Tuesday, April 26, 2005


When I started at college there were two vestiges of its history as a civilized, all-female institution. One was cultural, the tradition of serving tea in the dormitory parlors on Wednesday afternoons. The other was physical: many of the buildings lacked a certain plumbing fixture generally used by men but useful to women only as a wall adornment. The arts center, modern and public, had them in abundance; mith, where I lived for two years, had them not. I suppose this caused the cleaning people much consternation: the one thing that can be said in their favor is that the are easier to clean than the other, particularly where young men whose aim is impaired are present, who demand its use more frequently. I imagine the teas are a thing of the past by now, no one went even then, but I suppose the plumbing situation is still the same. In my opinion they don't belong in residences anyway; the act that they are present in the Church "House" reveals its true identity as an institution. At Rummage we have portable ones, set into the wall of the box as a little sidebar to the right (sitting down). Facility design with a tweak from cascading style sheets. I learned about R. Mutt in college, too; and ever since I think of the presence of these porcelain reliefs (so to speak) as an hommage to his seminal, or urinal, insight.