Goodbye Precious Toilets. You Have Served Me Well.


The time has come to bid a reluctant goodbye to more than one loyal toilet that has been with me for nearly five years. The years of servitude were spent very differently between the two: one spent day and night throughout the changing seasons holding various ornaments of beauty in stark contrast with its original purpose while the other continued in its modest role as a vessel of expulsion.

I cannot say whether my unique vision comes from a need to separate myself from the norm, to be different, or if the opposite is true, that I am, in fact, uniquely rebellious by nature and therefore led by a natural compulsion to see things distinctly. Either way, it seemed instinctive, when our toilet was replaced years ago, to simply put the old one out in the yard, fill it with soil, and place in it a season appropriate ornament, usually a plant of some kind.

Snow on the toilet.JPG

Reaction from neighbors was slightly varied, but tended towards the kind that encouraged me to hang out in the garden to observe them rather than the kind to leave me feeling ostracized and suppressed. Some folks appeared shocked and confused, others praised my ingenious recycling, very few seemed disgusted or offended, but most just chuckled and went on their way.

I loved living in the house that everyone recognized; the one with a landmark folks would use to give directions. Mostly, I loved adding a little bit of hilarity and unconventionality into everyone’s day.


Recently, Dave convinced me to dispose of the yard toilet. He makes a good point. We no longer live at the house and therefore cannot maintain the seasonal decor that the statement requires. What’s more, it does not reflect the “uniquely rebellious” nature of the dwellers of the home, but rather of an absent landlord making a vain attempt to secure that mere ounce of her originality where it now appears out of place and alone.

So sometime in the coming months we’ll have the green basin and tank, that have been a landmark in the CARAG neighborhood for almost five years, hauled away to the dump. I was tempted to keep the other toilet (pictured in this post) instead, stored in the basement until such time as we may return to replace the ironic neighborhood icon, but with the plumber preparing to dispose of it I succumbed to a moment of weakness and practicality, allowed the beautiful antique privy to be taken away and found myself sad with regret later.


Don’t cry for me. I’ll get by somehow and always be able to gaze at my photos with nostalgia. Who knows? Perhaps my commodes will be relocated to a landfill with lots of open space, the company of similar items, and perhaps they’ll even sprout something beautiful on their own.


4 thoughts on “Goodbye Precious Toilets. You Have Served Me Well.

  1. Ryan –

    There’s a difference in maintaining a toilet because you see it as an expression of your quirkiness – and doing it because you were asked. There’s no direct functional purpose for the toilet and asking our tenants would turn the maintenance of the toilet into a chore rather than an art project.


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