One-Liner Wednesday — The Toilet Assumption


Aldous Huxley smoking, circa 1946

“Most human beings have an almost infinite capability for taking things for granted.”

When I read this quote, just one of many profound thoughts from Aldous Huxley, the author of Brave New World, I thought of one thing that most of us take for granted: toilets.

Yes, toilets. We all have them. There are three of them in our house alone and each one gets plenty of use multiple times a day.

Think about it. You feel the need to use the toilet, you take care of your business, and once all the paperwork is done, you flush. Poof, all that nastiness is gone. It’s magic.

But where did it go? Who knows? Who cares? Outta sight, outta mind, right?

That’s why Huxley’s words about taking things for granted reminded of a book I read in college, Philip Slater’s 1970 book, The Pursuit of Loneliness. 

Slater’s book was required reading for an introductory economics course I was taking. I don’t remember much from the book except for what Slater called “the Toilet Assumption.”

According to Slater, “Our ideas about institutionalizing the aged, psychotic, retarded, and infirm are based on a pattern of thought that we might call the Toilet Assumption — the notion that unwanted matter, unwanted difficulties, unwanted complexities, and obstacles will disappear if they’re removed from our immediate field of vision.

The Toilet Assumption, in essence, is based on the belief that social unpleasantness, once flushed out of sight, ceases to exist. This, according to Slater, is central to American culture.

So the next time you go to the toilet to accommodate your “social unpleasantness” and to eliminate your “unwanted matter,” remember that you should not take that remarkable, flushable toilet for granted.

After all, it is removing all that crap from your immediate field of vision.


This post was written for today’s One-Liner Wednesday prompt from Linda G. Hill.

Advertisements

10 thoughts on “One-Liner Wednesday — The Toilet Assumption

  1. Sight11 July 26, 2017 / 3:02 am

    I remember paraphrasing this one on my college days.. I added for ignoring things instead of taking things for granted.. Also the social justice course, the removal of poor from sight by removing them from site, problems of a capitalistic society, (Yes, I wrote my term paper with that title.. But never submitted it), mentioned the Toilet assumption..
    You rock… Stellar post.. Brought back memories..

    Liked by 2 people

    • Fandango July 26, 2017 / 3:08 am

      Other than my classmates from that economics course, you’re the only person I know who is familiar with Slater’s book and his Toilet Assumption.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Sight11 July 26, 2017 / 3:11 am

        I know what you mean, but it aptly describes condition of today..

        Liked by 1 person

  2. bikerchick57 July 26, 2017 / 5:21 am

    Toilet Assumption…that’s very thought provoking. There’s a lot of flushing going on these days, not always for a good or humanitarian reason. It’s something to ponder today when I make my way to the ladies’ room.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango July 26, 2017 / 7:57 am

      Yes, the flushing of the presidency and our by the president and the GOP. Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Frank Hubeny July 26, 2017 / 6:10 am

    We take everything for granted. Even the pleasant stuff. The “toilet assumption” is for the unpleasant stuff to get it out of sight so we can take it for granted. The “store assumption” is for the pleasant stuff to keep buying more of it since we’ve taken for granted everything we already have.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango July 26, 2017 / 8:00 am

      Good point. We seem to always want the latest and the greatest despite already having most of what we need.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. newepicauthor July 26, 2017 / 6:33 am

    Every time I go on a job interview, I always ask if I can use the rest room. I t important to me that a place of employment has proper facilities, because I know that if I do get this position, that I will be spending some time on their toilets eventually.

    Liked by 2 people

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s