These Americans are crazy – Part I. This blog goes to the toilet.

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.

13 thoughts on “These Americans are crazy – Part I. This blog goes to the toilet.

  1. I can vouch for the Japanese toilets, they are good, warm water, deos,warm seat you name it.

    By the way while US can wait for water cleaning, when is it going to talk in kilometers and litres and centigrades like any decent civilization.


  2. I think the Japanese used to wash their bums in the same way as Indians. Their current cultural confusion means that they have found a compromise which is water gushing to their bums. But I don’t think a jet of water can do it right either especially in some situations.

    Life in the US is not so great. I hope more people realise that.

  3. Interesting post, i had been about this “washing the bum” way of life thing. Indeed it is the cold climate which is the reason for many differences between westerners and us. Since water is going to become scarce i believe its better Indians also turn to paper gradually.

  4. You operate the hot and cold taps in the loo and kitchen, and pretty soon you feel like you are operating a boiler room! I hate it.

  5. Reg the shower, don’t turn the water off while soaping. Simply turn the shower head toward the wall or step back and away from the water jet.

  6. I notice this is merely part I.
    In part II you should touch upon the preponderance of carpets in residential toilets.

    I have one insight into why Americans have not revamped their “dry” toiletry technology: a lack of spicy food.
    With a more regular outtake of the kilos of chili powder in Indian food, I think one might have a larger appreciation of the more liquid technologies that abound in the eastern and spicier countries.

  7. Hi Ravikiran
    If you feel insufficiently clean, you can buy the baby wipes. They are pre-moistened and extremely soft. They work work really well too – I used them a lot on my son when he was a baby.

    The only drawback is that you cannot flush them. This I think is the issue here.

  8. i guess there are some higher arenas of discussion on thsi world than the perfect way of cleaning the bums!!!
    i cannot believe an individual has so much time as to explore this…
    trust me if u continue doing so, you’ll be halfway thru ur life, stuck in lesser plains of development!!!
    just a suggestion.
    u surely present ur work beautifully, good writing skills, but try using ur skills on some other topics…

  9. Hey– redirected from my bro’s blog. If you’ve seen the woodwards gripe water ad from 90’s, you’ll probably understand why I find Michael’s comment funny. And, by commenting so late, I hope I haven’t made something that was dry, green (as goes the tam saying).

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