Monday 14 August 2017

Mod Cons

It's Poetry Monday! I want to thank Diane from On the Alberta/Montana Border for the BEST THEME EVER: modern conveniences, also known as "mod cons" if you are British.

Diane, who started Poetry Monday, and Delores from Mumblings, and I are the three musketeers of this poetry challenge. But you can join us! You can post on your blog; if you do, please leave a link in the comments at any of our three blogs to allow readers to find you.

Or you can post a poem in the comments section of any of our blogs. It doesn't have to be original, and it doesn't have to follow the theme.

I like using the theme as a starting point because it narrows my focus enough to let ideas surface. Otherwise, there are just so many possible topics that I am overwhelmed.

Readers who have consumed much of Ogden Nash's poetry may recognize his style in this poem. I've been re-reading his works and they definitely influenced my writing this week. Sincere and abject apologies to Mr. Nash.


I Heart My Toilet, Even If The Cat DID Fall In It Last Week*

There is one mod con in our house I cannot do without.
I have been places where there was none but those were dreadful times beyond any doubt.
The item in question is a flush toilet and it is the greatest invention ever --
Much better than a toaster or a furnace or a TV or even a coffee maker.
For when we need to "go" there is nothing better than "going"
In comfort, and even at times in style, with a lack of breeze blowing.
On occasion I have had to make do with an old-fashioned outhouse
With an indescribable ambience and the exciting possibility of a stray mouse.
There have also been a time or two when I have visited a Porta-Potty
But only out of sheer necessity, and I dearly hope that does not sound too snotty.
This modern convenience is so extremely important to me that
My nightmares involve looking and looking for one and not ever finding it.

You may wonder why I am so consumed with all things toilet and flushable.
Well, it is my "storage capacity" that is in fact both the culprit and culpable.
Whereas other people drink a glass of water and produce less than a glass of wee,
I drink a glass of water and inevitably produce three.
And if by chance I know there will be no flush toilet for me to access,
Then my one glass of water will somehow magically be transformed into six.
It has always been thus, and thus I think will ever be,
And that is why the flush toilet is the mod con dearest to me.


(*If you missed that post, you can read it HERE. Check my replies to the comments to get some of the missing story.)


The sign I most like to see when I am away from home.

Okay folks, time to spill the beans: what's the fanciest/strangest/most memorable toilet you've ever used? Don't be shy! Procrastinating Donkey would be fascinated to hear about it.


Elephant's Child said...

You are so right. And because my bladder is insistent and its capacity teeny I know where all the public toilets in town are - and their status as in fine/if desperate/wet yourself in preference.
And some of the public conveniences in India haunt my dreams.

Elderberry-Rob said...

Can I join in? Worst toilet ever was a hole in the gtound in egypt many years ago made more unpleasant by being in pitch darkness and full of had to be my grandmothers itwas always freezing cold and had rough paper but she had painted ut with the most fabulous mermaids and i would spend many childhoid hours admiring them.

River said...

Most memorable? I'm sure there are lots, but most recently I had occasion to visit brand new toilets in a relocated area of a shopping mall. Nicely designed, nicely finished, SEVERE LACK OF VENTILATION. Phew!! Never going back there.

Anonymous said...

The most memorable to me are those in Egypt, particularly the museum in Cairo. They weren't anything fancy, pretty basic actually, but not only are you advised to take your own toilet paper by the tour company as it isn't provided, but you also pay a lone attendant stationed by the cubicle. I don't know if she was an employee of the museum or she took an opportunity from the many tourists there.

Anyway here is my contribution on the theme of modern conveniences.

How far back in time
Does modern need to be?
Last week, last month, last year,
Or even to the last century.

'Fridges, freezers, washers, dryers,
Mobiles, supermarkets and more.
Air travel, motorways, I could go on
With computers that have opened the door.

Which would you choose to be
The best invention there's been?
For me, myself, personally,
A machine that gets my clothes clean.

A washing machine is freedom,
It liberates me from my chores.
Of scrubbing, rinsing and wringing
As I step into the great outdoors.

Have a good week and be extra vigilant with your moggies.

Joan (Devon)

only slightly confused said...

That was so good and so funny and sadly, SO true. What a great job you did with the theme. This week the theme left me totally blank. The most memorable toilet........well first you have to understand that I had only an outdoor privy to use until I was around, that said, we visited folks who had a 'two holer' and no door on it. Yikes.

Steve Reed said...

Which just goes to show that one really CAN write poetry about anything! :)

jenny_o said...

Oh, yes, definitely have a mental map of the toilets anywhere I go! Your last sentence makes me think you've got a post in you on that topic ... :)

jenny_o said...

Welcome; glad to have you here! Yikes on the hole in the ground but your grandmother's artwork sounds wonderful :) A cold bathroom can be dangerous if you really need to "go" ... when you hit that seat ...

jenny_o said...

Oh dear ... what were they thinking?!

jenny_o said...

Why do you need to pay the attendant, I wonder? Did she guard the door? That reminds me of another problem with public toilets - doors that don't work! lol

Thanks for joining in with a poem, Joan! You're so right that the washing machine is freedom. I often think about how easy we have it these days in that department.

jenny_o said...

Hey, that sounds like the kind of toilet I find in my dreams! Ones with no privacy. I tell ya, I hate those dreams :)

It's funny what ideas get triggered in different people by the themes, isn't it?

jenny_o said...

