...but it’s not just any toilet, mind you—meet the man who scored the winning bid on the Leafs’ former dressing-room throne.
He’s either the most devoted member of Leafs Nation, or just a guy with a lot of extra cash and a great sense of humour. After he paid $5,300 for the Buds’ old Maple Leaf Gardens dressing-room toilet—the most bid-upon item from Frozen Pond’s recent memorabilia auction—The Grid spoke to 55-year-old Barrie lawyer Jim Vigmond (pictured below) about his plans for the porcelain prize.
How did you first hear about the auction and why did you decide to bid on the toilet?
I think I first heard about the auction on The FAN 590. The first thing that I looked at was the 1967 Stanley Cup Banner. Then I saw some other interesting things, and I actually was successful in getting three items.
What are you going to do with this $5,000 toilet?
Well, that depends on who wins: my wife Sharon or I. Sharon suggested that it be buried in the backyard. But I’ve got a better place for it. I’ve got sort of a combination cigar-smoking/sport- memorabilia room. I might put it in there with The Gardens’ washroom directional sign [another prize up for auction]. I’ve got to make certain that some of my drunken friends that come in there know that it’s not hooked up to plumbing.
Do you think you’ll have it elevated as like a shrine to the Leafs? Do you have a vision for it yet?
I don’t have a vision, but I like your idea about it being elevated—I hadn’t thought of that.
I’m just picturing this worshiping room with a porcelain throne.
Yes, a porcelain throne. The other Leafs thing I’ve got in there is a signed jersey of Luke Schenn, which may go up in value, given his recent departure, and a signed Phil Kessel stick. But I really don’t have very much yet, so this is a great start.
Is it just those three items that you bid on?
Four things: those and the banner. The banner went for $34,000, and I stopped at $30,000.
So you had a limit set when you started this?
I had a wife-imposed limit.
What did she say was the most you could spend on the toilet?
She didn’t give me a limit on the toilet; she just said I was effing crazy and, similarly, she wasn’t very pleased that I went as high as I did on the banner. But I thought it was underpriced by a long-shot; I thought it would have gone into six figures.
How much did you spent in total on your prizes from the auction?
I think I spent about $8,000.
I guess that means the toilet was the most expensive item?
It was. I had set a limit of $5,000, but it was a soft limit. My son’s an ardent Leafs fan; he and I really bleed blue-and-white. My son has the Maple Leafs logo tattooed on his back. He said to me, “Dad, just think of all the stories on that toilet.”
Why do you find the toilet so interesting?
How many people have a toilet as a piece of memorabilia of something? It’s got to be a one-in-a-million thing, and I really thought The Gardens was an icon of its time. Anything that can come out of the Leafs dressing room has got nostalgia associated with it.
So, your son approves, and your wife disapproves. What do some of your other friends say about it?
They say I’m crazy—“shit-for-brains.” There doesn’t appear to be much support for my sanity. But I always like to have fun, and I think it’s going to start lots of conversations. It was probably a crazy thing to do, but I enjoyed talking to people about it and being the brunt of everybody’s jokes. And who knows, down the road, maybe it will be worth a million bucks.
It’s true: Everyone wants to know “that guy” who bought the Leafs toilet.
I saw sports writers tweeting about it, wanting to know the idiot who paid $5,300 bucks for a toilet, and I’m that idiot.
But soon you can set it all up, and have your room decorated.
That’s right. I’ve never looked forward so much to seeing a toilet in my life.
Is any part of you considering sitting on the toilet, just because of how many famous bare bums have been on there?
Absolutely. It’s going to be the first thing I do.
Are you going to sit on it while you smoke a cigar?
Now there’s an idea. I’m going to go into my room, open a bottle of 30-year-old single-malt in a glass with an ice cube. Get a Cuban cigar out, and hopefully, watch a Leaf game.
Pants, or no pants?
That’s only for me to know.
Has the toilet, or the other memorabilia helped to take your mind off of the NHL lockout?
No, it’s making it worse. It was a nice diversion for a bit, but now it’s time for us to get back to watching hockey.
The toilet’s last owner had it for 10 years before auctioning it off, again. What future do you foresee for yourself and the toilet?
This toilet will remain a member of the Vigmond family indefinitely.