Thursday, August 25, 2016

Dangerous Potty Break...!

Heard the old saying "when in Rome..." before? I'm sure we all have.

It turns out that not everything that was early Roman was cool.One place that probably could have used some improvement was a few of the public toilets.

Pooping



Photo credit: The Atlantic

We’ve all walked into a neglected gas station bathroom and found ourselves estimating how much longer we could hold it without doing permanent damage, but that fluorescent horror show’s got nothing on the latrines of old. The toilets of ancient Rome were a true test of one’s fecal fortitude, consisting of a stone bench with a rough hole leading to the city’s primitive sewer system. This direct connection meant all manner of vile critters could sink their teeth into the exposed buttocks of an unfortunate bathroom visitor. Worse yet, the methane buildup meant that it was not uncommon for toilets to spontaneously erupt into flame.

To quell this embarrassing epidemic, Romans would scribble images of Fortuna, the goddess of luck, and incantations meant to ward off evil spirits on bathroom walls. Believing laughter also repelled these demons, caricatures of religious figures were used as well, beginning the noble tradition of inappropriate bathroom stall graffiti.

Come to thin of it, some of the early outhouses (or Thunder boxes) were not that far removed from the Roman days, I reckon.

Coffee out on the patio this morning, OK?

9 comments:

Weekend-Windup said...

When we see them at this modern world it looks like something different...

linda m said...

I just don't hunk I could sit there and do my"job". I remember as a child I wouldn't even use an outhouse because i thought some critter would jump up and bite my hinny. But to sit there in public is beyond what I could do.

Hermit's Baby Sis said...

When I saw these in Italy and the Greek Isles, we were told they would have had walls around them, inside a building, just like todays bathrooms. I thought they were pretty great, considering the times. And, folks were not quite so accustomed to privacy in all things as we are now. I was impressed!
But much better these days ~ live and learn?
Big hugs ...

JO said...

I have seen some pretty nasty bathrooms and not just in gas stations. And yes you often wonder what will be hiding in those pit toilets.

Dizzy-Dick said...

Now you got me remembering the good times in the outhouse (grin). Especially in the winter time when you are just about ready to "go" and a cold blast of arctic air blows up the hole from places unknown.

HermitJim said...

Hey WW...
Sure doesn't look like a typical outhouse, does it?
Thanks for coming over today!


Hey Linda...
Not sure if I could be comfortable using one of these either. Hopefully I'll never have to find out!
Thanks for stopping by today!


Hey Sis...
I reckon they beat the alternative...like going in the streets or bushes.
Thanks for coming over today, Sis!


Hey Jo...
I've seen a few of those restrooms you are talking about. Bad!
Thanks for dropping by today!


Hey Dizzy...
Got a few fond memories of those times myself!
Thanks for the visit today!

Rob said...

Out in the national forest just south of the Grand Canyon I found a wooden box with a toilet seat sitting there. Darn convenient if you ask me!
It reminded me of those I saw on the army base in Hawaii in the early 60's (I was a boy scout). Toilets, just sitting there in the open. If you gotta go you gotta go.

HermitJim said...

Hey Rob...
Unusual but handy, I'd say. Beats using the bushes, right?
Thanks for coming over today!

Sixbears said...

Horrors of the past!