Do You Have Pauresis? (Toilet Phobia)

I was toilet trained at age 2.  At that age, I found toilets to be decidedly creepy.  At age that age, I was short—with my face located down close to a toilet bowl to where it looked ominous and life threatening.  My mother would hit the lever and matter in the bowl (poop, pee, and toilet paper) would whirl around the bowl and vanish down a passageway never to be seen again. 

That scared me.

No use explaining to a two-year-old how sewers worked and where poop and pee went. All I knew at that age was it was all gone forever in a matter of seconds.  Some toilets were user-friendly in my little mind while others were intimidating.  Darned if I was going to place my posterior on a creepy, intimidating toilet. 

Would you? 

American Standard’s Water Saving Cadet toilet long before “Low-Flush” was so popular.

Do you have toilet phobia? If so, you’re in good company.  Some forms of this emotional phenomenon are well publicized and typically not far from our own homes. Oftentimes they’ve existed in our homes, with a child who won’t go to the bathroom anywhere but home. Perhaps you’re married to such a person.  Archie Bunker of “All in The Family” fame didn’t like using a “strange” bathroom.  His wife, Edith, with all the wonderful innocence of a child, shared that with us and because she never knew when to keep her mouth shut.

“Private – Edith – private…”  

I have a neighbor who admitted he had an anxiety about using any toilet besides the three in his home.  I was rather surprised when he shared that because it is such an embarrassing subject people never talk about.  When asked why he had such a phobia, he didn’t have an answer.  Toilet use is such a personal thing. 

The man-eating Kohler Bolton toilet.

For me, it was the creepy dynamics of the way toilets were designed back in the day.  The trapway was intimidating to me.  It consumed what we flushed away—gone…  Trapways have always had a variety of strange shapes, which begs the question who designs toilets? I mean – who actually grows up thinking, “I want to design toilets?” Where do they school in such a subject? 

I’ve never met a toilet engineer or stylist in my whole life.  I have, however, known a Kohler toilet tester from Wisconsin.  His job was to—well—test toilets. Imagine a job testing toilets. What would you use as a medium for flush testing?  I don’t think they use the real thing – do they? I suspect my friend is one of those people who forgets to flush the toilet at home.  

In some Kohler and American Standard ads, they like showing all of us just how many ping-pong balls you can flush down their latest 1.28gpf (gallons per flush) toilet.  That would have gone over big in Captain Kangaroo’s Treasure House where ping-pong balls were popular with Bunny Rabbit, who liked raining ping-pong balls on The Captain, making kids laugh hysterically from coast-to-coast.  The best to you each morning—right after a nutritious Kellogg’s breakfast. 

Right, Kids? 

The high-end American Standard Luxor Quiet-Flush low-rise squatty potty.

Why do some low-flush modern hoppers have such an efficient flush with good bowl rinse while others just horribly lack?  You have to flush the darned things twice.

How am I saving water flushing a 1.28gpf toilet twice? 

Kohler’s classic monster mash budget “Bolton” toilet was a simple reverse trap design found in thousands of homes, apartments, and businesses when we were kids.  You could flush a grapefruit down the Bolton with its huge 2 5/8-inch trapway and five gallons of water. The darned thing was a beast. Washdown toilets, with their traps toward the front of the bowl, were outlawed in the United States in the mid-1960s because fecal material would stick to the front of the bowl. It was unsanitary for there to be remaining poop stuck to the bowl.

I get that…    

Low Rise “Quiet-Flush” high-end toilets, by contrast, have never employed a great flush.  Their flushes are sluggish and quite lame considering what the wealthy pay for them.  American Standard’s Luxor “squatty-potty” is one example.

The best toilets were inefficient and consumed large sums of water, however, you didn’t have to flush them twice.  I see them for sale in the online auctions all the time.  Old school American Standard “Cadet” and “Compact” toilets of the fifties and sixties were attractive and they were thorough. The Kohler Wellworth and Eljer Orlando were also good examples.

As a child, the deal breaker for me with toilets was the “creepy” factor.  Did a toilet give me the creeps or was it something I felt comfortable strapping to my backside? 

Sometimes, I just had to hold it until I got home.

2 thoughts on “Do You Have Pauresis? (Toilet Phobia)”

  1. It’s a good read, and my sanity is, after reading it, somewhat confirmed. I’ve the disease, only evident when I “read a book” at the house of friends or family. My fear is that the afterthoughts of visiting the “library” would refuse to leave. Obviously, that is based on experiences where that was the case. Leaving me to leave the crime scene, request the “plumber’s helper” and splurge the reticent residue into submission.

    Thought you’d get to “the hover,” well known to the ladies, if you’ve ever dealt with European necessaries, or if you’ve had occasion (as a male) to try that acrobatic forced upon you by circumstance to avail yourself of a poorly monitored public facility stateside.

    I’m surely going to check back when you review “thrones” designed for handicappers and old duffers and certainly do not want to miss your reprise reviewing bidets.


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