Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Toiletelligence

OK. I'll admit it. I will read the damn ingredients that go into Afrin Nasal Spray if that's the only reading matter around. I read all the time. I've always read all the time. Well, not literally, but you know what I mean, especially you inveterate readers. Doesn't matter what usually, if there's nothing else handy. So file the following under "Whoa! I didn't know that!"

So today I'm leafing through a magazine we get in the mail every month, which usually goes right in the trash, but today it's killing a few minutes for me. It's called the OEC News--that's the Oklahoma Electric Cooperative, the power company. On the inside of the back cover, there's this article about . . . toilets. A lowly appliance to be sure, but used more frequently than a dishwasher, more necessary than a microwave, and most missed when you employ a stranger. I'm sorry I can't give you the direct article directly, although it may indeed show up when the OEC page is updated, but this piece by the same author will give you the flavor of the original, if you will pardon the expression.

I'm so tempted to write as the lead in sentence, "Here's some shit you didn't know about toilets." But I will refrain. To wit:

  • You can install a urinal in your bathroom. I'm sure some people have thought of this, but I've never seen one. Apparently some of them are small and have a cover on 'em. Not like those in theaters and restaurants.
  • Toilets come in dual-flush models, one if by land . . . no, that's not it. You chose the flush: standard 1.6 gals for deuce, 1.1 gals for wee wee. (Article says you might consider unless you have small children who might get confused.)
  • How about pressure assist models? Something about compressed air, "effective flushing action in the back of the toilet," and rapid but louder, and might not want near a bedroom. Hmmm. I wonder if this has a decibel rating?
  • And then there are the composting or incinerating toilets. The former "allows waste to decompose into usable soil." Vented design = no odor. Comes in both electric (with "small fan and stirring device"--don't ask because I really don't want to know) and non-electric (do you have to stir yourself?) models. The incinerating kind use electric heating elements "to quickly incinerate wastes into fine ash." This gives a whole new dimension to the phrase "red ass." Btw, both these toilets are very expensive.
  • Then there's the "macerating" toilet. Say what? This kind "uses a grinding pump to move the water and waste as much as 12 feet vertically and 150 feet horizontally" to a septic tank or sewer line. Allows you to put a new toilet on a slab or in a basement with no nearby drain.
Amazing, no? I hope you didn't consider these thoughts a waste (har, har) of your time.

Oh, almost forgot: the illustration is posted rules for the public toilet in Japan.
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