￼My husband is 6 feet 3 inches tall. Most Ticos are short, which is why we bought a certain American Standard toilet. It is called The Elderly Cadet and is a couple inches taller than your average toilet.
I was appalled by the name and almost refused to buy it. I feel about it the way I feel about certain candy bars I refuse to buy because of their names. I don’t want to say to the store clerk, for example: “I’d like a Big Daddy, please.” I just can’t bring myself to do it. And these days it seems a person might get into bit of trouble, depending on the inclinations of the clerk.
In my youth I stuck to Hershey chocolate bars or Hershey with almonds or Fire Stix (those lovely hot cinnamon hard candies with plastic wrap that invariably failed to come off, allowing the purchaser to eat that too). When feeling adventurous I’d have a Mounds or an Almond Joy, (because sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes you don’t). I realize that my world was made all that much smaller by not trying the others but I maintained my dignity.
Now I find myself doing my daily business on something called The Elderly Cadet.
Let us reflect upon the meaning here for a moment, (as I have done while sitting on this throne of ours). The word cadet means, according to my American Oxford: 1) a young trainee in the armed services or police force, or 2) archaic. A younger son or daughter.
We all know what elderly means and some of us are becoming uncomfortably familiar with not only its definition but how it feels on a cellular level.
So here is my question: what exactly is an elderly cadet? Does this imply that we are getting a bit old to call ourselves cadets any longer, or–– what I think it means–– that we are cadets in the ever-growing army of ancients. Recruits, if you will. Not exactly old yet, but still not wanting to bend the knees quite that far to reach the seat.
However, cadet also stems from early 17th Century French and specifically from Gascon dialect capdet, a diminutive based on Latin caput–– ‘head.’ The notion “little head” or “inferior head” gave rise to that of [younger, junior.]
So maybe this is simply humor from a toilet designer at American Standard, and we actually have a toilet called The Elderly Head. If so, the person who named it probably used to have a job naming candy bars. The ones I refused to buy!