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Why aren’t bathrooms better? March 28, 2013

Posted by ourfriendben in wit and wisdom.
Tags: , , ,

Silence Dogood here. Our local professional baseball team is called the Iron Pigs, a reference to the pig iron produced by Bethlehem Steel, the major industry in the area for decades if not centuries. I mention this simply because an article in our local paper this week mentioned that their stadium had installed new urinals in the men’s bathrooms that contained video games, games which, I gathered, were activated by directing the contents of one’s bladder at various items on the screen. I thought, “Gee, they’ve finally found a way to make as long lines for the men’s room as for the women’s!”

But this development made me think about how little plumbing has advanced, at least for the general public, since Thomas Crapper popularized the flush toilet in the Victorian era and added a new four-letter word to the English language in the process. Yes, there are those horrible auto-flushing toilets in airports and other places that, if you’re lucky, only spray the toilet seat and not your derriere. Yes, there are composting toilets, but if you’ve ever used one, you know that they come with their own set of issues.

Part of the problem with bathrooms is how cold they are. If I could design my dream bathroom, it would have a heated floor. It would have a heated toilet seat. It would have unlimited hot water in the shower and instantly hot water in the sink. And it would warm the shampoo, soap, towels, lotions, and everything else involved in the process before you had to touch them. It would also manage to suck the inevitable humidity and moisture out of the air without having to resort to a noisy, distracting fan. There would be really good lighting, lit magnifying mirrors, tons of cabinet and drawer space for necessities, and comfortable seating, so you didn’t have to balance on one leg with the other on the toilet lid while you put (warm, of course) lotion on your other leg.

No doubt, there are bathrooms where all these features exist. I have been in a house where the bathroom floors were heated, in all seven bathrooms, and I have seen racks for heating towels (though alas, we don’t have room for one in our tiny bathroom, or even room for more than one towel, a real problem when two people are trying to shower). But wouldn’t it be wonderful if they were all standard-issue and everyone could enjoy them, not just those with unlimited budgets? Sigh. And piped-in music and chilled wine and maybe a platter of fresh fruit and cheeses… Every bathroom should be a spa!

‘Til next time,




1. William - March 30, 2013

The ‘Green People’ wouldn’t be happy with your ideal bathroom. Since I have had to use the woods at times (hiking), I’m not as picky except for the public bathrooms. I hate the waterless urinals. The odor emanating from these disturbs the senses for days. To me, it is worth wasting water than dealing with the insanity of malodorous rooms.

Well, actually, I’d be happy with an outhouse, if it could somehow be warmed. But a cold bathroom when one is in such an exposed state—brrr!!! And I must admit, I love those sci-fi scenarios when you just walk through some kind of portal (always looking disturbingly like an airport security screener) and emerge on the other side clean, without having to deal with a shower at all. Not to mention that a better inherent design—self-cleaning, no internal plumbing—would be the ultimate. Maybe next time!

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