French Toilets: For Professionals Only

October 12, 2010By David JaggardC'est Ironique!



I live in an old building in Paris, dating from about 1800, before apartments had plumbing. The old communal overhead-tank-and-chain WCs on the stairway landings and the cold water taps on the top and ground floors are still there. But the apartments now have toilets inside as well, of course, added one by one over the decades. Since it requires a lot of effort and expense to install a large-diameter waste pipe for a toilet drain in an existing building, whoever installed the bathroom in my apartment opted for a “sani-broyeur” (literally “sanitary shredder”): a regular-looking toilet with a big plastic box behind it containing an electrical grinder that reduces whatever’s flushed away into a purée that can flow out a regular-sized drain pipe.
It works fine, except that like all electrical appliances it has a lifespan. Mine is about 15 years old and is starting to have trouble “choking it all down,” so to speak. So just to be prepared I started calling plumbing companies to see what’s involved in replacing it. I found a specialist in this type of fixture who sent a plumber out to do an estimate. For €600 he proposed their top-of-the-line model, which is called the “Sani-Broyeur Pro.” Yes, “Pro” as in “professional.”

My question is this: Professional what? Not the “Mormon Compound” model or the “Sumo Training Camp” model or the “Cruise Ship in a Hurricane” model. The “Professional” model. Presumably for people whose careers are going down the crapper.


An album of David Jaggard’s comic compositions is now available for streaming on Spotify and Apple Music, for purchase (whole or track by track) on iTunes and Amazon, and on every other music downloading service in the known universe, under the title “Totally Unrelated.”

Note to readers: David Jaggard’s e-book Quorum of One: Satire 1998-2011 is available from Amazon as well as iTunes, iBookstore, Nook, Reader Store, Kobo, Copia and many other distributors.

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