple more geezerly than myself by twenty years. And they spared no crapper considerations and I'm grateful, as long as I never have to replace that $500 toilet or the $400 rack or the equally pricey light fixtures. I'm not going to have visitors in my private bath, right? Elvis would be proud to die on my crapper.

Bottom line: The older you get, the more things you put in the bathroom and believe me, the folks who populate the vocations of home construction, interior design, remodeling and home marketing know that. People have bidets, special down-there care items, squatty potty seats, warmed seats, raised seats, poo-pourri "before you go" spray, essential oil diffusers after you go, heated towel racks, fans, phones, emergency cords, jacuzzis, spas, etc., etc., .... oh, for the love of Mike, no one is ever coming out of that bathroom. 


1) If you have upgraded your decked out crapper beyond basic needs...
2) If you spend more time in the crapper than the kitchen...which seems like it would be impossible, for the love of gastrointestinal logic...
3) If you've ever taken note of someone's non-traditional toilet seat and thought, "we need one of those..."
4) If you keep a stock pile of any "down-there-care" items, beyond toilet tissue...

YOU MIGHT BE A GEEZER.

To be fair, I understand your concerns to some degree. The pursuit of health and comfort is an honored geezerly hobby. I'm not trying to be all hiney-whiney here and after all, a bad O-ring brought down the Challenger. I'm just saying, you might be a flush or two into geezerdom. 


Check out some of the fine bloggers participating this month's challenge by accessing the master list on the Blogging from A-to-Z April Challenge website.

20 comments:

  1. My long departed twin aunts had an outdoor craphouse with a double toilet seat where two could sit side by side! I suggested to my wife they we should try to get one which is one of the reasons I'm no longer married!

    My A-Z of Children's Stories

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    1. To my knowledge, no Girl Scouts did the side to side...but they did guard the door! Hey, it was the 60s...

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  2. Love this post, LOL! Best line -- "Elvis would be proud to die on my crapper."

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    1. You ain't lying, brother. Works exactly the same as the reasonably priced one, I can confirm. :-)

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  4. Fortunately I have only had to use the outhouse at concert venues and even now they have upgraded most to regular bathrooms. I have seen the very expensive "outhouses" that are actually mini trailer bathrooms at some fancy dancy events. We just redid one of our bathrooms and it is simple - no extra frills for us.

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    1. "We just redid one of our bathrooms and it is simple - no extra frills for us."

      I could guess your age by that statement, lol.

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  5. I have a friend who has a TV in the bathroom. I have gone to the outhouse and a grade school friend only had an outhouse but the windows were clean and it even had little curtains. (They were Dutch and very clean). I am beginning to spend some time on the John (sorry to all the Johns out there) plus I always wake up in the middle of the night to go visit it. It must think I am lonely for it. My mom did the same thing you (might have) did to the people in the outhouse. When the Russians moved in, they just placed a log across and they would use that as their seat. There would be bare butts all in a row so my 17 yr old mom and others would take their sling shots and "Ping" their behinds. They left quickly because..well, they would have been shot. My mom always laughed when she told that story

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    1. Adding the Russians to that story is like the cherry on top of the Sundae! Perfection.

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  6. My ex used to spend hours in the bathroom. One day I heard him snoring. Sure enough, he had fallen asleep on the john.

    ~Mary
    Jingle Jangle Jungle
    Literary Gold

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    1. Ha ha ha...when you woke him up, was his face flushed?

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  7. Bet you didn't beat Al Penwasser's Dad with shag carpeting on the bowl...

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    1. You have to admit, that one is tough to beat.

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  8. My mum who grew up in the country says people often don't realise how great an indoor flushing toilet is, she didn't have that till she was 15.

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    1. Believe me, the first time at camp, I almost developed a problem trying to avoid using the wilderness loo. I appreciate it.

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  9. This was aromatically interesting. I wonder where "the John" come from.

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    1. Hey...where DID that come from? Now I have to research...

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  10. Oh my gosh, caught this on Twitter and just had to come read! LOL

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Thanks for your personal yada, yada, yada,
Love, Cherdo