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!
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?”
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!)