What does a call of nature - the long kind - mean to you? Unlike most instances here in Kenya, where a call of nature is a hurried inconvenience to be dispensed with quickly, in the West, this is almost a spiritual moment.
That explains why the ‘small room’ is meticulously designed to bring about utmost relaxation.
Many world-changing ideas have been formulated in the solitude of the toilet. It also explains why some people stack books and magazines in their rest rooms - the atmosphere is just right for intellectual meditation.
Have you ever imagined how a president or any other VIP looks like when dumping? These are individuals who carry the weight of the world on their shoulders. It therefore goes without saying that their toilet moments could be just about the only time they are alone, without the encumbrances of aides and hangers-on.
At least in the solace, they get to meditate on serious issues like world peace and global warming.
Italian digital artist Christina Guggeri caused a stir in art circles worldwide with her images aimed at ‘humanising’ world leaders by portraying them doing their thing in the small room.
In a series dubbed The Daily Duty, Guggeri depicts US President Barack Obama, Queen Elizabeth II, Russia’s Vladimir Putin, Italy’s Silvio Berlusconi, Pope Francis and His Holiness the Dalai Lama in the loo with their pants down.
The Pope appears pretty glum while ‘downloading’ earthly duties, while Putin is pensive in his checked ngotha inside a brick walled toilet. Obama only lacks a cancer stick to complete the dignified pose.
The Queen of England sits with some regal bearing on her other ‘throne’ beneath a chandelier, stockings and lacy white knickers exposing her knees. Dalai Lama has what suspiciously looks like maroon Y-fronts that match his cassock.
He strikes a thoughtful pose, as mulling over the possibility of China making peace with Tibet.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel is in a red dress in a matching red bathroom and red ‘Mother’s Union’ panties.
The series is intended to bring world leaders ‘down to earth’ and show that beyond dealing with global problems, they have a ‘daily duty’ just like the rest of us.
From around the world, Guggeri received a torrent of both condemnation and praise, ranging from ‘disrespectful,’ ‘unnecessary,’ ‘just plain wrong,’ to ‘awesome’ and ‘hilarious.’