Saturday, August 29

Unpretentiously Luxurious

As I mentioned earlier certain value systems involving luxury and how it should be enjoyed befuddle me. Pet resorts, pedicures, big cars, big televisions, silk, suede, Icelandic wool, espresso machines for the home, marble desks for the office, beef that came all the way from Japan, there is no end to my misunderstanding. This has always been the case, for most shows of extensive wealth reliably inspire in me the sort of amusement a child feels upon watching one puppet hit another puppet on the head. In turn, I was able to join the rest of the world in thinking that solid gold toilets are very silly.Recently my major responsibilities have been taking care of my family's seven pets - no fish, no turtles, five cats and two large dogs. Feeding the dogs often involves cooking ground beef, which conjures a smell I'm not used to, and all of the animals require that I manage their waste. The cats shit in a bin beneath the jungle gym of their big cube cat house on the balcony (entrance through a small door in the window) and the dogs shit in the grass in front of houses. Every few days the cats' bin gets emptied into a garbage bag and the garbage bag is dropped down the garbage shoot near the elevator. Every few hours I trail the dogs and wait for them to shit; I had never cared about flies walking on my food but when I see how quickly three of them will land on a log of fresh dog shit I really start to feel embarrassed. I reach down to pick up dog shit with a biodegradable mini-bag over my hand and the flies disappear. Through the bag I can feel how warm the shit is and think about how warm the inside of the dogs' bodies are. Then I consider how warm human shit must be. Dog bodies are 3 degrees warmer than human bodies, but that temperature difference is difficult to feel with a covered hand. I have never touched human shit because when I need to shit I go into privacy and lounge in an armless, porcelain easy chair. My shit is dropped into a bowl of cold water and then removed from sight through pipes and deposited on Staten Island.

Not all humans have the same shitting experience, but most Americans do. If most Americans had to crouch with their legs spread open every time they needed to shit, they would probably be more agile and have nicer calves. In the scheme of things the "American standard" is actually quite luxurious. For this reason, solid gold toilets seem like a natural improvement in the face of extensive wealth.
Reviews for the solid gold toilet:

"We've never seen anything like this before. When you see it for the first time, it's like the most beautiful thing....the most, most beautiful thing." -Anon

"What I mean is, wouldn't it be better if the toilet was open and each person could shut the door and use it -- could sit down and really feel what it's like?" -Gao Qingyin

"What the hell happens on a $35,000 toilet that makes it so special? While you're sitting on it, does it magically transport you to the Maldives?" -Matt Littman