Dear Ellen: I needed a toilet

I write letters to Ellen DeGeneres. No particular reason. Just because I can.

Dear Ellen,

This whole thing started because I needed a picture of a toilet. Not just any picture. It had to be taken from a specific angle.  The most obvious way to accomplish this would be to take a picture of one of my toilets.  The only problem with that is I’d have to clean one first and that was more work than I wanted to do. But if I photographed it as is, I’d never hear the end of it from my mother.

Honest to goodness. Who raised you? Is that what you’re having my grandchildren poop on? That’s disgusting. Get off of Facebook right now and clean those things or I swear to God, I’m coming out there.

To avoid housework – something I excel at (the avoiding part, that is) – I searched the Internet for a picture of a toilet. None of the pictures that were free were taken from the correct angle. The only photos I found that were of what I wanted either had a price attached or the photographer wanted to be attributed.  Seriously? A price?  Is photographing toilets a thing?  Are there art galleries that feature the work of up-and-coming artists who photograph toilets?

….and over here we have a display of toilets in their four most common stages. Happy Toilet. Sad Toilet. Busy Toilet. Toilet Versus the Stomach Flu. I think the artist did a marvelous job of capturing the essence of the toilet, demonstrating how underappreciated it is by individuals who take it for granted on a daily basis.

Personally, Ellen, I’d rather not see photographs of “Busy Toilet” and definitely not “Toilet Versus the Stomach Flu.”

And then there’s the whole attribution thing. Don’t misunderstand. I don’t have a problem with giving credit where credit is due.  The last thing I’d want is for someone to think I was stealing another person’s work – especially when it involves a device used to collect human waste. Still, I can’t fathom why anyone would insist on collecting credit for a picture of a toilet.

….It took me 235 photographs before I captured it at just the right light. Do you see how the porcelain sparkles just a little bit more on the left side than it does on the right? It’s almost like it’s winking at me.

I thought briefly about purchasing one of the photographs I saw until I imagined the conversation my husband would have with me regarding the bill.

Husband: Honey? What’s this bill for $135?

Me: It’s for a picture I bought of a toilet.

Husband: A what?

Me: A picture of a toilet. I needed it for my blog.

Husband: We could’ve bought an actual toilet for that much money.

Me: Don’t be silly. What would we do with another toilet? The four that we have work just fine. I suppose we could put it in the living room and use it as another chair.  If nothing else, it’d make a lively conversation piece for when we have guests over.

After hemming and hawing over it for a bit, I decided the best thing to do would be to pick one of the four toilets we own for this once in a lifetime photo opportunity (because I have better things to do), clean it, and snap a photo.

This mission is now accomplished…although I feel a little traumatized by the whole thing.


A. Marie

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