SOMEONE ASKED ME the other day how much a used marine toilet is worth. I was able to tell him that a used marine toilet is worth about as much as an ice cube in Alaska. I know this because there was a time when I, too, threw the plumbed head off my 22-foot race boat in favor of the much lighter bucket-and-bag-it system.
I took it down the road to the local marine consignment store.
“I have a porcelain head,” I told the man. “Good working condition.”
He sighed. “Let’s see it,” he said warily.
I led him outside and threw open the trunk of my car. The head crouched there innocently on a piece of blue tarpaulin, clean and bright and trying to look hygienic and attractive.
“OK,” said the man. “Bring it in.”
He guided me through the store and down some stairs to a basement room. And there, to my astonishment, stood rows and rows of pre-owned white porcelain toilets, wall-to-wall as far as the eye could see. It was like the Arlington National of boating bathrooms.
“This is where marine toilets come to die,” said the man, waving an arm at a veritable elephant’s graveyard of maritime plumbing. “Yours might take a while to sell,” he added unnecessarily.
I’ll never know whether it sold or not. That was 16 years ago. The consignment store is no longer in business. I don’t know what happened to my old loo. But I’m sure that wherever it is now, it’s not lonely.
Let not the eyes be dry when we have lost a friend, nor let them overflow. We may weep, but we must not wail.
— Seneca, Epistulae ad Lucilium
A VA doctor was examining a man back from a long spell in Iraq.
“Do you pee normally?” he asked.
“Don’t go more than usual?”
“Um — no, sir.”
“When you pee, does it burn at all?”
“Don’t know, sir. Never tried to light it.”
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