Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
March 15, 2020

On Toilet Paper

Several decades ago I was tank soldier and my unit went to a training area at the coast of Wales, Great Britain. There were several tank shooting ranges and the Brits had built some very simple outhouses for those who were training there. They even provided toilet paper. This came in single sheets in a 12 x 8 centimeter (4.7x3.1 in) format. They where yellowish in color with a glossy surface that made them water resistant. That made somewhat sense in the rather foggy surroundings but did not help with the intended purpose. Printed in blue on each sheet was "Her Majesty's Property". I pondered if it would be lèse-majesty to actually use it. As a person in need I did it anyway. The sheets turned out to be rather useless for cleaning anything.

The story comes to mind as the virus panic causes a run on toilet paper at least in some countries.

The run points to a lack of personal infrastructure.

Toilet paper is certainly not ideal for cleaning ones butt. It is okay for removing the rough stuff but after that it tends to spread the rest rather than to remove it.

Separate bidets (vid) are good for a real cleaning. They are widely used in Italy and France but require extra space and installations. They are excellent for their purpose but when I lived in an apartment that had one I found it rather inconvenient to use (and clean) it.

If one is sitting on a water toilet why not use its water supply to also clean ones ass?

In some warmer Asian countries Bum Guns (vid) are widely used.

These are special shower heads on a hose with a trigger. In warm countries they are excellent to clean one's butt thoroughly. But in colder areas it is an uncomfortable process as they are connected to the toilets cold water supply. They also require, like a bidet, an extra towel or toilet paper to dry oneself after use.

In Japan one finds toilets that play music, have inbuilt shower heads and dry blower, odor suppression and other gimmicks like a chemical analyses of ones urine. They are also expensive, need a larger installation and are hard to find in Europe or North America.

The solution I implemented for myself several years ago is of a minimal Japanese kind. I use a toilet seat with a bum shower and dry blower (in German). It fits on any standard German toilet and it is quite easy to install or to remove.


At the press of a button the stainless steel shower head appears from its housing in the back of the seat and a jet of warm water starts to blow at ones butt hole. The water pulses and the shower head moves back and forth. After a minute or so the head retracts while cleaning itself with some extra spurts before it vanishes again. Then the dry blower starts.

Here is a video from a U.S. distributer of such products that demonstrates the above process.

Some models have a certain amount of preheated water while others use a flow-type heater and then mix a warm and cold stream to the desired temperature. The second type is preferable as it provides an unlimited supply of warm water.


The seat is also heated which makes it very comfortable to use it in my usually unheated bathroom. The temperatures and jet position are adjustable and can be preset. I use the energy saving mode which ensures that heating only starts when one sits down. Energy and water consumption of the device are minimal. They are certainly less than what is used to produce the toilet paper I would otherwise have to use.

There is only one button that is used daily. It starts a one minute shower cycle followed by a 30 second dry blow. After several years of using the seat daily I can confirm that the results of this process are excellent. One leaves the toilet with a clean and dry butt. I still have toilet paper in reserve but that is now mostly used for other than its original purpose.

There are types of such seats which have more features like odor suppression, lighting or automatic lid opening and closing. It all depends on the price. I paid less than 500 Euros for my version and I believe that it was an excellent investment. Instead of using several roles of toilet paper per month I am down to one or two per year.

Prices in the U.S. for such devices seem to vary between some $300 up to and above $1,000. The middle range will do. One does not need more than the basic features. I personally find an attached side control panel better than a remote control which is guaranteed to be misplaced or out of battery juice just when one needs it most.

Consider that such a toilet seat cost about the same as a smart phone. Everyone now seems to carry one of those. But only few people use a similar priced device for their daily hygiene. Why is that?

Note: I have no relations of any kind with any of the linked companies.

Posted by b on March 15, 2020 at 16:52 UTC | Permalink

next page »

Rumor has it that for every new reported case of COVID-19, 1,000 folks are shitting their pants, thus the run on TP.

Posted by: Trisha | Mar 15 2020 17:03 utc | 1

Wow. You actually put as much thought into anything as you do for your reporting.
Though please forgive me when at first i could not deny myself to smile.. ;)
And actually a quite good idea..
And much better than the madness that is going on here in our country when you try to go grocey shopping.
Also one is prepared for the looming total curfew (i guess they will do it here in Germany soon too like in Italy and Spain, meaning total curfew all over the country).
As you said in the last article: Good luck to us all.

Posted by: DontBelieveEitherPr. | Mar 15 2020 17:15 utc | 2

The Coronavirus Conundrum as interpreted by Average Joe.

