People give me books all the time. They know I like them and collect those with a special interest. I have a lot, so they struggle to come up with new ones that they think I don’t own. This is a tough task given my loaded shelves and the fact that they cannot possibly know the titles of each and every one. (Maybe I should send out my inventory.)
One standout was called “Toilets of the World.” When I unwrapped it, immediately thought that I would have preferred flowers, birds, castles, just about anything else. It wasn’t meant to be funny or even informative. It was just a big coffee table compendium of odd johns in unexpected places and examples of some of the most expensive toilets in the world. I see a lime green porcelain thing in the shape of a pipe and a series of urinals with pictures of people posted above each one, staring at the “users.” Another is in the shape of a big kangaroo with his belly as the bowl. Oh Lord. There a urinal in the shape of a giant red clown mouth—garish and gaping swollen lips.
One toilet has a weird creature trapped inside, another is covered in fuzz, and yet another has a realistic painted arm reaching out ready to grab the next victim. I don’t bother to see where these monstrosities are. I just stare. There are teeth, tacks, robot handles, tongues, a urinal shaped like a horn from a jazz club. All in full living color. I start to get more interested and keep going. A thick, gaudy gold seat emblazoned with a royal seal tops a porcelain throne while one is painted to look like a woman’s lap (complete with outstretched legs).
But wait, there’s more! There is an antique wood thing that looks like a church pew (and it probably is) and a urinal guillotine combination. A grotesque toilet dripping blood is quite singular. I hope your visual imagination is intact and stimulated. One of the best is a stall painted like a ski slope with the toilet at the back. Below the bowl are skis and boots. You feel like you are airborne and adrift in the wind.
Why not an easy chair version, one with a computer system in front, or a transparent toilet tank filled with live swimming fish in colored turquoise water. Try a urinal shaped like a snail shell, an open flower, and a series of them carved out like the suits of a deck of cards (from a casino no doubt). Take your pick of a mobile toilet bicycle, a john in an electric chair, or one lit up with neon tubing that beckons with glee.
I could go on and on and even cover the special section on sheds and outhouses. You get the picture. I think that I have decided to keep the book and even share it with lucky selected friends. As for its place on the coffee table, we will see. Meanwhile, I am reviewing my favorites and putting post-its on the best.