Saturday, February 23, 2013

Toilet Seat Museum Part 1: The Greatest Place On Earth

Yesterday was my birthday and, being the kind of person I am, I begged my husband to go with me to the Toilet Seat Museum. Him, being the awesome person that he is, agreed.

What's that? You haven't heard of the Toilet Seat Museum? Oh my stars, how can you not know about this absolutely fantastic American cultural icon? What's that? You doubt the Toilet Seat Museum is a cultural icon? Well, I'll have you know that it's such a cultural icon, the Department of Homeland Security has allocated $10 million to protect the Toilet Seat Museum. So there!

About the Toilet Seat Museum: It's run by Barney Smith, a 91 year old man who has been decorating toilet seats for going on 40 years. You can read more in the link above. He is absolutely sweet, very funny, and holy hell, I hope I have that much energy when I get to be that age, provided I make it. His wife (as of this post) is also 91 and they've been married 73 years. She doesn't much care for his toilet seat art hobby. Barney is a retired master plumber and an artist. He's done graphic art professionally and is also a painter, but it was his toilet seats that really brought him fame. Believe me, when it comes to architectural design, he's very good.

Some cool stuff about his hobby: He has people sign a toilet seat that means something to them, whether it's their hobby, occupation, home state, country of residence, etc. My husband signed the librarian toilet seat and the bicycle toilet seat while I signed the toilet seat for my home state. He engraves over the signatures so they will be on the toilet seats for a long time, though he said he has about 2,000 signatures to go and probably won't finish before he dies. He seals the engraving by melting used communion cups from his church and mixing the melted plastic with pigment, then painting over the engraved lines. He's done a lot of his own artwork on the seats and has engraved and sealed them the same way.

There are literally over a thousand toilet seats in the museum. I couldn't photograph them all, but I did get pictures of my 39 favorites. Starting with the WTF and Miscellany in Part 1, please enjoy these pictures I took at the Toilet Seat Museum!

Update: Part 2 of the Toilet Seat Museum visit
Update: Part 3 of the Toilet Seat Museum visit
Update: Part 4 of the Toilet Seat Museum visit

Spoon handle turkey. I don't know the story behind this, but it clearly is good at being what it is.
Fork feet and a little beard. The beauty is in the details.

Toilet snakes: Two words that should never be put together unless it's talking about a plumbing tool.
He engraved that cobra, by the way.

Conspiracy theory and prescription medication.
Best possible placement for those two.

Oh god, why is it always clowns?
I don't know why Indiana Jones thinks the snakes are the problem.

Dismembered puppet helplessly reaches out for you to end its suffering.
There is no way to make this not terrifying.

He worked his butt off engraving this Wells Fargo toilet seat and the bank said they wouldn't sign it unless he deposited money into their bank. Asshats.
Someone ought to write a letter.

Toilet trolls are two more words that shouldn't go together.
This is one fad I'm thankful to have missed out on.

The toilet seat he engraved in honor of his 73rd wedding anniversary.
Congratulations and I hope you two have had happy years.

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