One castle that I really wanted to visit was the one shown at the beginning of the Disney movies. It did not disappoint us!
After visiting several castles and museums, our son suggested that we also visit one of the creepy museums in the city – the Chamber Pot Museum.
It didn’t sound too interesting, but we went anyhow. On arrival, we were disappointed to see a sign that said the museum was closed on that date.
However, as we were leaving, a gentleman came from a house next door to meet us. After greeting us, he volunteered to open the place and gave us a private tour.
What a place! Thousands and thousands of old chamber pots and toilets were housed in the world famous museum.
The displays came from many countries, and some were more than thousands of years old.
Gold, silver, and diamond studded toilets which had been used by kings and queens. Toilets that played music, and some had seats that were heated for the comfort of the user during cold temperatures.
We even got to see some original Crapper toilets. Thomas Crapper is generally mentioned as the inventor of the type of toilets found in homes today. The word “crap” probably comes from the man’s last name.
One may want to visit his online web page with the fancy toilets and the slogan, “Flushed with Pride.”
Porcelain, steel, aluminum, clay, and even wood chamber pots displayed intricate artwork. Some even reminded me of my grandmother’s chamber pots, which she had under beds for nighttime use. These were emptied and rinsed in the morning.
I remember her calling them po-chom, for the French pot de chambre. I know Cajuns speak very fast, and often make a single word out of a phrase. Chambre is the French word for room and pot (silent T like in pot de fleur)
People would not use po-choms during the daytime unless they were sick.
During the daylight hours they used a small outdoor room called a cah-be-nay (cabinet - outhouse). By small, I mean a four foot by six foot wood building.
The building usually had a seat with an oval opening on which the needy person sat. I remember some kids teasing others about their cah-be-nay being larger and having two holes, while the poorer families only had one.
The truth is that many fathers built outhouses with two holes, a small one for the children and a larger one for adults.
Children were taught at an early age about the dangers of occupying the larger hole.
An outhouse is a building in which a hole is dug into the ground, into which human waste solids and liquids are deposited.
Bacteria, earthworms, and other organisms consume nutrients in the waste material.
Most common items found in outhouses were corn cobs and old Montgomery Ward Catalogs.
The front door of the outhouse usually had a small half moon cut out in the upper part of the door.
In early times a half moon was posted on the woman’s outhouse door and a sunburst on a man’s. Later, only the half moon cutout survived; I guess because women maintained their facility better.
Its crescent moon opening was generally high up on the door as a safeguard against peeping toms.
It was small enough to allow a little moonlight for those who were brave enough to enter the cah-be-nay with the possibility of snakes and other night creatures lurking.
Not too long ago, I dismantled one in the back of a house that I was remodeling. I probably should have kept it.
There are not too many outhouses still in existence. Mostly just memories of the stinky past!
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