You may be overstating the case by calling it poetry!! Doggerel, maybe? But I have fun, and that's at least part of the point of the challenge :)

Diane Stringam Tolley said...

This is fantastic, Joan! I'm so glad you joined us!

Diane Stringam Tolley said...

All trips are planned around the loo these days. Sigh. I'm good for about an hour. So travelling with Grandma is much like travelling with a toddler. In fact we travel together quite well. (I like it because I can blame them . . .)

Diane Stringam Tolley said...

Yikes for that memory from Egypt! And welcome!

Diane Stringam Tolley said...

It's poetry, Jenny! Definitely poetry! :)

Anonymous said...

If I remember rightly that attendant gave you ONE sheet of toilet paper for which she expected one Egyptian pound in return. Needless to say we were forewarned before we got to Egypt so I had some supplies with me.

Joan (Devon)

jenny_o said...

Ooh - yet another good thing about little ones!!

jenny_o said...

Oh. My. Goodness. ... I would be bankrupt :)

dinthebeast said...

The ants who have invasded
The catfood that's going stale
Will be sucked up to their doom
By Briana in John's spiffy new vacuum
But what to do about the catfood
And the cat who's not around to eat it?

Sorry for a sad poem on such a lighthearted subject, but those damn ants are swarming into Kitters' bowl in a thick, black, moving line that were Kitters still around, would have been annihilated some time ago.
The most memorable toilet I've used has to be the high-tech portapotties at the winery in Sonoma where I saw The Joy Formidable in 2015. They had a sink with a treadle to pump water with which to wash your hands. I found that somewhat difficult, since my left leg doesn't work much below the knee, but I leaned on the counter and worked it with my right leg instead...

-Doug in Oakland

Anonymous said...

Thank you Diane. I'm glad I joined too.

Joan (Devon)

Martha said...

HAHA! This made me laugh. And I couldn't agree with you more. Indoor plumbing is the greatest invention. I've had to use an outhouse as a child when I was on vacation and it was traumatizing! LOL

Janie Junebug said...

Excellent! Your best poem yet, I think. I hated using the outhouse at my aunt's lake cabin in Minnesota. Big black flies dotted the door. It was a two-holer so my mother always wanted to go with me. I was so glad when my aunt and uncle installed a real toilet in the cabin. The bathroom even had a door that closed. I haven't been there in many years, but we visited almost every summer when I was growing up.


e said...

Loved it and yes, the worst was an outhouse by the roadside in Costa Rica after tossing my cookies in my grandfather's lap and having an old man watch while my mother stripped me and cleaned me up. I was 12.

dinthebeast said...

That should read "invaded", not "invasded"...

-Doug in Oakland

baili said...

back in my village when we entered the village i was si and there were only few houses which had toilets so outhouses were horribly common but not for us because our family moved from a big city of Hyderabad there .
congratulations for such an interesting poem my friend!

jenny_o said...

That would be a bit of a challenge, wouldn't it - good you could manage to work it in spite of that. Our porta-potties don't even have water. Major fail :)

Fingers still crossed for kitty's return. It's even hard to leave cat food outside in case she returns, because of all the varmints this time of year.

jenny_o said...

I first ran into them at our local provincial park and at a relative's. Not impressed. For someone with a super keen sense of smell ... not impressed :)

jenny_o said...

You are too kind! Perhaps the subject matter lent itself to extreme passion on my part :)

I can imagine your relief when the indoor toilet was put in. My great-grandmother's home never ever did have a flush toilet put in. And those were never short visits :)

jenny_o said...

Oh NO NO NO ... that IS bad. Yikes. Was there no way to have some privacy? If that man was a gentlemen he would have turned his head.

jenny_o said...

I really did use outhouses on quite a few occasions as a child and young adult but I always dreaded it, baili. One doesn't linger, that is for sure :) Our national and provincial parks used to have only outhouses, and I had a couple of relatives who had them. Just one generation before mine, that was all that most people had. I feel lucky to be born when I was :)

John M said...

The hotels in China have good toilets but I remember that I saw many "hole in the ground" toilets during the vacation tour.
I came across a public toilet with a large sign outside that was shockingly funny. I don't remember the exact wording but in English it had something like:
"Great western style toilet, very luxurious, the best toilet in China." I didn't use it but it must have been a pay toilet.

jenny_o said...

Hmm ... I wonder how much it would have cost to find out if it really was the best ... :)

Thanks for stopping by.

Diane Henders said...

OMG, I'm laughing so hard I have tears: "...I drink a glass of water and inevitably produce three.
And if by chance I know there will be no flush toilet for me to access,
Then my one glass of water will somehow magically be transformed into six."

For me, a cup of tea not only will be converted into six, but also the conversion will occur in ten minutes or less.

And don't get me started with the toilet stories - I have too many. But if you really want to know, this one has links to some others:

Terry said...

Hi Jenny, as I used the motorways a lot, I'd have to say the loos there came in quite handy.

LL Cool Joe said...

Haha love your poem. I'm not a great fan of the loos in the plane, and normally manage to pee only once on a 10 hour flight. The worst experience I had was a toilet in France that was literally a hole in the ground, not nice.

jenny_o said...

Ah, yes, the speed factor ... the further you are from facilities, the faster that liquid will go through! I'm familiar :)

I've checked out your links and I was NOT disappointed :)

jenny_o said...

Very, very handy, I imagine :)

jenny_o said...

I'm not sure I could use one of those holes without falling in ... and I hope to never have to find out :)