Toilet Power


November 9, 2017 by John Crapper

You used to walk a ways to use a toilet but these days toilets have come a long way.

Outhouse near Miller's Bakery

The outhouse  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There was a time, not that long ago, when doing your business meant taking a short walk to visit the outhouse. You opened the door, sat down and did your business. A very simple procedure and a very environmentally friendly process.

Now, in this country anyway, most of us have the benefits of progress. High tech evacuation has arrived.  Today we enter a well-lit public restroom and sit down on a shiny porcelain toilet. More often than not as we get up to leave an electric magic eye senses our movement and triggers an electric flush. When the eye malfunctions we are left pondering what to do to instigate the desired evacuation of the evidence.

Japan has taken the electric toilet to new luxurious heights. The Japanese are sticklers for cleanliness. Sixty years ago it was a country of pit latrines. Now “Japan makes the most advanced, remarkable toilets in the world.

Rose George in The BIG Necessity describes these toilets.

Japanese toilets can check your blood pressure, play music, wash and dry your anus and “front parts” by means of an in-toilet nozzle that sprays water and warm air, suck smell ions from the air, switch on a light for you as you stumble into the bathroom at night, put the seat lid down for you (a function known as the “marriage-saver”), and flush away your excreta without requiring anything as old-fashioned as a tank.

Operating controls on a modern Japanese toilet...

Operating controls on a modern Japanese toilet, labelled in Japanese, English and braille. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A cleansing jet of water designed to cleanse t...

A cleansing jet of water designed to cleanse the anus of the user of this bidet-style toilet (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A man urinating at the urinal will also have the electric magic eye monitoring his progress ready to whisk away the evidence as soon as he steps away. It has been my experience that the magic eye fails to function about 20 to 30 percent of the time. And these babies are relatively new devices. What happens in a few years down the road?

Modern Japanese urinal

Modern Japanese urinal


A high-end wireless toilet control panel with ...

A high-end wireless toilet control panel with 38 buttons and liquid crystal display. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

After the conclusion of our business we walk to the row of sinks to wash our hands. We usually put our hands under an electric soap dispenser which doles out the soap in a measured burst. It is never enough so you repeat the electric burst several times to get a sufficient amount. Then you put your hands under the electric faucet which senses your hand movement and, hopefully, turns on the water. It never stays on continuously so you are required to wave your hands repeatedly to re-trigger the electric switch to restart the flow.

I can’t imagine what one of these toilets must be like in the case of an extended power outage. It does not conjure up a pretty sight.

Why is it that in an age when we are encouraged to unscrew our incandescent light bulbs and replace them with LED ones we are experiencing these recently remodeled electric toilet facilities more and more? It seems pretty ass-backward to me.

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