“Wow, is that thing for real?” I asked the salesman.
I thought the gargantuan toilet was only a sales gimmick, a promotional display, but he assured me it was an actual working toilet. Well, not at the moment, as it was sitting in the middle of the store.
Chortling in astonishment, I hefted the lid open. The humongous bowl was supported by an extra wide base – with additional reinforced structures, the salesman told me.
No kidding, I thought. Talk about a porcelain throne! It reminded me of a white convertible VW Beetle perched on an enameled Giant Sequoia stump. The salesman called the toilet’s extended sides “anti-slide movement fins.” For the safety of the user, he explained.
Amazed, I read the entire product brochure.
The “Size Friendly Toilet” is called the “Great John,” after its creator, the Great John Toilet Company. The brochure explained that today’s standard toilet is still made according to the size of Americans in the early 1900s. But the Great John takes into account the added dimensions of the post-junk food derriere. Accordingly, the toilet's ceramic is tested to 2,000-pound loads. And the extra-wide seating area – a platform, really – is 200 percent larger than on a standard round toilet.
That’s a lot of Taco Bell and Doritos!
However, in all fairness, there are probably a lot of disabled Americans who appreciate the toilet’s safety fins. And given my prodigious ice cream habit, I see there’s hope for me in my latter Haagen Dazs days. In fact, the wide ledges on each side of the seat would make nice counters to set my ice cream and books. Why get up at all?
However, I suggested to the salesman that the marketing team at the Great John Toilet Company could have been more imaginative when it came to naming their colossal toilet.
“They could have dubbed it the King John,” I said. “Or how about The Commodious Commode or The Eliminator (It WON’T be back!).”
I also proposed the Throne of Thundercheeks, The Rumpus Roomy, and The Heinie Helper. Or, to be more dignified, the U.S.S. Booty or the Seat of Power.
The salesman wasn’t amused by my suggestions. He huffily pointed out that many Japanese toilets have onboard music, reading lights, heaters, multiple selectable washers, and digital readouts.
Leave it to America to go for size over finesse, I thought (although I'm pretty certain I could pass on having a digital readout of my visit to the restroom).
However, I’m sure the Great John is a vast improvement and a great help for our larger and disabled citizens, and I wouldn’t even dream of making fun of it.
Now, if you’ll pass me my book, my ice cream, an air freshener, and shut the door, I’ll see you in a month.