Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Nobody thinks about me much until they need me, then they come running (or walking if you will) so they can open my lid and sit on me. A few minutes of action is all I get, until the next person comes by and does the same thing again. Blood, guts, action, gore--I've seen it all--even women having babies! Like a gynecologist, I've seen them so often that I have no need for pornography. I am mainly designed to swallow paper, poop or liquids, but sometimes I find foreign objects in my throat that choke me. Toys, turtles, diamond rings--if you're lucky you'll be able to retrieve them again; otherwise, it's best to say sayonara.

I was built to be strong and withstand years of weight upon me. Children cannot sit on me without help, or else they will fall into my large mouth. Some heavy adults sit on me with their thighs hanging over my sides. But I do not discriminate--not even against putrid human odors or sprays of fecal matter all over my porcelain body. Some of my kin tell me they prefer to be in a house rather than in a public restroom, so they can get to know their humans more intimately. (I don't see how much more intimate they can get, after all, we do know almost all of humanity's dirtiest secrets.) Others I know cannot tolerate such boredom and prefer the company of many humans. Some people keep us clean and shiny, while others make us endure unimaginable filth. But in the end, we know that we are appreciated. When our shiny lever is pushed downward and water flushes it all away, I silently breathe my thanks, wishing I had some other means of expressing my gratitude other than by gargling.

Am I smart? You bet! For having such a simple design I am very learned. I am a keeper of knowledge--knowledge such as Suzie has the stomach flu and Drew has colon cancer and doesn't know it; Dottie has a bladder infection and Mark is a vegetarian. But what does it matter? The evidence all gets washed away, anyhow.

And don't you worry--your gossipy secrets are safe with me. Yes, I've heard all types of conversations in restrooms, from stock tips to the latest celebrity gossip to confidential work-related deals. But sometimes I don't catch all of it when the sound of my own flushing drowns out the cacophony. When not in use, I enjoy quiet solitude.

I am naturally environmentally-friendly. As long as I am fed biodegradable waste, I will be all right. But I cannot keep out the cleaning chemicals used to brush my mouth, or that awful medicine called Drano that they force down my throat to unblock my pipes when they become clogged. People sometimes like to decorate me and put a furry hat on my lid. I don't mind as it keeps my flap warm. I am lowly and humble, I've been called the throne of humility. Some people like to linger and sit on me until their leg falls asleep, reading magazines or useless trivia. Others seem to get their best ideas when their gluteus maximus is glued to me. I like to think that I have contributed to their creativity.

Am I popular? I like to think so. Not that I am often the conversation piece, mind you, but I did hear that some restaurant in Taiwan served soup to their customers in mini-clones of me. But rich or poor, Black or White, old or young, they all use me. (I think human rear ends prefer me to the cold outdoors.) And my plumbing is a crowd favorite. I come in all types of shapes and sizes, but I am generally white. I have heard that my water is often cleaner than even the bottled water humans like to drink! And oh, even though it's called eau de toilette, that's a misnomer; it really doesn't come from me.

So here I am--your lowly toilet. Will I miss you? Nah. But I guarantee that you'll miss me the next time nature calls. And I'll be there, patiently waiting to take your donation.