It’s International Bath Day!
I used to write travel articles — one of my favorites was a story I wrote about European bathrooms — and oh, the tubs I found in such exotic places as the shared bath in my pension in Paris near the Boulevard St. Germain . . .
Or the bath with the century-old pipes and no heat in Passau, Germany . . .
And the most fabulous bath I’ve ever seen in my hotel in Venice, Italy! The shower was a waterfall coming down from the ceiling. Bellisimo!
I promised you an English lord in a bath, too, so here is Captain Lord Jack Blackthorn:
TITANIC and the Loo
Today April 10, 1912, the Titanic set sail from Southampton, England with a handsome gentleman gambler aboard. Here we meet Captain Lord Jack Blackthorn:
A funny thing happened to my heroine, Katie O’Reilly, on the way to the loo when she boarded the Titanic. She couldn’t believe what she saw in the stateroom of Captain Lord Blackthorn (Jack):
“I’m still waiting for you to remove your clothes,” Jack said, agitated. She was not listening to him, marveling instead at the modern appointments in his elegantly furnished cabin. She seemed especially intrigued by the bathroom with its double sink and commode.
Had the girl never seen an indoor toilet before?
I’m sure you’re wondering why his lordship asked Katie to remove her clothes. I’ll tell you this: it’s part of his plan to hide her from the captain and the ship’s officers during the crossing. Kate is reluctant to do what he asks:
“I’m leaving me homeland to be rid of such frippery and do fine and proper work.” Katie started putting her clothes back on. She wasn’t set on going to America all blushes and roses only to be pushed back into service. “No, me lord, I’ll take me chances with the captain.”
“Then you won’t change your mind?”
“Too bad,” he said with a smug attitude. “The countess’s stateroom has its own private bathroom.”
Her eyes bugged out. “You wouldn’t be fooling me?”
What Katie is about to find out is that Titanic’s first class passengers enjoyed such luxuries as an electric heater in their bathroom, linoleum tiles and pure Vinolia Otto toilet soap smelling of lemon and spice. The captain enjoyed his bath with a choice of fresh or seawater, hot or cold.
Third class or steerage had plenty of lavatories, but they didn’t wash much if the number of tubs on board was any indication, as Katie found out:
He shook his head. “I hear there are only two tubs in steerage for seven hundred passengers.
“Two tubs for all them people?”
“Rather cozy, if you ask me.”
“And you call yourself a gentleman?” Katie said. A girl might be convinced to take off her clothes with that kind of talk. That and a private bathroom. “I wouldn’t be surprised if you were like them gents who took advantage of a lady and kissed her full on the mouth.”
He smirked. “The ladies I’ve met have never objected.”
Captain Lord Blackthorn is quite a rogue and finds Katie more than he can handle. Can this plucky Irish lass win the heart of a titled British gentleman?
Or is it just a shipboard romance he’s after? After all, he’s used to a life of privilege and entertaining the most beautiful aristocratic ladies.
Wealth came with its own set of rules and the first passengers played it for all it was worth…will Captain Lord Blackthorn see that his world is coming to an end before it’s too late?
Before he loses Katie?
Check out my Titanic novel, “Titanic Rhapsody,” about a poor Irish girl who escapes the law for a crime she didn’t commit in a grand house in Ireland and becomes a countess aboard the Titanic…
*The Denver Times was the afternoon edition of the Rocky Mountain News, which ceased publishing in 2009.
Titanic Rhapsody from Jina Bacarr on Vimeo.