A Geezer’s Notebook, By Jim Foster
Statistic: There are 40,000 toilet-related injuries annually in the U.S. Why are we not surprised by that information? Let’s face it; we are not talking Rhodes Scholars down there.
Now I really don’t want to know what your routine is whenever you use the bathroom facilities, nor do I care (unless it is particularly exotic or adventurous and might make a column), but I would hope that at some time before you lower your nether parts to the seat you might at least take a peek to whence those nether parts are heading. You may be surprised to learn that not everyone bothers.
A case in point (again from that fount of all knowledge, Uncle John’s Heavy Duty Bathroom Reader) – ‘Patient sat on end of toilet plunger left in toilet’. Can you imagine that? That must have been quite a sight as they wheeled him into Emergency face-down on a gurney.
Yes, this tragedy actually happened and others like it have happened to so many that Uncle John printed a whole page of catastrophic bathroom failures for your perverted browsing, or as he calls them Pot-Tastrophes.
I won’t go into all of them, but I should mention one or two that I found particularly asinine. This next one was hardly the person’s fault, although he or she one could at least have checked the weather conditions before going poo.
‘Patient strained abdomen when lightning came through the bathroom ceiling while patient was on toilet causing patient to fall on the floor.’ I think whoever it was can thank their lucky stars they weren’t welded to the seat. “Ralph, are you listening to me? I told you, no smoking in the house. What am I going to do with that man?”
I seem to remember being cautioned about answering a call on the landline during a storm although I don’t remember reading about anyone being fried while doing so. That could account for Albert Einstein’s hair I suppose. I mean, it couldn’t have been natural, could it?
Now I hope the patient involved in this next pot-tastrophe was a member of the gentler sex but in 2023 we can’t be sure. ‘Patient painting toenails sitting on the toilet, fell, hitting head on floor.’
And finally this winner, ‘Spider bite to buttock. Patient saw spider on toilet.’
Now I know this may sound like a stupid question, but just exactly when did the patient see this spider? Did he or she look down and say, “By Jove, I do believe there is a spider on the toilet seat, why don’t I sit on him? (Or her, I can’t tell the difference between a Daddy and a Mommy Longlegs, but if it is important to you I will look it up and get back to you.)
Now you young folks in your 70s probably won’t know this but toilets and the visitations thereto weren’t always located indoors. Somewhere around 1998 or 99 I’m not sure which, someone got the bright idea to actually install toilets inside a house, quite a novel idea as you might imagine. Before that historic occasion everyone had to trudge out the back door and plod their way through giant snowdrifts, or dodge lightning bolts and pouring rain on their way to what was commonly called the outhouse.
Believe me, spiders and their ilk were nothing compared to the beasties and small critters that inhabited those primitive facilities. In the summer during the day, there were bees, wasps and hornets buzzing about. And in the evening thousands upon thousands of mosquitoes, some the size of small songbirds and the others much larger, lurked about awaiting the appearance of a bare bottom just ripe for plundering. Nor were there rolls and rolls of ever-so-soft toilet tissue available to complete your visit; one had to use Eaton’s catalogues or old copies of the Packet and Times, which if you will recall was printed in ink that would never dry. Many a wedding night was delayed for hours while the husband read his wife’s bottom to catch up on the news of the day and find out who trounced the Leafs the night before.
Now I want you to remember this last one when enjoying a cold one in the Scottish Festival Beer Tent this summer.
‘Right shoulder fracture, using Port-a-Potty, wind blew it over.’