Sunday, October 05, 2008


Meet the new SST's. Their official name is SWEET SMELLING TOILET. I kid you not. Google it to confirm. This is a low-tech, high efficiency solution to an age old problem--stink! Visit one and see for yourself. They cost between 10 and $25,000 installed and are rapidly replacing the old version nationwide. This one is located near the top of Mingus mountain, Az. I was so impressed that I was moved to poetry:

Celebrating the New Pit Toilets

Humanity has used pit toilets
For perhaps ten thousand years.
Kings and peasants have endured
Their smelly atmospheres.

And millions of pit toilets remain,
Serving the third world and here
In parks and places where
No treatment plant is near.

But have you noticed that,
Quick and easy as a wink,
Someone has found a way
To take away the stink.

The secret is in that pipe
That’s big and black and tall,
Exposed to the sun and mounted
Against the privy wall.

When sunlight heats the pipe,
Warm air rises on its own,
Drawing the foulness away
From the seat of the “throne.”

And wind across the pipe,
Whenever it might blow,
Creates a draw and pulls
The odors from below.

So day and night it works,
Wind or sun suffice
To keep the toilet smelling
Neutral, if not nice.

Hooray for black pipe! Hooray
For clever engineers!
Black pipe takes the stench away
Endured ten thousand years.

Now I’m inspired to believe,
For me and the human mix,
That many more petty discomforts
Might have so simple a fix.

(The Forestry Service was delighted to have their facilities appreciated in verse)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Perhaps a similar black pipe could waft away odors from a composting toilet in an RV?