Japanese Toilets, American Style

About ten years ago on a trip to Japan, I was introduced to their famous high-tech toilets, or more precisely, their toilet seats.  When you sit down, you notice a control panel at your side complex enough to land a 747 in a hurricane.  It is all to control the several bidet-type functions, but they are labeled in Japanese.  Experimenting with the buttons produced several surprises. Woo-Hoo!

These toilet seats are available here but can cost $600 and are complex to hook up to both the plumbing and electricity.  They have several delicate parts that look easily breakable, and then what?  I passed on any thoughts of getting one.  Until recently.

Amazon had a simple device for only $38 that was worth a try (Luxe Bidet MB110).  It attaches under the existing seat by the seat bolts and only needs to be hooked up to the toilet’s water supply with a simple T-connector that almost anyone could do themselves.   It had just one control for the force of the water: off, low, medium, and hold-onto-the-seat, Maud.  The 130 enthusiastic user comments were very helpful and their rating averaged a top five stars.   This is all you need, they said.  The water did not have to be preheated as with the Japanese models.  Many said the water, usually at room temperature from standing in the pipes, was not unpleasantly cold and was actually refreshing .  (My water is unpleasantly cold, but it does wake me up on a winter morning.) Neither was there any need for complex mechanics to precisely position the water stream.  Human anatomy in that region is pretty much the same and a slight shift of position will easily accommodate different people.  I hit the bull’s eye on the very first try.

All of the comments said how much cleaner they felt.  But the real clincher was a comment by one user who asked how would you clean up dog poop on your driveway?  Get a bunch of newspaper and smear it around, or wash it away with a hose?

One aspect I had to get used to:  It leaves you soaking wet in that area and you still need toilet paper to blot it up.  I was not used to reaching behind me and coming back with a wet hand.  I had to remind myself that it was clean water, just like drying off after a shower.

But the main reason I got it was that almost all of us will someday–and that day could come soon at our age–need someone to wipe our butts.  With a little luck, this device could postpone or even eliminate that demeaning day.  Also, I can walk down the street and feel smugly superior to almost everyone I pass.  I know I shine where the sun don’t shine . . . and I bet you don’t.  Squeak, squeak.  (That’s me walking.  I’m so clean, I squeak.)


About Roger Walck

My reasons for writing this blog are spelled out in the posting of 10/1/2012, Montaigne's Essays. They are probably not what you think.
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