Bathroom Humor

Pike’s Place Public Restroom Mosaic

I immediately loved the humor in this public works artwork. It advertises this particular Pike’s Market public restroom. All the way on the right, a father is rushing to the bathroom, carrying his infant child with arms outstretched. Presumably the baby is already a leaky vessel, hence his hurry. On the left-hand side of this tile work is another father with another child, his knock-kneed son. Here too time is of the essence. Center stage in this mosaic is a mother and daughter pair. Each one is portrayed with one foot popped, this also speaks of haste. Is there a common theme here? Finally, all the way on the left is this restroom’s maintenance man, toolbox in hand, this is the guy that keeps everything else moving.

It was no laughing matter in our bathroom on Sunday afternoon. After spending all week having our main sewer line replaced, I was in no mood for any additional plumbing projects. Our toilet had another opinion though. Its ballcock had been steadily showing increasing signs of senility. Our hard water takes its toll on all plumbing fixtures. As failing patients tend to do, it went quickly at the end, right after we returned from our Riverlands adventure.

After we got home, I almost immediately turned around and headed out again to Home Depot. Per Anne’s instruction, I bought a dual flush system. This system has one lever with one water drop on it and another with two water drops on it. Number one and number two, get it? Getting the old ballcock off was difficult a bitch, even with Anne’s helping hands. Afterwords though, getting the new hardware up and going again went lickety-split.

Maybe I made a poor choice of terms there? I guess that plumbing, is like child rearing, a job that you never get finished with. Anyway, I think the Pike’s Market photo is the more arty choice, rather than a look down shot of our toilet tank’s new hardware, but that’s just me.

Domestic Verisimilitude

The Damn Vent

Verisimilitude is the quality of realism in something, such as art. It is the quality of appearing to be true or real. The tale I spin today is a domestic tale. It is a tale almost thirty years in the making. I will attempt to tell it both truthfully and accurately, but sometimes such stories are better told on the level of fantasy or myth. Even so, I hope that by richly painting the set, I can lend this saga an air of domestic verisimilitude. As always, I will strive at keeping it real. 😉

Our account begins in the later part of the twentieth century. It stars two young lovers, who only a few short years earlier had mounted the first few steps on the stairway of domestic bliss, called matrimony. After a few years of behaving like rolling stones, they decided to settle down, gather some moss, some lichen and maybe mold. They bought a house and as is the nature of such things children came along, but I am getting ahead of my story. They bought a house.

This house, their home, was almost a gingerbread house. It was decorated with all sorts of architectural details that are sadly lacking in more modern dwellings. Built of brick by craft masons, the exterior is festooned with ornamental stonework. Pretty little things, like stained glass corners, randomly cut from the panes of window glass, adorn the building, both inside and out. Inside the residence are hardwood floors and vaulted ceilings. Inside the building, nestled to one side is the center stage for this little domestic drama, the bathroom.

Like many young couples turned home owners, these two were full of big ideas. With the energy of youth, many of these ideas were acted upon. Bedrooms were built, porches replaced and infrastructure updated. Much of this work was contracted out, but some of it was DIY. Those were heady days. The old homestead never looked better. There was one blind spot in all of this activity and that was the bathroom.

It was a cute little room. Decorated in art deco, it was tiled like Joseph’s coat of many colors. The one thing that it did not have that the young bride so dearly desired was a vent. She wanted an electric fan operated vent to disperse the steam from showers. The young husband was pretty handy around the house, if he does say so himself, but as a handyman he did have one flaw. He couldn’t do plumbing. Those children I alluded to before, had to be shepherd from the house, if ever he attempted to fix a leaky faucet, such was the profanity that spewed forth from his frustration.

As the years rolled along, the question of the vent recurred. Young boys turned to young men and as young men have a want to do, they enjoyed long hot showers. Mold formed on the ceiling and walls. Attempts were made to mask, to paint over this problem, but without the root cause being fixed, it was hopeless. After decades of suffering, the now not so young wife decided to take matters into her own hands. She hired an electrician and had the vent installed. A picture of the damn vent, the ‘DV’, is included with this post.