As the husband of the noted author, producer of West Coast Live, and kazoo advocate Kathi Kamen Goldmark, I am fortunate to be the recipient of many invitations to cool events where I meet fascinating people. But all those invitations pale by comparison to the one we just received from the Hotel Griffon in San Francisco. To quote directly from the invitation:
“Recently, the entire hotel was retrofitted with the Perfect Flush from http://www.brondell.com/index.php The Perfect Flush allows for homeowners and establishments like Hotel Griffon to save up to 50% water usage at the touch of a button. . . . To celebrate, Brondell and the Hotel Griffon would like to invite you to an open house on October 1, 2009 from 4 – 6 PM at the hotel. . . . We would love to see you, meet you and introduce you to Brondell’s latest eco-conscious development.”
I don’t mean to boast, but how many of you can say that you have received an invitation to an event showcasing a toilet? Clearly, a toilet revolution is happening. As predicted by Bob Dylan, the old toilets are passing away, and a new generation of toilets is springing up. When I was young we used to dig a hole in the ground and then span it with two boards to sit on, and that was where we “went to the bathroom,” to use a euphemism, even though there was no bath or room within miles.
That’s how we did it at summer camp. Back home in Armonk we had a proper flush toilet, of course. But the design of toilets back in the twentieth century can’t hold a candle to the Brondell. Americans can be proud—we may be behind the curve in some other areas (education, health care), but in toilet design, we lead the world!
It’s no surprise that Kathi got this lavatory-related invitation. Among her many accomplishments, Kathi is a music producer. Her company, Don’t Quit Your Day Job Records, produced albums by humorist Tony Goldmark, Decca Mitford, Maya Angelou, the now legendary Stranger than Fiction album of writers singing rock and roll, and in what many consider to be her most visionary album, “Potty Animal,” Kathi and partner Gretchen Shields (Auntie Poo and Auntie Pee) offered the world an entire album of potty training songs, with moving lyrics like these:
O, dear, whatcha gonna do,
Number one or number two?
Sittin’ here, cus it’s potty time,
Everything’s gonna come out just fine!
Take that, Cole Porter! So you see, this invitation to the Hotel Griffon’s toilet gala is really very appropriate. The big question now is what to wear.
Note: You don’t need to worry about what to wear this Thursday, September 24 at 7:30 pm if you come see me reading and playing from How to Play the Harmonica: and Other Life Lessons at Books Inc. on Chestnut Street in San Francisco—attire is casual, and all book and harmonica lovers are welcome!