When I was pregnant and my mother and I were waiting for the baby to be born, my mother tried to get the stink out of our toilet.

Our toilet was a whole world of stink. If I hadn’t lived in other places with PH long before we moved into this house, I would have thought he was missing the bowl, because our bathroom just reeked of stale pee.

And there were strange puddles every now and then – like we had a piddling ghost.

The linoleum behind the toilet was beginning to peel up.

Mum discovered that the toilet had a bizarre rim, not reachable by the standard toilet bowl brush, which retained all of the toilet filth. She put on gloves, broke out the bleach and scrubbed that thing.

But it wasn’t long before the stink was back. Cleaning the toilet became a truly disgusting but necessary routine, where I would have to scrub and rinse and scrub again and again to get all of the poop out of the bowl.

Imagine that your toilet hadn’t been cleaned in a year, and that a steady parade of fecally incontinent dysentery patients had been making use of it. That’s what our toilet was like every Saturday.

There were orange stains in the hinges of the cheap plastic lid that wouldn’t scrub out. No, I don’t know why white plastic was staining ORANGE.

And then the sediment started appearing.

A day or less after I scrubbed the thing, brown sediment would appear in the bottom of the bowl. I would scrub it clean, and flush, and OH LOOK, NEW SEDIMENT.

I scrubbed even more carefully under the rim. No use.

Oh, and a hairline crack in the bowl began to slowly expand and turn a shade of brown that could never be scrubbed away.

This is the cleanest our toilet ever got, 1 minute post scrubbing.


This summer my mother sent me some money to buy a new toilet. A friend of ours agreed to install it for us, but he’s a busy guy so we waited, and waited and waited.

One day, after twenty minutes of scrubbing crusted crap out of that filth bucket, I stormed out and frustratedly told PH, “we need to hire a plumber because OH MY GOD.”

Thankfully, shortly after our friend was able to come by. We got a new toilet and he installed it the next day.

We discovered that our old toilet was produced in 1988. EIGHTY EIGHT. People have been pooping in that toilet since Mulroney was Prime Minister. The Berlin Wall still stood when it was installed. People were listening to Rick Astley un-ironically. No one named Bush had been president yet. The WORLD WIDE WEB had not been invented when people started pooping in that toilet.

I was a gap toothed six year old when that toilet was put in.

I grew up, went to university, graduated and got married and people were still pooping in that toilet.

The interior of the toilet tank was lined in black gunk, a sediment that covered the bottom of the tank thickly and was no doubt the culprit behind the instantly re-dirtying toilet.


We lugged it outside, a sloshing, stinking, disgusting mess, and with a lot of banging and thumping, a new one was put in its place.

And OH HOLY CRAP (or lack thereof), what a difference.

This thing is amazing.

The seat is heavy and solid, not that flimsy, stained plastic.

And we have had that toilet bowl for TWO WEEKS and I have not had to scrub the bowl yet. It is as shiny and pristine as the day it was installed.

Owl still comments on the new toilet whenever he flushes it.

“New potty?”

“Yes, it’s a new potty.”

“Unca Mark fix it?”

“Yes, Uncle Mark put it in for us.”

“Tank oo, Unca Mark!”

Thank you, indeed.