Bathrooms and Toilets

I think I was able to post U No Hu’s comments on my post about Poor Mrs. McNeely’s Conservatory where U No Hu still doesn’t like my explanation of the post.  It gives me a chance to talk about toilets and bathrooms, however. 

Nice Bathroom at the old Stillwater Garage.

But before I get to that, is it true that 90% of all Canadians live within 100 miles of the United States? 

Here in Minnesota bathroom still means a room with a toilet.  I have called the same thing a restroom and “the facilities”, too.  When I was a school kid in the 70s and my school district received a grant to be more hip, so in an effort to be more hip, we called them lavatories then, but that never caught on.  Some kids expected to see Dr. Frankenstein lurking about.

Bathroom might be a regionalism, like you might hear someone call a drinking fountain a bubbler in Kohler, Wisconsin, but I think bathroom is fairly common.  I can think of other regionalisms.  Again, when I was a kid I had a great aunt who called a long padded piece of furniture used for sitting and reclining a davenport, my grandmother called it a sofa, and my mother called it a couch.  I tend to call it a couch unless I want to sound important, then I call it a sofa.  If I want to confuse people, I call it a davenport.  But for the most part my vocabulary isn’t as fluid as it was when I was 10.

Yes, you are reading posts written with the words found in a kid’s vocabulary…but you probably already sensed that.

And back to hillbillies and Jethro.  I apologize for any offense that hillbilly might create, but I have to stand by television’s Jethro

An Unfair Stereotype

He is a simple-minded guy bungling through life, is he not?   That strikes me as an apt comparison with populist conservativism today.  I’m surprised the fans of Biblical Jethro are not more offended.  But for that to happen I suppose someone other than U No Hu and me need to read my posts.

And finally…Mrs. Marjorie McNeely.  (I’m sorry I brought it up.)  My complaint…and I’ll stand by it…is the practice of taking existing public buildings and selling the name of the place to a donor.  I would prefer to see Como Park Conservatory remain with Mrs. McNeely’s name a bit more understated.  You’re right…the dear children is my dig…and I do feel uneasy about it.  Are we honoring Mrs. McNeely or the kids…or the whole family?  It feels like extra mileage on an idea I don’t entirely support.  I will get a picture of the plaque next time I am there.  I do like the plaque better than the name on the front facade, by the way.  More discreet and in that way more tasteful. 

Don’t misunderstand me…I do not think we should be cynical about private charity, not at all.  Such gifts are worthy of respect and the people who make those gifts are doing a very good thing.  I simply don’t like seeing naming rights of public buildings going to donations alone. 

Perhaps Atonin Scalia‘s family can rename the United States Supreme Court Building The Antonin Scalia Court Building some day…if the price is right.


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