Reporter: "Excuse me sir, have you been tested for coronavirus yet?"
Average Joe: "No, I haven't."
Reporter: "Aren't you worried?"
Average Joe: "No."
Reporter: "Why not?"
Average Joe: "I don't have any symptoms."
Reporter: "But you could be a carrier and not know it."
Average Joe: "Uh huh. Say, can I ask you a question?"
Reporter: "Sure, go ahead."
Average Joe: "What are the symptoms of coronavirus?"
Reporter: "Well, that would be coughing, sneezing, chills, intestinal disorder and fever."
Average Joe: "And what are the symptoms of influenza?"
Reporter: " I think they are the same."
Average Joe: "Aren't there millions of cases of influenza compared to coronavirus?"
Reporter: "Well yes, that's true."
Average Joe: "And people could have influenza and not know it and spread it, too?"
Reporter: "Yes, I guess so."
Average Joe: "So why aren't you asking me if I should be tested for influenza, instead?"
Reporter: "Because coronavirus has killed about 50 people in the U.S. so far"
Average Joe: "Influenza has killed over 4,500 Americans so far."

Here we witness Average Joe thinks logically. Since there are more people infected with influenza than coronavirus and the symptoms are the same and more people have died, he should be tested for influenza before coronavirus. But the media isn't focused on influenza, they want people to be afraid of coronavirus because of the huge amount of attention it is getting in the press around the world. And that's the truth.

Posted by: PokeTheTruth | Mar 15 2020 17:20 utc | 3

The Malay never uses toilet papers but their Left hand and water to wash their butts. That's why they eat with their right hand not a fork, knife or chop stick they have spoon for soup etc. It's an insult if one eats on the same table in multiracial countries like SEA and uses the left hands to pick up foods or pork on the same table with - Muslim. Further all toilet has either hose or a mug (container) for water, if no faucet not available in toilet.

Posted by: JC | Mar 15 2020 17:20 utc | 4

i am going to stick to the old fashioned way as exampled in a video smoothie shared the other day -

Posted by: james | Mar 15 2020 17:21 utc | 5

>Rumor has it

Ha, ha, there are other rumors that claim people are scared shitless, so they need Ex-lax, not TP...

Here is some perhaps gossip from PressTV that b may find interesting:

Trump luring German firm into developing COVID-19 vaccine only for Americans: Report

Posted by: Trailer Trash | Mar 15 2020 17:25 utc | 6

I could not resist: For the poor folks like myself, there are similar products on Aliexpress for around 250€. Still MUCH money for a toilet seat to spend when it costs as much as the rent one is paying.
But tempting, i must admit..

Posted by: DontBelieveEitherPr. | Mar 15 2020 17:26 utc | 7

The paper method is ok, but the bidet or hose is obviously better.

A positive feature not mentioned is the reduction in cellulose sludge going into the septic (if that's the system) tank.

But to tankers and their out-house way, I can add a true funny.

Wally was instructed in the US Army Infantry Recommended Method (no chit) of butt wiping... (By the way, this was at table, with table cloths and colored waiters) Wally was a cadet, about 6 years old. The Instructor was a Captain who had been in combat more than was good, WW2 guy, and Korea. I remember his name.

The Method was shaped by the daily ration, which was two sheets of AW.

Carefully separate the sheets. Put one away for later. Fold the other into 4 squares and find the center where all 4 meet - with especial care tear from the corner a 3/8 inch quarter of paper. Important to save this torn-out piece. Upon opening the folds you will see that there's a small, finger-sized hole in the middle of the sheet. Insert index finger of the favored hand through this hole, and wipe bumm. Use the other hand to slide the paper off the fouled index finger. Discard waste. Now, and this is vital - now recover that torn out bit, and clean under the fouled finger-nail. Discard waste.

That's an absolutely true story. Wally himself is surprised by the multitude of experience...but he never focused and never stayed long at anything...

Posted by: Walter | Mar 15 2020 17:29 utc | 8

My Girlfriend dissuaded me from getting a bidet, saying, "Thought I'd love one for myself, once words gets out, you're inundated with friends wanting to visit and use your bathroom."

Posted by: zakukommander | Mar 15 2020 17:30 utc | 9

You already know what I need...

Posted by: The Great Cornholio | Mar 15 2020 17:31 utc | 10

Very interesting! I guess some of us USians who have not traveled overseas have been ignorant of the fine points of various cultures for a long time. Nobody talks about it. My sole knowledge of bidets is from Crocodile Dundee (with the example of alternate bathroom procedures being set in a NYC hotel)!

My question is, how does this work for the female half of humanity? Spraying male dangly bits and spraying female internal plumbing are quite different, and - no jokes! - I don't refer to sensual stimulation but to possible infection. Maybe I'll research this a bit.

Also, one reflects on what humanity did for their sanitary needs for the millennia before 'modern civilization'.

Posted by: dus7 | Mar 15 2020 17:32 utc | 11

Any type of bum shower available for those with their head up their ass?

Posted by: Perimetr | Mar 15 2020 17:33 utc | 12

Long-time lurker, first time poster...

You *MUST* get one of these for your home - I promise it's the best home-improvement out there! Costso routinely has 'em for about $300. We're on our third one, bought via Craiglist for cheap. You will be the envy of everyone who visits your home!

