And it wasn’t a bad thing.
On Saturday, we were planning to mooch around some of the neighborhoods of Chicago that we haven’t explored yet. But the weather decided to be Oh for Fuck’s Sake Hot, and since our gene pool is from the Potato Belt of Europe and not designed for heat, we decided to throw overnight bags together and flee north to actual temperatures where people like us can function.
And where would a hopelessly middle-class family with parents who function with a slightly more refined sense of humor than the child go on a whim? To the Kohler Design Center in Kohler, Wisconsin, of course. We are just a jet set family. We are just like the Kardashians only…um…not.
Well, what is so special about the Kohler Design Center? We found out they have a museum at the lower level all about the history of the Kohler company. Imagine…toilets throughout the years!
Of course, we could have been mature and learned that Kohler started off in cast iron and made agricultural equipment before it got into the plumbing business. It was John Michael Kohler who applied enamel to a horse trough to create a bathtub that started the company in that direction. It was Kohler who also patented and manufactured the Bubbler, what we know as the drinking fountain in the United States, in 1888. (Drinking fountains are still called “bubblers” in certain areas like Massachusetts. Fountains for drinking water with spouts appeared in London around 1859.) But we couldn’t be bothered. We had khazis to frolic around.
And there were many more upstairs. Somebody decided to have fun and play Toilet TETRIS® as a design feature on the wall of the showroom.
I think the random, bizarre, anatomically incorrect, black semi-gloss Krylon guys they have in various poses add that little bit of “What the hell?” every design needs. It’s like some Goldfinger-type character kidnapped some ancient Olympic athletes, castrated them, and lacquered them. What gives with the dude with his arms up? Did he finish climbing the Toilet TETRIS® wall and feels smug and triumphant? Is he about to dive into an empty whirlpool? Do I need my scorecards? And the poor soul on the right with the bathtub? Is he holding it up? Trying to move it? Waiting for another one of his Krylon friends to come back to help him, but the asshole left to go get burritos? We are left with too many questions. But these two are not left with the worst fates. It’s this one…
Looking past the odd design concepts, we had toilets of the past and present. But what about the future? Well, the Boffin and the Sprog encountered one of these fancy contraptions.
And between the two of them, they managed to get it to light up. Oh, and they also raised the lid. I think we’ll stick to the old-fashioned kind.
Truth be told, it wasn’t all about the toilets. Just mostly. We were needing design ideas for a bathroom renovation too, but we were having such a blast just going through and taking photographs of what we found funny.
Man, if we had this much fun in the showroom, we have to go back for the factory tour. Perhaps we can get some free samples out of it.