Sunday, January 23, 2011

A Kind of Rapture

Thomas Lynch, The Undertaking: Life Studies from the Dismal Trade (New York: Penguin Books, 1997), p. 33:
The thing about the new toilet is that it removes the evidence in such a hurry. The flush toilet, more than any single invention, has "civilized" us in a way that religion and law could never accomplish. No more the morning office of the chamber pot or outhouse, where sights and sounds and odors reminded us of the corruptibility of flesh. Since Crapper's marvelous invention, we need only pull the lever behind us and the evidence disappears, a kind of rapture that removes the nuisance.