About three years ago, the summer immediately preceding my mother's heart attack, the Airedaleparents schlepped forth to the outdoor Shakespeare performance in Louisville. At the time, my brother-in-law was the managing director of the Kentucky Shakespeare Festival, so my folks and two other couples who were in med school at at the same time used to converge annually for this event. For years, Mom has slept in a recliner instead of a bed, so the trick was finding a place that could provide her with something comparable...which ended up being The Inn at Jewish Hospital, a hotel that caters primarily to families of patients at one of the downtown hospitals in Louisville.
What makes The Inn unique is that the rooms are fitted out for patients, and all of them have the same special toilets that are installed at both Jewish and Norton hospitals. Not only could my folks get a room with a hospital recliner in it, Dad was absolutely fascinated with the toilet; the flush mechanism is hydraulically assisted, you see. I've been a patient at Norton and a guest at The Inn before, so I am well-acquainted with the Bionic Supertoilets. I don't care for them, because I don't like the idea that these toilets are the plumbing equivalent of a Black Hole: you could easily disappear over the Event Horizon and be torn to pieces by sheer force.
A couple of months after that stay, Mom, as aforementioned, had a mild heart attack, culminating in a few weeks as a patient at Norton. Before it was all said and done, Mom, Little Sister, and I were all thoroughly sick of Norton, including the toilets...Dad, however, had developed a serious fixation. He had to have one of those toilets in the master bath at the Chez, so on top of everything else that was going on, Little Sister and I had to figure out how to obtain one and get it installed.
It turns out that you, too, can have your very own hospital-grade, hydraulically-assisted-flush toilet, which can be special-ordered through your local Lowe's Hardware for a staggering number of Benjamins. You have to arrange separately for someone on the Canonical Approved List of Plumbers Who Are Supposed to Know How to Install Bionic Supertoilets to come to your house and put it in. That's probably the most difficult part of the whole exercise.
Long story short, the Chez is now home to one of these miracles of modern plumbing. It is referred to by all and sundry as "Dad's Toilet" because nobody else can stand it. If you've never experienced one of these gems, you might have the general idea if you've ever used an airplane toilet: when flushed, the Bionic Supertoilet sounds like it's going to implode the entire house, let alone suck whoever happens to be standing within a hundred yards into some vast sewerly abyss. I imagine it's probably the most complicated and expensive (not to mention the loudest) toilet in all of Smalltownland.
Dad is very proud of his special potty; it's far and away his favorite home improvement of all time. I hope he enjoys the blasted thing, because the rest of us are, quite simply, scared of it.