originally posted November 4, 2011
A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to dine at Harbour 60 Steakhouse, one of Toronto’s premiere steakhouses frequented by the Maple Leafs and a barrage of visiting celebrities. That should have been a clue.
Our group was escorted to the Louis XIII Room, a grand, elaborately paneled private dining room with 16 mammoth baroque-style chairs situated around a 20’ table, An ornate fireplace nearly covered one end of the room and appeared to be about 8’ high. Numerous clues.
The waiters float in and surround the group, suggesting the irresistible Seafood Towers for appetizers and we blindly ordered 3 of them. They did live up to the hype. Crab legs the size of my forearm, oysters shells you could serve coffee in and prawns resembling several toddlers I know. Amazing . . . and laden with further clues.
The menus arrive. I hear my husband whisper to himself, “This is crazy,” but he sounds exactly like Frank the Tank. It comes out more like “Bwaaa Bwaaaa Craaaazeeeeeeee.” He’s moving in slow motion, probably calculating the assault on his credit card and trying to breathe. I see no signs of a protruding tranquilizer dart so maybe he was swallowing his tongue. Swift kick to his shin with pointy-toed boot. And he’s back in the game.
The menu is fabulous if not a tad pricey. Frankly, $36 for a 6-piece shrimp cocktail appetizer should come with a pedicure and a Starbucks gift card. I noticed that the glorious Seafood Tower was market priced so I knew we’d just spent the equivalent of my niece’s first year of college on fish bait. I quickly glanced thru the other market specials like Beluga Caviar, Lobster, and Oysters Rockefeller and moved right on to the “From the Broiler” section. A wonderful selection of cuts ranging from $49 for the smallest filet to $115 for the Double Porterhouse, and if you’re really adventurous, you could have the Kobe beef . . . . again at Market Price. I settled on the $57 Porterhouse and it was divine and huge but surprisingly didn’t come with the gift bag I’d expected
It really was a wonderful meal. But it would soon pale in comparison . . .
As the festivities started to wind down, I said my good-byes and stopped by the washroom before heading home. I raced into the stall and plopped my big rear down without thinking. And then it happened. The seat very gently warmed up just a tad when my tush hit the target. Without warning the soft sound of rushing water fades in. I thought I was alone. My head jerks up and down making sure no one’s peaking over or under the stall. I bend over as best I can without breaking contact with the warm comfort of my new friend, checking for feet under the adjacent stalls. And then I see this on the wall next to me:
I had come face to face with the big brain of the Neorest 600 by Toto. That rushing water was meant to help me get over stage fright so I could git ‘r dun.
This was just ripe with opportunity so I had to experiment. There was no operating manual handy so I jumped in blindly. I hit the “rear cleansing” button and nearly ejected when warm . . . yes, I said warm . . . . water sprayed my tender backside. Once I adjusted to the sensation I switched to the pulsating mode but I felt myself dodging the assault like I would a barrage of paintballs. I’m going to assume that’s enough said on that topic.
I tried the “rear cleansing – soft” option but I found it infinitely less satisfying than it’s full-force counterpart.
I was hesitant to try the “front cleansing”, fearing I’d need a beer and a cigarette when all was said and done, but there was no turning back. I actually found the oscillating mode significantly less aggressive than I’d anticipated and quite refreshing. So, I stopped there, concluding that the “pulsating” mode should be reserved for private in-home use.
Now I was staring down the “dryer” button. I was a little apprehensive. I’ve been thru the drive-thru car washes and those automated dryers could peel the skin off a camel. I wasn’t sure that was even safe on one’s tender puff pastries. But I’d come too far. I hit the button and held my breath and . . . . whoooooosh . . . a balmy breeze encircled my soggy bottom! I was so pleasantly surprised I actually looked below to see who was blowing on my fanny! And half expected to feel a soft powder puff applying talcum powder to my offending areas.
Now that I’d mastered the thing, I played with the temperature settings. I could adjust the water temperature to my liking so as not to subject my bum to the chafing effects of extreme temperatures. I further discovered that the dryer pumped out a bit of deodorizer to mask those hideous bad potties we girls never do.
I headed home that night a toilet snob. I had walked into that restaurant thinking a $115 steak or a $300 seafood tower was a luxury. I walked out knowing the truth. The Neorest 600 is the greatest technological breakthrough since the Ipod, far surpassing the innovation of the WII and making the Ipad look like a child’s toy, buried and forsaken aside the etch-a-sketch and clackers at the bottom of the toy box.
Lately I find myself walking past the Harbour 60 Steakhouse a lot, sometimes going blocks out of my way. The doorman is on to me. A full block away, he steps out onto the Portico in his dark suit and sunglasses, hands crossed in front of him, legs slightly splayed. I look longingly toward the door and he responds with a smug half grin and a tip of his head that says he’s recently enjoyed the exhilarating Oscillating Rear Cleanse with deodorizing blow dry. He maintains his position until I’m well out of sight.