Morris Crimpanfortis is down on his pinstriped knees, the sleeves of his heavily starched white shirt rolled up, as he performs his periodic chores around the Graphite County Opera House. Today, he’s scrubbing ornate fixtures in the grandiose men’s room off the main lobby. There are additional elegantly apportioned men’s rooms in the opera house on various levels. In fact, there are a lot of fancy men’s room throughout the municipality of Silt Ridge, reflecting the great wealth of its industrial past. Morris wrings out the worn sponge in the rinse bucket and pauses. He has a breathtaking epiphany: what about producing a documentary that showcases the ornate men’s rooms of the Graphite County Opera House? Then he has another thought: what about expanding the scope to include the men’s rooms in other establishments of Silt Ridge? And if that’s not earthshaking enough, why not make a series out of it instead of a one-off documentary? Morris has his enthusiasm short-circuited when he thinks about something that will potentially doom the project before it gets off the ground . . .   

TO: Morris Crimpanfortis V

FROM: Morris Crimpanfortis V

RE: The Lost Elegance of Silt Ridge’s Men’s Rooms


You can say i scour the landscape for new programming concepts. Well, as you will soon find out, i scour more than the landscape. And sometimes it really pays off!

Someone’s Gotta Run with This

The sleeves of my heavily starched white shirt are crisply rolled up. On my hands and knees, I scrub the floor tiles alongside the stateliest men’s rooms fixtures in America. A programming note suddenly strikes me: has anyone thought about doing a documentary on the fancy men’s rooms in Silt Ridge?

This downtrodden burg might not make people mistake it for Manhattan, but one thing makes it stand above the rest: its colossal collection of historical and classical men’s rooms fixtures. We are talking magnificent works of architectural splendor, tall, imposing and fashioned out of chiseled granite, onyx, quartz and marble. To put it in perspective, if a guy happened to keel over while relieving himself at one of these splendorous behemoths, the fixture could presumably double as a coffin – that’s how spacious they were.

Ornate Porcelain Fixtures Flying Off the Walls

In the opera house alone, you have the long lineup of twenty-four grand fixtures in the off-lobby men’s room. There are additional ones over on the first floor East Wing, plus everything on the Upper Grand Tier, Grand Tier, Dress Circle, Orchestra Terrace, plus more serving the Orchestra and Platinum Circles. Then there’s the whole raft of dressing rooms. Plus, there are so many different kinds of marble:  Carrara marble, white Himalaya marble, French red marble, yellow marble, Spanish Gold, green marble and Galaxy Jade – and don’t forget the pink marble in the men’s room on the exclusive upper, upper balcony. My self-imposed cleaning detail regularly includes men’s rooms that have not been used for decades. But whenever the opera house goes into service again, the restrooms will be ready (Verona handles the women’s side of things).

Then, when you consider some of the other establishments in town, there is the great configuration over at the movie theater where you have ornate fixtures circling around the fluted columns. Over at the Five-Points Highway Diner, the fixtures are individually carved out of granite into likenesses of former city councilmen. Maybe it’s the age of this town, or because of the industrial wealth gleaned from its rich coalmining history, but I don’t remember men’s rooms like these in Burbank.

Looking for a Host who is not Easily Distracted

As I start getting excited about mounting this show, I eagerly anticipate who I will get to host it. You have to be really careful the way you approach the person: “Hi, so-and-so. I’m really into men’s rooms, and I think you’d be ideal to host a documentary that showcases them in their classic essence.” My initial thoughts gravitate toward Hadley Codfaldt. But is someone with half a BILLION listeners going to want to put himself out there on a show about historically significant men’s rooms fixtures, no matter how tastefully done? How about Jonas Cider? I could get him off my back about co-hosting Anthracite Tonite while using the documentary as a nifty audition. But no, that would only play into his ego. Face it, the man is impossible to work with. That leaves only one remaining option: me.

I have to be very careful about pitching this to Noreen. I have to work up to it. If I hit her with doing a documentary about the men’s rooms of Silt Ridge, she will shut me down before I get a good head of steam. Hey, maybe I could do a joint partnership with Mayor Perry Quinnion. He is always hawking those inspirational posters. Maybe we could work up a poster featuring a montage of the notable men’s rooms in Silt Ridge, and have some uplifting comment that makes people feel good about themselves.

Visions of Syndication Bouncing off the Tiles

Then I really have a thought that blows the doors down: why not make a series of it? Who says we need to stop at Silt Ridge? Yes, Silt Ridge would be a good launching place, and we could open every installment from here, but then we travel throughout the magnificent countryside, showcasing the most historically monumental male-oriented bathroom fixtures on earth. I wonder if that would make a good title – “The Most Historically Monumental Men’s Rooms on Earth.” It does have a nice ring to it, and certainly it says it all. I’m sure that even Noreen will warm up to the project when all the ancillary merch and promo components are thrown in.

Then I start having serious doubts. My second thoughts run rampant. What if she accuses me of being one-sided and ignoring the women’s interests. But I have a comeback: I don’t know anything about the women’s side of things, as I have never before been in a women’s room.

The next thing is a budget. Daddy’s people always want a budget. Well, like everything else, I’ll just let the budget take care of itself.

I wonder how I’m going to pitch this to Noreen. Definitely, I’m going to have to get her on the right day.