Europe Revised By Irvin S. Cobb

 -   It is as though you set an interior decorator to
run a livery stable and expected him to make it - Page 40
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It Is As Though You Set An Interior Decorator To Run A Livery Stable And Expected Him To Make It Attractive.

He may have the talents, but he is lacking in the raw material.

It was in a London apartment house, out Maida Vale way, that I first beheld the official bathtub of an English family establishment. It was one of those bathtubs that flourished in our own land at about the time of the Green-back craze - a coffin-shaped, boxed-in affair lined with zinc; and the zinc was suffering from tetter or other serious skin trouble and was peeling badly. There was a current superstition about the place to the effect that the bathroom and the water supply might on occasion be heated with a device known in the vernacular as a geezer.

The geezer was a sheet-iron contraption in the shape of a pocket inkstand, and it stood on a perch in the corner, like a Russian icon, with a small blue flame flickering beneath it. It looked as though its sire might have been a snare-drum and its dam a dark lantern, and that it got its looks from its father and its heating powers from the mother's side of the family. And the plumbing fixtures were of the type that passed out of general use on the American side of the water with the Rutherford B. Hayes administration. I was given to understand that this was a fair sample of the average residential London bathroom - though the newer apartment houses that are going up have better ones, they told me.

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