Saturday, May 5, 2012

down with the sickness

photo: Glen Bledsoe

I spent the last couple of days with what I can only assume was gastroenteritis or one of its equally repugnant cousins.

This angered me, not only because of the compulsory trips to the bathroom, but because I have a fair amount of anxiety about stomach illnesses and wash my hands frequently in order to avoid them.  I assume this stems from a couple of particularly nasty episodes in India and a lifelong battle with acid reflux.

Nonetheless, as I was feeling better this morning, I mused about what a spectacular world we live in.  I considered not-to-distant times where the flu was a potential death sentence for a person, family, or even a whole town.  (I am aware that influenza and gastroenteritis are totally different animals, but don't harshen my free-association ways of thinking.)

Before I continue, please excuse any sidelong scatological references that may occur.  They were unavoidable.

I found myself thankful for the following things:
- Living in a time where cans of Lysol and Clorox wipes exist instead of a time where people thought the notion of tiny, invisible germs was foolish.
- Having plumbing that carries waste away from my home instead of collecting waste in a chamber pot or other receptacle to be [horrifyingly] tossed out onto the street.
- Antibacterial soaps, gels, etc. instead of . . . er, um, well, nothing.
- Separate beds instead of family beds (i.e. cozy cesspools of death).
- Vaccinations instead of nothing (again).
- Antibiotics instead of leeches and superstition.
- Water purification plants instead of contaminated wells.

I am sure there are many others.  If you find yourself cursing the speed of the internet today or getting frustrated with traffic, just take a moment to be grateful that you don't have to poop in a glorified armoire and have it sit there fouling up your bedroom making you and your family sick.

Anything I missed?

Bonus chamber pot photo here.  (You won't regret it.)


  1. Thanks so much for supplying a link to my chamber pot photo. That pot in the collection of the Milwaukee Museum of Art. Who knew chamber pots and puzzle jugs would be art? I have to wonder what the original owner of the pot would think if they could see it now.

    1. No problem! Thanks for being cool to us and using Creative Commons licensing on your photos. The cartoon on the bottom of the chamber pot cracks me up. It's almost as if the users of the chamber pots knew what a crude solution they were and added a little levity to the otherwise gruesome scene.


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