Chambers of delight

Or: What we lost when we lost the thundermug.

Progress– in its endless forward push there is an implicit trade-off. Improvements are made and something new is gained, but something old is usually lost as well. Possibly something unreplaceable. An example? When improved technology and health concerns collided to make indoor-plumbing a near necessity humanity gained the toilet. What we lost was the chamber pot. “The chamber pot!?” You ask. “Who would ever miss a filthy stinking little bucket of excrement?” Well, no one. But when we lost the thundermug we lost something else with it. Where in our modern lives can we find the wholesome pleasure of taking a midnight crap right on someone’s forehead? Not counting the use of your spouse or children… nowhere. This is a pleasure chamber pot users enjoyed which progress has taken from us. They could drop a steamer on a politician’s face, or let loose with a hot stream right into the iris of a peeping eyeball, anytime, day or night. I’ve reproduced a few images from Lucinda Lambton’s 1983 book Chambers of Delight to give you an idea of what it is we sanitary moderns are missing.

09.27. filed under: !. history. life. play.


Dear Nonist,

That first image reminded me of a sketch on an old Saturday Night Live where a guy walks into an “erotic” cake shop. The proprieter was played by (non other than) Patrick Stewart—the thespian.

His charachter’s idea was that images of females urinating were very erotic.

FUNNY!  With a capital F.

Great site and I visit often. Good stuff. Keep up the fine work.

Respectfully,

posted on 09.28 at 07:49 PM.


Fantastic idea. Someone should start making these again - I’d buy one. Who wouldn’t grab the opportunity to shit on George Bush’s face every morning?
Just discovered the site but like it a lot, especially your photography.

posted on 09.29 at 05:00 AMsimon


I love the designs featuring figures with their hands up in horror, attempting to “stop” what’s about to happen to them. “Wait. No. NO!” (followed by shriek).

posted on 09.29 at 08:46 AM.


@ Joe & Simon: Thanks for the kind words guys, much appreciated. Joe I remember that sketch, just looked for it on youtube but to no avail.

posted on 09.29 at 03:02 PMjmorrison


I had occasion to use such devices when I was very young, on my grandparents’ farm. However, these were plain porcelain pots with no entertaining target imprinted on the inside. Truly, I feel cheated.

I recall the Patrick Stewart SNL show. It was probably the best of that season, pretty much every sketch was a howler. He played a Scottish therapist (“You’ve still got yer problems, laddie, but at least yer piss drunk!”), the Devil, a health official bent on filling children’s heads with horrifying fears about anal sex, and of course Captain Picard (Mr. Data, for a valentine, gives the Captain a human heart covered in chocolate).

posted on 09.29 at 07:28 PM.


Perhaps it is a great loss…I had no idea chamberpots were such designer items.

I can see the sleek, stylish, colorful, affordable designs lined up on the shelves of Target…there would, of course, be one with a Target logo printed on the bottom.

posted on 09.29 at 10:30 PMbluewyvern


Fantastic idea. Someone should start making these again - I’d buy one. Who wouldn’t grab the opportunity to shit on George Bush’s face every morning?
Just discovered the site but like it a lot, especially your photography. plumbing contractor

posted on 12.22 at 11:54 AM.

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