Commode

Commode: (n) a concealed chamber pot

Unexpectedly and much to my surprise, during the news cycle recently, “shithole” became a point of discussion.

Even though I find myself to be a person of some insight, and maybe even able to offer a prediction from time to time, “shithole” sideswiped me.

It reminded me of being a young man and having to deal with the subject of the bathroom.

Since most people don’t take baths anymore, and were unwilling to call it the “shower room,” relegating that to sporting facilities, we do need a name for that very important sanctuary for our natural release.

Truthfully, lots of folks are repulsed by the word “toilet.”

“Potty,” aside from being extraordinarily pretentious, also is now tied to a potty-mouth, which means you are susceptible to using all sorts of foul language and profanity.

Yet even though it has become part of the commentating on television, “shithole” is a little strong for me. It’s the kind of thing a bully would say to you when you walked out of the restroom in highschool, to make you feel uncomfortable.

“How’d it go in the shithole?!”

Of course, there is no appropriate response to the question: “The shithole was fine!” Or, “I don’t call it a shithole. I call it a commode.”

No, I have never referred to the porcelain fixture in the water closet as either a loo or a shithole.

I’m actually without terminology.

Sometimes I try variants–to see if there might be a favored word among my friends. But I’m still confused at how to express for a significant part of my journey.

I neither “take a shit,” nor do I “poop.” Nor have I done any “loaf pinching.”

I have referred to it as porcelain, but not a throne.

And of all the terms, “dump,” for me, is the least appealing.

I think the secret code we developed as children still has some universal possibility:

Simply hold up one finger–or two–to announce one’s intention.

 

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Bath

Bath: (n) a process of immersing and washing one’s body in a large container of water.Dictionary B

I grew up in a small, two-bedroom house–one restroom and seven people. It is similar to having three people walk into a phone booth and make a call by committee.

It was many years before I discovered the importance of boundaries. For in my home, growing up, simply possessing the territory of the bathroom did not guarantee you privacy. I would occasionally be sitting on the pot and have one of my older brothers burst through the door, apply Brylcreem to his hair and comb away while I decided whether to continue my stinky endeavor.

Most humiliating was the fact that until I was about thirteen years old, my mother often came in during my bathtime to make sure I was being thorough. Being a kid, I never questioned this practice since I had no point of reference and certainly would not compare notes in the locker room with my friends.

She used these occasions to get chatty, sitting on the nearby toilet. She would discuss her day and even suggest various ways that I might choose to clean my private parts, which, for the time being, had become public domain.

I was uncomfortable with this, but keep in mind–she was my mother. It gave her almost martial law over my space.

Looking back, I realize that this was a bit bizarre.

Matter of fact, early on in my planning for a family, I recommended knocking before entering … and always celebrated the glorious wisdom of locks on doors.

 

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Abattoir

by J. R. Practix

dictionary with letter A

Abattoir: n. a slaughterhouse

Thank God.

I will never, ever again have to nervously tell my friends that I will be unable to join them for dinner because I needed to pick up an extra shift at the slaughterhouse. I can just inform them that I am “tied up at the abattoir.”

Don’t you love words like that? Without them, our civilization might crumble in a series of offensive utterances that leave the room either confused or repelled.

For instance, how about the guy or gal who first came up with “restroom?” After all, even “bathroom” is a little bit weird and ambiguous. )It did, however,  at least give us the ability to escape crapper, pot, toilet and “take a dump.”)

Yes, because we have “civilized” our language, we are now able, as high-browed souls, to judge others on their improper usage of words.  If anyone is going to say in mixed company that they’re going to “take a crap,” we assume that they would kill baby birds and also vote for the candidate distasteful to our tender conscience.

I would love to see us resolve this with the issue of romance–because to proclaim that the previous evening afforded you the opportunity to have sex is way too blatant, conjuring images of you in the nude which are unpleasant to all participants. Equally nasty is “getting it on,” “hooking up,” “bumping uglies,” “getting some,” and even “making love.” I guess that last one, “making love,” is the least offensive, but it still invites images of movie scenes with soft lighting, air-brushed bodies and guaranteed orgasms for all parties.

Yes, now that we’ve taken care of that “slaughterhouse” dilemma, we need to work on a description of human sexuality that doesn’t leave the listener confused or completely grossed out.

What is the abattoir for romance? I wish they’d hold a contest. The submissions would be hilarious, don’t you think?

But in the meantime, I shall spend my day rejoicing that slaughtered pigs, cows, chickens and even goats are going out in finer style–at the abattoir.