The Pittsburgh Potty   by Janice Tindle

I was watching one of those real estate TV shows, when I first heard the term mentioned. The real estate agent took the couple down to the basement and there it was, just sitting there, in the corner, all alone. “And here you have, the Pittsburgh potty!” she said amusingly. “Where’s the rest of the bathroom?” the couple asked. “There isn’t one,” she replied, “but you can add one.” “Why is it called, the Pittsburgh potty?” they asked, staring at the lone toilet in wonderment. “Because, most of the houses in Pittsburgh were built with a toilet in the basement.” I laughed as I watched the three of them just standing there, looking at it like they had never seen a toilet until that moment. 

I grew up in Pittsburgh. It’s true, every house on my street had a toilet in the basement, but I had no idea it had the distinction of being dubbed as a city original. It was simply there. A normal part of my childhood. My grandparents put a curtain around theirs. My great-uncle made a stall, and my dad and uncle made a cement block shower and added a sink and walls. A full bathroom in the basement. La de da. They used it when they were doing laundry, had been working outside, or had to clean up from some dirty job. My grandfather had a pool table in the basement, so his buddies used it when they shot pool. As children, it was the only potty we used in each other’s houses, because we were outside playing most of the time. Of course, when we got older, we were allowed in the upstairs bathrooms of our friends. A whole new world of refinement!
When I married, we lived in many places before we bought a house. I noticed right away that there was no toilet in the basement. I regret we didn’t put one in first thing. It would have come in handy when working outside, doing laundry and a shower would have been great for cleaning up after messy jobs. But alas, we have no Pittsburgh potty! And we are the poorer for it, for the Pittsburgh potty is not only a piece of Pittsburgh engineering brilliance, it is a practical way to keep your house clean. Another little gem that makes this such a livable city! The Pittsburgh Potty. Gotta have one.   


NOTICE: NOTHING, and I mean NOTHING, from my website may be use without a request in writing to me. Permission, if granted, will be done in writing. Failure to do so will result in possible prosecution. I am the sole owner of my words and at point of publication on this site it is copyrighted as mine. - copyright 2012 Janice Tindle In 2010, I suffered a traumatic brain injury and other injuries when hit by an under insured driver. It changed my life. I now live with Dystonia, a rare and painful neurologal disorder that causes involuntary muscle spasms and abnormal posturing. There is no treatment or cure. The best one can do is treat the symptoms. You can learn more at I try to write about people and things that help and inspire my readers. You can find more of my story by going to I am also on Facebook, where I have five pages, Pain Brain -Anti- Inflammatory Foods, Brain Tears, The Positive Posters Page, Traumatic Brain Injury Resources Page, Janice Tindle- Writer. I am also on Twitter and LinkedIn. Simply Google my name and my published articles should appear. I've been published in Fearless Caregiver, Today's Caregiver, TBI Hope and Inspiration Magazine, The, and several other publications. I am currently a caregiver for my dear mother. My hope is to someday finish my books, "Get Back Up!" and "Galicia's Granite" during my mother's lifetime. Your interest in my care, recovery and writing is greatly appreciated. Thank you. Comments are welcome.
This entry was posted in essay, family, human interest, humor, people, self, short story, tindle and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s