True stories with a twist!

It’s a delicate subject so discretion, please .

The subject is the bathrooms in public rest rooms.

Let’s start with the toilet seat covers. The ones in a plastic box of covers attached to the wall over the toilet. It says, in clear English,  “pull up and then down.”

Uh Huh.

So I pull up and then down, and find a tissue looking object the shape of a toilet seat in my hand. It is transparent and has some scoring around the inside. The shape is a toilet seat on the outside with a smaller toilet seat shape inside.

Now what? Am I supposed to tear the areas of scoring to get an opening in the middle, or put the entire piece directly on top of the toilet seat, scored areas intact?

Was the inventor of this accessory going for the “clear sailing method”, with nothing but air between the seat and the person using it? Or did he plan for the person to simply pee through the tissue as it lay in tact on the seat?

While the world is busy with its rioting, losing homes and losing jobs, these are the kinds of dilemmas that concern me.

And while we’re in the toilet, what about the automatic flush? It must be on hormones or steroids. Here’s what typically happens.

I walk into the Ladies Room, close the stall door, put my handbag on the hook, and hear something flushing. I have not even looked in the direction of the toilet; my back was facing it as I dealt with the handbag hook.

So I inch forward and approach the flushing thing, when it does it again. Another flush.

When the time arrives for actually needing the toilet to flush it does so on schedule. Then as I reach for my bag and prepare to leave, it flushes a final farewell.

Four flushes, only three necessary.  At least three times the amount of water wasted.

Then off to the sink, fitted with an automated spout. As I push down the soap dispenser the obliging water spout greets me with a cascade of water. I rinse my hands and reach for a paper towel. My hands are dry: the water is still running in the sink.

The amount of water wasted in this one visit, multiplied by the number of women visiting the rest room in a single day would be enough to make the Sahara bloom and rebloom.

So I am mounting an appeal to conservationists everywhere. Please help me stop the water wasting. You may assume that clean water is readily available to people everywhere in the world. But this is not so.

I sponsor a child in Kenya through SHAREAFRICA.ORG. Winnie is a ten year old AIDS orphan. She sent me a letter recently describing her chores. They include mopping the floors and fetching water. Winnie walks to a stream and fills and carries heavy buckets of water back to the school several times a day. I shudder to think about the contaminated water those children are forced to drink.

Yet we squander this precious resource with our modern conveniences.


Comments on: "Water, Water Everywhere" (24)

  1. Audubon Ron said:

    Where I grew up in the Grapes of Wrath south, we didn’t have running water. That means, we had a pot to p**s in and a front door to throw it out of. The septic tank was actually a short legged creature that went “oink”. The issue of the day, for my great aunt at least, was whether her butt would create a suction on the rim of the pot and would she be able to roll over to one side and crack the suction seal. I know, huh?

    Solution: Replace toilets with pots in restrooms and see if the water bill doesn’t get better. Otherwise, move to a place where it rains a lot, like where I live – in the grapes of wrath south.

  2. You probably don’t want to come to our house. My kids go through water like it was water or something.

  3. Anonymous said:

    Have you ever seen the plastic seat covers that move around when you flush the toilet? I always wonder if it just goes around and around.

    • I have seen those and wondered the same thing. Perhaps when the plastic gets all the way around it is discarded and a new one automatically put in its place? Or maybe there’s a little critter in there trained to change the plastic covers each time they’re used.


  4. Ahh you hit upon one of my peeves, the wasting of water. Your sponsored child in Africa knows the preciousness of her bucketful, while we in the “modern world”, sadly, are fairly clueless. I like the idea of the floor pedal flush – but how about this? One pedal for half a flush (all we usually need) and one for the full flush (you get the picture.) thanks for the post Ronnie!

    • I nominate you as President of the Council for Public Bathroom Renovations of the United States. It’s a brand new council that I just invented for the good of your fellow citizens.


    • Jerry Warshaw said:

      Beautifully done – I particularly like the line, “it flushes a final farewell”. Abraham Lincoln could have used that line to Horace Greeley instead of, “I wish you an affectionate farewell”.

  5. jakesprinter said:

    Great Writing you got the point 🙂

  6. You bring up one of my pet peeves – the utter wasting of potable water in public restrooms! And those automatic fixtures – yikes! Who dreamed these up, I wonder? They waste more than they save, as often as they break.
    Then there are the ear-splitting hand dryers that blow the skin off my skeleton when subjected to them.
    What a world! (think Wizard of Oz, as the witch was shrinking, melting!) …

  7. I like the idea of a floor pedal. I find half the time the automatic flush does not work at all.

  8. A funny post with a great message. All these automated bathroom fixtures are such a waste of resources. I’m all for hygiene and not touching anything in a public bathroom that I don’t have to touch, but the amount of water wasted is shameful. Not to mention that some of those autoflush toilets are so strong I’m afraid I’m going to be sucked down the drain.

  9. I’ve had that same water-wasting thought as our toilets at work are automatic flush. The worst is when ours flush while someone is seated. The flush is mighty and your posterior is now wet! One more thing about hanging your purse. Don’t hang it on the hook on the door. Thieves reach over the door and steal purses.

  10. The beginning of this made me smile but then I just had to agree with you. I have tried to pull taps up once I’ve used them but they won’t move.

    Thank you for your comment on Julia’s Place about nurturing that bulb. Will do Miss!

  11. beans8604 said:

    I was thinking of this the other day in the ladies room, I understand the want to be sanitary but how bout foot pedals to flush the toilet? That way only the bottom of the shoe is the only thing touching it and you dont waste water.

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