HISTORY OF TOILETS in rhyming verse


I'm a History fan, and I do like to know
what people called Toilets in days long ago.
The first was an Earth Closet, dug out the back
and out through the garden, a well-worn dirt track.
If folks struck it good, they had walls and a door,
a seat, and a roof to keep rain out, what's more.
And then when the hole in the ground got quite filled
they biffed in some soil, and did a re-build.
They shifted the Privy a few steps away
and for some months longer, that's where it would stay.

Those days there was no toilet tissue for sale: 
they stuck squares of newspaper onto a nail, 
which meant you could catch up on news in the Loo,
reading the squares while you did Number Two.

That old-fashioned outhouse was also called Dunny, 
and sometimes a Thunderbox: now, that one's funny!
The person who dreamed up that name was quite crass,
referring no doubt to releases of gas.

Along came the heydays of plumbing and pipes
and talking in whispers, and soft paper wipes.
The Lavatory shifted inside. You could flush
at the pull of a chain, and get rid of the mush.
The name Water Closet was promptly attached
where hygiene was stressed, and accessories matched.

And that's when the era of flush-toilets started: 
the time of the cistern, of smells soon departed.
Each dug in his backyard a large septic tank
of concrete, quite buried in case it all stank.
They brought in an adjunct, the classic Bidet:
It's not to my taste, so no more will I say.

3 thoughts on “HISTORY OF TOILETS in rhyming verse

  1. And for some reason I don’t yet understand, the layout for the post was about as tight as a privy and I couldn’t figure out how to push the walls out. Was deciding whether to jump down the hole or impale myself on the paper-nail but I thought “Stink, they can have it just as it is.” Possibly the theme I chose for the BlogSpot is only suitable for prose, definitely isn’t poetry-friendly.


  2. This was a funny romp through history. If I’d written it, I definitely be feeling quite flushed with my success. I agree with Thomas above me on the comment thread about “thunderbox” as a name. I’d never heard it before, but it’s what I’m calling mine from now on.


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