A few more words about toilets–and then I promise to stop.
On a visit to the National Railway Museum in York, England, Prince Charles revealed a facet of his personality heretofore unknown: In fourth place, after God, the Queen, and Camilla, His Majesty loves old toilets. Collecting antique loos is his hobby.
At first glance his preoccupation with this underappreciated art form seems frivolous. Perhaps even–kinky. Why can’t England’s future monarch indulge in a respectable pastime such as collecting stamps? A stamp at least you can lick.
But upon further consideration, I realize His Royal Highness is performing a public service in keeping with his station. By elevating the loo to a position of royal importance, His Majesty encourages his subjects to improve the quality of British plumbing to the point where every Englishman can be flushed with national pride.
His interest in loos no doubt stems from his concern for the state of the British economy. Consider the number of jobs his hobby provides: He must employ experts to authenticate, polish, and restore his collection; a crew to swab and disinfect the “commodious” rooms in which they are displayed; another team (perhaps pub patrons) to test them on a rotating basis to ensure their proper functioning; and a security force to maintain crowd control and to prevent theft.
Prince Charles, whose royal ancestry spans centuries, is a living symbol of Britain’s colorful history. It is only fitting that his chosen hobby reflects his sensitivity to the past, for “old” is the the operative word to describe his collection. His highness dismisses the hip, color-coordinated models of today. He cares not for racing stripes or stenciling. The decadence of chrome controls and padded seats is contrary to his taste. Any old loo that was good enough for King George III in 1800 is good enough for the Prince of Wales and Edinburgh in 2011.
In addition to wiping out unemployment and lifting the lid on national pride, Prince Charles has demonstrated an admirable empathy with his subjects. He who will one day wear the crown of England does not eschew the thrones of lesser men.
After his coronation, I shouldn’t be surprised to see other influences upon Great Britain resulting from his patriotic preservation of chamber pots. Perhaps even “God save the King” will give way to “Skip to My Loo.”
It won’t be the first time Brittania waives the rules.