An apprentice of Thomas Crapper, inventor of the commode, writes to his wife.
February 14, 1910
I take pen in hand to give you some sad news about my dear mentor and employer, Thomas Crapper, a fine gentleman if ever there was one. I’m sad to say that he has departed this world and is now, I’m sure, taking care of the plumbing in heaven as he did so well here on Earth. My heart goes out to his family who, thanks to his genius and hard work, will be spared the specter of poverty that we have seen befall so many widows and children in our dear old Ireland. In the kindness of his charitable heart, Mr. Crapper has left me five pounds and six of his new, patented Crapper "Waterfall" units which I will soon have shipped home to you. The remaining four units in stock have been left to Jimmy Conroy, that blackguard who spent most of his working hours trying to undermine me and ingratiate himself with that fine man. Conroy will never get over the fact I sold 14 more units than he did last year. Ha!
I expect to be coming home soon and, needless to say, I can hardly wait to be with you and the children again. I can’t believe it’s been two years since I left home to apprentice with Mr. Crapper. Although the sacrifice of being parted from you and the children has been difficult to be sure, it has been worth it, for now I can set up my own plumbing business in Ireland. I am also pleased to tell you that the company has granted me exclusive sales territory in County Cork.. Mary, I know what you’re thinking. Why would I want to sell in Cork when we live in Limerick? I thought of that and it occurred to me that the Cork people have a lot more money than them in Limerick. And we know that the Cork people are a lot snootier than them in Limerick. Therefore, they’re more likely to buy Waterfall units. Salesmen here have a little joke that we like to enjoy sometimes over a pint at the local pub. They say a good Crapper salesman is always flush with cash. Ha Ha. The poor devils in Limerick will be just as happy with fields, outhouses and chamberpots as they are now.
As I think about the good fortune of my association with Mr. Crapper, I realize how lucky I was to have learned from this great man. He was not just a genius and inventor but he was my good friend, as well. I will be proud many years from now to tell our grandchildren that I knew and worked with him. Some people are now calling his Waterfall unit a "commode" but, whatever it is called, no one shall ever forget its inventor. His great work and invention will guarantee that the name Crapper shall not be forgotten.
Please clean out the closet in the hall downstairs and give it a touch of paint before I come home in two weeks. I plan to install a Waterfall unit in there for our use. I can’t wait to see the Muldoons’ faces when they find out we have a Crapper in the house itself. They’ll be green with envy and, if they ask, I won’t sell them one. And Mary, I know you have a soft heart but don’t be letting any of them use it.
Word Count: 580