May 26-31, 2003
Yikes! Yesterday when I introduced the Mütter Museum I was confusing it with the Mercer Museum ... both are in Philadelphia. You see, when the ICCA had its AGM in Philly a few years back we all visited the Mercer ... and I remembered it to be a glum place. Well, believe me, the Mütter is an entirely different matter.
So, now I want to gently ease us from just-plain-glum to full-blown-grim:
This is a trephine. Looks sort of like an old corkscrew, doesn't it? The handle and the shaft are familiar but the cutting edge is worlds away. "A trephination is used to make an intentional entry into the skull in order to allow instruments to elevate skull fragments and remove blood clots at the site of the injury. The trephine does not penetrate the brain, and the procedure is more superficial than it might appear."
Two years ago today we were ballooning in Germany ... and our own Paul was in charge of the daily journal ... when we discovered this very unusual bathroom fixture. This is how Paul put it (*):
The men's room for the restaurant where we ate tonight contained a bathroom fixture that I'd never seen before. I found this tremendously exciting, for how many times in one's life does one discover a new bathroom fixture? In my experience, such events are really quite rare. Anyway, you can see it on the right-hand side of this photo:
* Does anyone here ... (yes, you, dear reader) ... know what's that thing to the right of the urinal? Big hint: there was not a comparable piece of porcelain in the lady's loo. And, no, it is not anatomical-specific. Go down the 'behavior road' and you'll find it.
Reader Don Bull ... from the former British colony of Virginia ... seems to have won our jackpot question hands-down. His overextended (but welcome) analysis of our 'historic' photograph of an otherwise benign and boring European roadstop restroom/toilet facility leaves out nothing:
You grab the handles, bend over, and vomit. Note the extra large drain will handle very large chunks. The spigot (above right) is to spray your head in hopes of sobering up.
Also noted: The broken tiles between the urinal and the barf sink were likely broken by a drunk who missed the sink and fell against the wall. There appears to be a target over the urinal. Can we assume that hitting the center will deflect urine to it's proper place and a miss will mess shoes, clothes, and the floor?
Webmaster P.F. from Bremerton in the American Northwest comments:
"Very authoritative explanation from Don! I wonder if these are available in the U.S. ... and how many homes have them?"
A search (of the web) for the recently built Bull House only turned up the door to his corkscrew museum ( http://www.bullworks.net/bullhous/museum2.htm ). Looking in, there was no indication that he or Bonnie had installed any built-in, porcelain-protected, auto-flushing, projectile-vomit catcher bins.
A P.S. to the post-post-pre-journal of post-Memorial Day:
Don reports that his new home does in fact have toilet facilities, albeit bucolic ones: http://www.bullworks.net/bullhous/02jan25.htm
The Mütter Museum: the original Siamese Twins ... "A plaster cast of Cheng and Eng Bunker (1811 - 1874), the original; Siamese Twins, made after their autopsy was performed in the Mutter Museum by members of The College of Physicians. In the background are Chip, Battina and William Wegmen."
Plus: from a 1998 London journal ...
Jeez ... what would (will) reader Tammy say?
PS to May 28th:
The jar by the chair is from the Mütter. The Harbin ones were harvested in Manchuria.
From the Mütter's bone collection:
("Any chance, Alf, you could link the rest of us back to some beach-bunny pictures?")
This is only for the strong of stomach ... but, tomorrow things get much worse:
This is 1902 Riverview Avenue in Wilmington, Delaware, USA.
The photograph [from a 2x2 faded glass-mounted slide] was taken in about 1947.
PS: Holy Smokes! It's been a decade or more since I have seen my friend Andy and his wife, 'Mac'. The last time I saw them was when we bumped into each other at a car wash 10 - 12 years ago....at the time he said they were going to move "west." Of course, I though he meant California or Arizona or even Idaho. But, no ... they were just going 'west' to Davie; about 15 miles from here. Anyway, it was only when I chanced to 'talk' with a mutual acquaintance (Ms. S. Beal: a math teacher by day, but a wannabe topless dancer by night [*]) that I found out that they were still 'neighbors'.
Back in the '70's and '80's Andy owned the premium athletic shop in Fort Lauderdale: RUNNING SPORTS. Today the building is a Mail Box Shop. Anyway, for old time's sake we took our photographs in front of the old place.
[*] Sharon, remember that night at Solid Gold ... with Andy and I?