The November 19, 2020, prompt from Charli Mills of Carrot Ranch is to “In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story that glorifies a toilet. Capture the marvel and status and love for a contraption we’d rather not mention. Go where the prompt leads!”
If you only read the above prompt and not Charli’s posts, you miss out on context, on what prompts her prompts. When she posted this latest 99-word challenge it was World Toilet Day . Should you click on this link you will see that:
World Toilet Day is a United Nations Observance that celebrates toilets and raises awareness of the 4.2 billion people living without access to safely managed sanitation. It is about taking action to tackle the global sanitation crisis and achieve Sustainable Development Goal 6: water and sanitation for all by 2030.
That’s serious stuff. In her post Charli asks, “Would humanity solve toileting issues if we mentioned it more in literature? How often does a novelist mention toilets in a book? Do you? Well, now is your chance to practice writing about toilets.” (You have until Tuesday, December 1 on this one)
I am certainly capable of potty humor, but, well, you know… should I? I do try to behave in mixed company. And this is serious. I was somewhat stopped up by this prompt. And then I wondered if potty humor is universal, or a sign of privilege.
The prompt certainly had me remembering innovative solutions and desperate measures seen and done while camping or traveling, but those were limited runs, so to speak, and again, camping and travel speak of an advantaged life overall.
I did finally get things moving and one flash followed another but then realized that each features a flush toilet within a special private room in a house— luxury and opulence! This is not a universal experience by a long shot. Do check out World Toilet Day to learn more.
So, without further ado-do, here are three toilet tales that may or may not amuse, and that also reveal luxuries taken for granted. The third one I have also linked to Six Sentence Stories as “oasis” influenced this particular bathroom story.
Wally’s favorite room—his inner sanctum; throne room; library; oasis.
“Peace and quiet in return for my daily offering— priceless.”
After installing the colored motion lights in the bowl Wally became even more reverent. The ‘rumble seat’ became the porcelain oracle became his muse; a pad and pen were kept near the other scrolls.
I come to you more than time to pass
Show you the moon, my mirrored ass
Your waters soothe, shimmering votive candle
My sins absolved when I push the handle.
My poetry, people don’t care for it
To that matter, I don’t give a shit
Last Room Standing
“Really? I’m going to the bathroom!”
A euphemism. She’d already gone to the bathroom, was now in the bathroom and sitting on the toilet using it for its intended purpose.
Though originally she’d gone just to be away from him. Victor was getting carried away again. Another euphemism; he was out of control yelling and screaming. Not at her. Something about work. Still. And now he wanted her to unlock the door?
Victor yelled a lot but had difficulties communicating clearly. He never stated why she should let him in…
The tornado carried him away. Not a euphemism.
It was not a mirage, it was marriage, marriage all-inclusive, with children, pets, dishes, laundry, and working from home. It was enough to blur her vision and make her misty at times but there was an oasis, a peaceful place to recover, to take respite from the whirlwinds that swept through the house.
Gathering up clothes and other debris, flotsam wake of the twins, she paused and smiled at the picture book, Everybody Poops. It had been a hit with her older children too.
She shuddered with a sudden realization. Potty-trained twins would mean increased competition for her oasis!