Welcome to Big Old Goofy World . . . a place where I can share my thoughts, hopes, and dreams about this rock that we live on and call home.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Complex Commodes

There are basic necessities in every person’s life.  Answering the call of Mother Nature is one of those necessities.  I know that it is a call that I never ignore . . . I always answer.  Yet, I have never given much thought to the ascetics of where I answer that call.  Typically if there is a place where I can relief myself, I am happy.  A simple procedure of taking care of business, a flush, and I am on my way.  I am a happy camper . . . or at least I thought I was.

I recently stumbled upon an article about high tech commodes that are quite popular in Japan and parts of Europe.  These commodes are high tech . . . they are filled with such luxurious amenities as heated seats, sound effects, built-in bidets and lids that raise automatically.  They come with MP3 players . . . . places to plug in you iPod or iPhone . . . button galore.  Suddenly taking a break in the library of the house has turned into a high tech adventure.

Now, I am of the generation that did not have to use an outhouse to take care of business when Mother Nature called . . . I avoided the duplicity of the Sears and Roebuck catalog in which one could read before finishing up business with the pages just read . . . I avoided the use of corn cobs as a replacement for the Sears and Roebuck catalog . . . and, splinters in the rear.  Luckily I grew up in the generation that had access to the porcelain throne with running water and a functioning sewer system . . . the “thunder dome”.  I have always been a “flushable” sort of guy.  It seems that the next generation of toilets comes with an instruction manual . . . I am not sure that I am ready for that.  Heck, I just learned to master the stereo system in my car!

According to the article I read, nearly all the toilets in Japan are high tech.  The lid automatically lifts when a person enters the room . . . it has sound effects (I am not sure if thunder is one of them, but I read that applause is one of the sound effects . . . just what I need . . . applause when I have a successful bowel movement!) . . . it will play music . . . it warms up so that the buns do not get cold . . . even comes with a remote control.  Shoot, I have not even figured out how to use the remote control for my television and now there is a remote for the toilet! And, the greatest feature of these new high tech toilets is that they are environmentally kind . . . they can be adapted to be paper-free . . . they come with a bidet.

Aw . . . the bidet!  We westerners . . . us Americans . . . are not accustomed to the bidet.  A bidet is a reverse spray that sprays once a person is done with the bathroom duty . . . . sprays the rear end.  Not just any bidet, but bidets that can provide a variety of sprays to clean the rear.  You decide, oscillating or pulsating . . . whatever gets you through the night . . . is available.  Just punch it in on the remote.  Heck, I am still trying to figure out how to turn on the darn remote!  Personally, I am not sure I am ready for anything to squirt my butt . . . oscillating or pulsating . . . seems a little obscene to me.

I affectionately refer to the bathroom in our house as the “library”.  I have found the bathroom to be one of the few places in the house where one can find solitarity.  It is the place where I can escape, be away from everyone else, and enjoy the time I have alone . . . an introvert’s dream.  In the “library” I have the opportunity to read . . . contemplate . . . dream . . . and, take a dump.  Now, I could get into a heated seat . . . especially in the winter when the temperature outside is a negative thirty in Montana . . . everyone appreciates warm buns.  With a high tech toilet I could add music to the mix . . . probably Internet access . . . shoot!  I probably would never come out of the house library if I had options like that.

Of course, the people selling these high tech commodes claim that this toilet will improve people’s lives . . . make it easier.  They even claim that in the future the toilets will be able to give advice about diet and exercise.  Just what I need . . . another wife! 
The rumor is that these toilets are slowly making their way into the United States.  They are beginning to show up more and more in states like California . . . the hippy, liberal, communistic state . . . especially around Hollywood.  They are gaining in popularity.  Especially as they become more complicated.  They say that the toilets in Japan can perform urinalysis from the deposits made . . . report them to a person’s personal computer . . . and, get the ball rolling towards a healthier life.  If they could do the annual income tax forms . . . well, I might consider it.  Especially if they could put Turbo Tax out of business.

Now, I have to admit . . . I like what technology has to offer; but, at the same time, I am not sure that I am ready for technology to completely step into my life and regulate my answers to the call of nature.  I am not too sure I want to have my deposit analyzed.  My buns have gotten used to the cold seat.  I do not need sound effects . . . I produce plenty of my own.  I do not need music to sooth my soul . . . especially since I have not figured out whether or not it is to mask sounds made in the “thunder dome” or to relax people as they take care of business.  And, lastly . . . why in the world would I want another remote control in my life!

So, I am going to pass on the high tech toilet . . . as fascinating at it might be.  I think that I have it pretty good with what I have . . . solitude . . . plenty of reading material . . . and, a seat that fits my equipment.  As nice as it is that I could listen to music that I have chosen to take care of business . . . I make plenty of music while I am taking care of business,  The porcelain throne that occupies the homestead bathroom is good enough for me . . . . it beats the Sears and Roebuck catalog . . . beats corn cobs.  I don’t need a spray or squirt of water at the end of the deed.  To be honest, I am pretty happy with my present arrangement as antiquated as it might be.  It gets the job done.

I appreciate the hard work that others are doing to make my life easier . . . even when it comes to taking a dump.  Yet, at the same time, I am not too sure I am ready to step . . . or should I say, sit down to . . . a high tech toilet.  Shoot!  I just learned how to hang toilet paper correctly!  Plus, I do not need another remote control in my life!

To answer the question of the article: Are you ready for the toilet of the future?  My answer is . . . “NO!”  At my age I do not need people messing up one of the few bodily functions I appreciate.  I do not need a toilet telling my current health conditions.  I do not need music to get the job done.  I do not need sound effects.  I do not need a warm seat . . . or a toilet that lights up when I enter the room.  I need none of this high tech stuff to get the job done.  Until the federal government mandates high tech toilets, I am going to enjoy the freedom I know . . . . besides, my body really does not care where I get rid of the bodily waste . . . it only wants me to get rid of it.  Besides, I have a wife that will tell me everything I need to know.     

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