I am sorry that I have to report that there has been no change in the deplorable state of America’s showers since I reported the problem more than a year back. It has been a daily ordeal for me to get into the shower, direct the water towards the bathtub, start the hot and cold taps, adjust both so that the water is neither scalding hot nor freezing cold and then direct the stream towards the shower. No man ought to be subject to such indignity, especially before he has had his coffee.
On the same topic, these days, sitting on my throne, I am struck by the same thoughts that must have occurred to many Indians – why do the Americans use toilet paper instead of washing their bums? The explanations I’ve heard are unsatisfactory. I am afraid that this question has been insufficiently researched because funding for such topics is hard to come by. Nonetheless, I am confident that the answer has to do with the lack of warm water to wash your bum with.
Indians living in a hot and sweaty climate have an insufficient appreciation for how unnecessary a daily bath can be from a purely hygienic point of view in a cold climate. In Somerset Maugham’s “Of Human Bondage”, there is a revealing passage which discusses the problem of which day of the week should be slotted for the protagonist’s bath. Once a week is all they could afford as heating was expensive. Add to that the use of knives and forks for eating, thereby eliminating the need for washing hands and you could probably go for days altogether without having to touch water at all.
The only daily ablution that you are under irresistable pressure to perform is crapping, and unless you have warm flowing water, chances are that you’d rather wipe your bum with paper than risk exposing it to freezing water.
Of course those days have passed now, and though the Americans complain a lot about energy costs, it is unlikely that they are going to face a shortage of warm flowing water to wash their bums with any time soon. Given this fact, it is inexplicable why they persist in using outmoded technology for their washroom needs. I am not suggesting that they adopt the Indian practice of splashing water from a mug and wiping the bum with the hand (only the left hand, I must point out.) They can leapfrog to a more advanced technology and use running water. For example, back home, I have a tap by my seat which I just have to turn, and I feel a strong jet of water that does my work for me. Ever since I discovered that tap, I’d never had to bring my paws anywhere close my nether regions till I visited the states. I wish the Americans would give up their unproductive adherance to tradition and adopt this innovation.
In fact, before concerning themselves with the Maths and Science gaps that they allegedly have with us and the Chinese, I think that the Americans ought to be really worried about the toilet gap that they have with the Japanese. This link explains in sufficient detail the electronic controls that will warm your seat, squirt water from the back, front and any other desired direction, and will also dry your bum for you.