THE SUPER BOWLPosted: May 30, 2014
Am feeling flushed, excited to finally be at the forefront of something technological. Okay, so I still don’t own a smart phone, refuse to join Facebook, am confused by my kindle, and will never purchase a self-driven car. But I am the proud owner of a TOTO SMART TOILET—and have been for several years.
According to the Wall Street Journal earlier this week–“THE U.S. COULD BE ON THE CUSP OF A SMART TOILET REVOLUTION”. The article reported that 75% of Japanese households enjoy these high tech porcelain thrones, and questioned why Americans wouldn’t want to indulge; (the concept of RESTroom would take on a whole new meaning, I might add). Granted, companies like Charmin, Cottonelle and Scott are hardly thrilled by the prospect of paperless potties, but technology prevails.
Just imagine, although I don’t have to, being warmly welcomed to sit down on a toasty, soothingly lit seat, then relieving yourself to a relaxing, soft toilet tune. Next, via remote control, order your refreshing cleanse–front, back, oscillating, pulsating, straight shooting, warm, warmer, warmest, followed by an integrated blow dry. You will have to stand up by yourself, but leave the flushing and lid closing to your clever commode. Though you might want to linger longer…
My first experience with intelligent toilets was while living in Japan years ago, before there was music, greetings, or automatic wash, dry and flushes. In those days we merely enjoyed a heated seat, a treat in itself as most wash closets in Japanese homes were not heated so could be quite nippy in winter months. A practical feature was a system in which fresh water in the tank was routed through a spigot on top of the toilet. After flushing, this water streamed down into a small basin where you’d normally find the covered tank. There one could wash one’s hands, confident no water was being wasted in the process, and the automatic, flowing faucet dared users not to wash up after taking care of business.
While we are on this subject, when living in Tokyo I learned a crucial tip about bathroom etiquette. Working as a copywriter at an ad agency, I became friendly with quite a few natives who freely shared tidbits about their captivating culture. Upon asking my co-worker one day about a certain art director in my group, he grimaced and looked away. “Be very careful Nan San’’, he warned me. “Stay away. We hear she makes much noise on toilet.”
Taken aback at first, I began to make sense of things. For months I had wondered why toilets were constantly flushing in the ladies’ room. Turns out making noise in the stall could be worse than, say, in our culture, picking your nose or clipping your toenails at the dinner table.
Not long ago, I learned that ingenious Japanese engineers, in an effort to conserve, came up with a small recording device for restroom stalls that loudly mimics the sound of a flushing toilet. I would assume that, along with precious water, many reputations have been saved.
Admittedly, my laudable latrine is no longer state-of-the-art as now one can purchase even more futuristic features such as a urine catcher to analyze sugar levels, a blood pressure monitor and a body fat and weight calculator. Truthfully, I don’t need all this; my HIGH TECH TOTO does the job as far as basic toileting tasks. And rest assured, along with our contemporary can we installed sound-proof walls. You might call it common courtesy, but honestly, we just don’t want people to talk…