Bathroom Mathematics: The Interview

Bathroom Mathematics:  The Interview

Mother Hen is pleased to have, Dr. Ina Crapper, a foremost authority on applied algebra and bathroomology, as her special guest today.

MH: Welcome to the coop, Dr. Crapper!

IC: Delighted to join you here at Mother Hen’s Nest, I’m sure.

MH: Mother Hen has always been fascinated by the subject of human hygiene. Tell, us, why don’t humans make caca outside like everybody else?

IC: Ah, that is a puzzle! My colleague, Dr. Ivana Tinkle, the distinguished psychologist, has published her groundbreaking theory in the Plumbers’ Journal International, Number Two, on that very topic. She says, and I quote, “The sensitive nature of the olfactory cells in the typical human nasal cavity produced a potent mental aversion to the distinctive aroma of contiguous faecal matter, necessitating an alternative lavatory arrangement.”

MH: So what you are saying is that people got tired of smelling shit?

IC: Precisely so.

MH: Dr. Crapper, how did you come to utilize your expertise in algebra, which after all is a branch of mathematics, to the science of bathroom design?

IC: Naturally, the thought came to me at a conference as I stood for over twenty minutes in a line for the ladies while men dashed in and out of the men’s room without a moment’s hesitation. Then and there I vowed to use my knowledge for the betterment of all women. With this purpose in mind, I established The Foundation for Elimination Equality, but the NAACP got the order of the words mixed up and closed us down.

MH: How unfortunate for you.

IC: Indeed.  However, that temporary set-back led to a new vision: the development of algebraic equations for every aspect of public lavatory usage!

MH: Do tell!

IC: When waiting for a stall in a public john, have you ever debated the reasoning that goes into the ratio of toilets to sinks to towel dispensers?

MH: Mother Hen is a chicken, Dr. Crapper. Chickens don’t…Please, go on. This is so fascinating!

IC: Why, for instance, in a given bathroom, might there be four stalls, two sinks, one hand soap dispenser, and one hand dryer?

MH: Enlighten us.

IC: I haven’t got a clue! The thing is, neither does anyone else!

MH: Indeed!

IC: Until now, the allocation of fixtures was purely arbitrary! My revolutionary proposal is to impose the ratio 1:1:1 to the design! There would be a sink, soap dispenser, and hand drying system for each and every toilet and urinal!

MH: And no one has ever thought of this before? Really!

IC: Well, you see, it took the subtle intricacies of a trained mathematical mind to perceive the simplicity of it all.

MH: Quite. What about the extra cost entailed in installing all these extra do-dads?

IC: That is to be the subject of my upcoming study, “Economical Elimination: What Ever Happened to Pay Toilets?”

MH: Captivating.

IC: Only if the doors don’t reopen! A little professional humor to lighten the load, so to speak!

MH: So sorry, Dr. Crapper! That is all the time we have!

IC: Oh, and we were having such a lovely chat, too!

MH: This has been an interview with Dr. Ina Crapper, and this is Mother Hen’s Nest.

(MH: Someone get Mother’s agent on the phone! Heads are going to roll!  And coming from a chicken, that is no idle threat!)

4 responses to this post.

  1. Next time you have Dr. Crapper on, might you ask these questions for me?

    1. What mathematical solution could be employed so as to make it possible to build and install bathroom stall doors that don’t leave an inch of space between the door and wall, allowing anyone who walks by to view you sitting on the good Dr.’s namesake?

    2. Barring that, what mathematical solution could be employed so as to make it possible to install the coat hook closer to said 1 inch gap so that at least we could hang our jacket or purse or even a bag from the store (or one really long piece of toilet tissue) so as to conceal said gap.

    3. What mathematical solution could be employed so as to make it possible for biting red ants to invade the pants of any and all who are responsible for the cleanliness of said public washroom… who fail to keep it clean.

    4. What mathematical solution could be employed so as to make it possible for toilet tissue manufacturers to rise up in protest and refuse to produce one ply toilet tissue that is so thin as to be not really one ply, but one tenth of a ply. This is evil.

    Your avid listener and fellow chick,



  2. Dear Ms. Fracas,
    If Mother Hen ever finds the need to address Dr. Crapper again, she will certainly keep your questions in mind.
    She will add them to another pesky problem presented by another fan, which is: What mathematical formula can prevent persons who do not flush from exiting stalls until they do do? (Ooops, little Freudian slip there. Of course Mother meant “until they do so.”)
    In the meantime, Mother Hen will continue to be grateful that she is a chicken, who couldn’t use a toilet if she tried (which reminds her of an unfortunate incident involving one of the house cats…but Mother Hen is nothing if not scrupulously discreet about personal confidences.)
    Sanitarily yours,
    Mother Hen


  3. Hi everyone.

    I really immensly enjoy this website, keep up the good work!
    Let me know what you think about my explanations on hypnosis!


    • Dear Mr. Hypnotherapist,
      If Mother Hen didn’t know better, she would think that you were trying to promote your business on her blog. Wait a cotton-picking minute! She doesn’t know better.
      As for hypnosis, Mother Hen has issues with a profession that can make unsuspecting humans act like chickens. If God had meant people to act like chickens, He would have given them feathers!
      Naughty, naughty Mr. Hypnotherapist


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