It is time to talk toilets. The male variety. Time a wrong was righted.
I am not talking mainly about that uniquely male curiosity, the urinal, a curious institution where men are required to stand in serried rank and expose their private parts, a ritual women are luckily spared. Privacy for this ritual is afforded merely by a small divide, usually far too low to serve any real purpose.
My secret fear when using a public urinal is that once positioned, for one reason or another I shall be unable to pee. I then anticipate my ‘neighbour”, looking across and down, noting this lack of liquidity and wondering what kind of pervert is at hand and just what kind of activity said pervert is about to perform. I have never mentioned this secret fear to others and have no idea if it is universal.
No, my main topic here is the domestic toilet.
For males this requires one of two positions. The toilet is perfect for the sit-down function. We squat, relax, pick up the crossword or the little ‘dip into’ book kindly left by the house occupier and for a few moments the external world can go hang.
This polite middle-class habit of leaving the ‘dip-in’ book is a throw-back to when the outside netty, (especially for the male of the species and especially here in the North East) was a brief sanctuary from the harsh external world. It was and is mainly a male pursuit. Women find comfort in relating to their own sex whereas males retreat to isolation in the toilet, or on the riverside with a fishing rod, or the local boating lake with a model boat, or a local field to fly their toy plane. We are sad creatures.
But my main topic is the ‘stand-up’ male toilet activity. This requires us to achieve an accuracy females are not called upon to consider. From a relatively great height we must point Percy at a specific target – the inside of a small ceramic bowl. There is no room for error. Any slight clothing maladjustment, any failure to be properly positioned beforehand can sees the fireman’s hose drench either the toilet seat or worse, the floor itself. The odd second or so before this wrong can be righted is sufficient to do considerable damage, especially if the jet lands on a carpet.
This is especially traumatic if we are a visitor to the house and even more especially if we know someone else is waiting outside the door. We frantically scrabble about with toilet paper or a damp cloth attempting to right this urinary wrong, hoping to leave no trace.
My theory is that this hazardous activity causes the average male so much stress that we end up inventing the likes of nuclear weapons and agent orange. Hence my following suggestion should not only help WC efficiency and hygiene, but also world peace.
My invention, the Mortimer Adjustable Loo operates at two different heights. The first level is for females and for male sit-downs. The second is for male peeing. By pressing a pedal at the toilet side, and via an hydraulic process – and with that slight hissing noise associated with such engineering- the bowl raises to a height of mid-thigh level. This then makes the entire process no more demanding than, in that well known phrase, hitting a barn door.
So obvious is this solution I am a loss to understand why it has not been previously applied. Such incomprehension has probably followed many of history’s brilliant though simple innovations, such as the invention of the wheel, whose creator I understand is no longer with us.
Being non-mercenary and non-capitalist, I offer my invention patent-free to whichever entrepreneur wishes to take advantage of it and I require only the occasional thank-you card be sent from their luxury yacht.
Already I am thinking of how they might market this revolutionary device. Should they choose to adopt the acronym MAL for the Mortimer Adjustable Loo, an obvious brand name comes to mind:
Gentlemen, we are proud to announce an exciting new product for the modern home – the MALadjusted.