Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Astonished in the Loo

I know this isn’t the first time I’ve written here about Toilet Paper.

And I know that my corroding Dignity would be obliviously arrogant if it didn’t expect a Bulk package of bitch-slaps for such a homicidal, brutal over-beating of such a banal topic...

But I just can’t help myself.

Afterall, toilet paper is such a universally-relatable theme.
Everyone uses it.
(...or, at least, knows of its use by someone else)

What I’m really spiral-doodling myself towards, though, is the astounding and marvelously progressive phenomenon of “Self-rejuvenating toilet paper rolls in Japanese public bathrooms”.

In L.A., I would rather carve off my toe nails with a butter knife and pour salt, Tequila and lime in their place than step into a public park bathroom without proper protection (something along the lines of a gas mask and a full de-contamination lab outside).
And, 9.9 times out of ten, there is no toilet paper aside from that soggy tissue under the syringe.

But, here in Japan, I have been repeatedly astonished by the cleanliness of outdoor, public bathrooms and, most importantly- unsuspectingly ambushed by the presence of teams of up-to-bat toilet paper rolls in the most unlikely of defecation/ urination forums.
I mean, where else in the world is there a government-offered, free line-up of toilet paper rolls that manages to maintain its position over weeks in a downtown public park?

Just yesterday I walked to the top of an overgrown hill whose trail was inhabited by ubiquitous Spring growth, plastic Pokemon toys, sake bottles, candy-wrappers, refrigerators, old tires, new bamboo shoots, dragon flies and empty bento boxes.
Guess what I found in the vine and bush-devoured pisser up there?
Yup: Three curious spiders, seven eager branches, a rain-wrecked comic book and

three pristine, untouched rolls of toilet paper.

...Nothing short of miraculous, I tell you...

6 comments:

AliceBabylon said...

The true question is did you have a regular toilet, or did you have to do the Squat and Pee. I hate the Squat and Pee.

-c said...

It was indeed a squatter. I'm building up those squat-n-pee leg muscles, just in case there's a squatting competition at some social gathering one day. Yup, some day they'll all see my talent...

Rabin said...

Im stunned. Here in India one can't walk into any public toilet at all! So when im on the move and haveta use the restroom, I just walk into the nearest five star hotel..hehehe..cheap thrills!

bertissimo said...

everytime I walk by the first graders bathroom I can smell their little urine stains...who told the Japanese that kids can clean? last night, at the seven-11 bathroom...not a pretty sight, and it wasnt sand i was wiping off my fee.

-c said...

R.- Ha! An oft-employed and brilliant response to the body's cry for urinal relief!
Bertissimo- My students clean the bathroom not by scrubbing anything, but by turning the place into a big lake. It's hot. Maybe I'll go swimming!

frustratedwriter said...

I've met some of the most interesting people in public bathrooms, some I can talk about, others will have me laying on the floor in a fetal position for a long time, but the good news is there was always toilet paper available...