Posted by: Dos Tacos Mas | Mar 15 2020 17:35 utc | 13

As a former kitchen and bath designer, I am familiar with both the toilet/bidet combinations and the toilet seat additions. Unfortunately, for most of us here in the U.S., the electrical wiring costs and repair to walls damaged by running the electrical line to the vicinity of the toilet make the retrofit uneconomical. Most builders use the cheapest methods possible to comply with city and federal codes. That means that the electrical supply (think GFCI outlet for plugging in appliances) is located near the bathroom light switch, which, by code, needs to be near the door. Consequently, a retrofit is likely to involve a minimum 3-5 foot run from the electrical box to where the toilet is located. If you're lucky, you only have drywall to contend with--and maybe a vanity cabinet. If you're unlucky, you are confronted with walls already covered by ceramic tile.
There is a less fancy alternative that involves hooking up a spray mechanism to the plumbing. Since sinks and toilets are frequently located side-by-side, it is possible to use this method instead. The spray head can be mounted on the side of the toilet or on the wall. However, it's still advisable to buy a unit that comes with a mixer--otherwise you are just going to be spraying yourself with cold water.

Posted by: grayslady | Mar 15 2020 17:36 utc | 14

I have relied on Moon of Alabama for in-depth analysis of the Boeing scandal, the wars in the Middle East, the machinations of the Saudi royal family, and the deceptions of the UK government, and now it evens explains how to clean my butt hole. Truly this is an indispensable web site!

Posted by: Charles D | Mar 15 2020 17:38 utc | 15

Bummer. In Afghanistan they mostly use rocks. Not sure what they do in the Congo.

Posted by: dh | Mar 15 2020 17:40 utc | 16

That sounds very much like Castle Martin, when were you there?

Posted by: BuboTB | Mar 15 2020 17:45 utc | 17

I am afraid the Finnish shops will soon have nothing but toilet paper.

Both Denmark and Estonia have today closed their borders. These countries are the links between Fennoscandia and the rest of the European Union. It is now impossible to travel from Finland or Sweden by car to Europe, except through Russia. The Baltic cruise ferries are still operating, but without the passenger traffic and alcohol sales the lines may have to close down.

Most cargo to Finland is transported on these same cruise ferries. Finland is part of the European common market. A large part of what is sold in a grocery store comes from the EU. If passenger traffic stops, other deliveries to Finland will become difficult or expensive. Once word gets out, people will start panic buying.

Luckily Finland is a producer of toilet paper. Actually paper, including toilet paper and cruise ships are Finland's main exports. The market for cruise ships does not look good now...

Posted by: Petri Krohn | Mar 15 2020 17:45 utc | 18

My question is, how does this work for the female half of humanity? Spraying male dangly bits and spraying female internal plumbing are quite different, and - no jokes! - I don't refer to sensual stimulation but to possible infection.

Those two areas are enough apart to need a jet nozzle for each. I don't think that there is an infection risk. Women who have used my loo liked it and never had a problem with it.

Posted by: b | Mar 15 2020 17:49 utc | 19

If you can't buy toilet paper or afford expensive toilet stuff, then bomb first thing in the morning and head straight to the shower. Dump, spray and away!

Posted by: Siotu | Mar 15 2020 18:00 utc | 20

I was gobsmacked and enraged when I first heard about people stock-piling Toilet Paper (and having brawls and punch-ups over dwindling stocks), and haven't seen a single packet of TP in ANY store where I usually shop. When I regained my composure I took a stock-take and discovered that I still had 2.5 rolls remaining from my last purchase (enough for 2.5 months for me) and was delighted to discover that a friend, who had been using the spare bedroom whilst in Oz during a break from his permanent Asian retirement home, had left 4 rolls in the laundry room.

When I'd calmed down, I pondered the Tissue issue and 'remembered' that I only have to wipe once a day, whereas women have to wipe every time they visit the loo. I also remembered that the last time I was staying under the same roof with a woman two rolls didn't last a week. I don't know WTF they do with it but back then I consoled myself by remembering that TP is too cheap to argue about.

However, there have been TV News shots of people piling half a dozen packs of 24 rolls into their SUVs. So I'm predicting that IF these people decided to stockpile TRs to sell at $10-00 per roll, they risk being strangled, or kicked to death, in broad daylight.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Mar 15 2020 18:05 utc | 21

There was a Poirot episode wherein Inspector Japp was in Poirot's bath-room and discovered the bidet... It's worth watching... I think he treated as a way to wash his hands, or feet, or perhaps as a fountain from which to quench his thirst.

Posted by: Walter | Mar 15 2020 18:11 utc | 22

dus7 @11

"Also, one reflects on what humanity did for their sanitary needs for the millennia before 'modern civilization'."

I once read that in ancient Greece smooth stones were used. One outhouse graffito literally translates as advising, "Three stones should do it".

Posted by: Vintage Red | Mar 15 2020 18:16 utc | 23

I don't have the letters after my name to try to figure out what's in the heads of folks buying palates of toilet paper, but if I had to guess it's that they think this is the zombie apocalypse, that TP somehow symbolizes civilization, and that in their calculation of all that's holy the last person able to wipe their ass wins.

Posted by: Vintage Red | Mar 15 2020 18:19 utc | 24

My wife (Java) steps into the shower after every purge. I think I'll be adopting this habit before long...

Posted by: Dr Wellington Yueh | Mar 15 2020 18:24 utc | 25

When I went on a 30-day backpacking expedition I found that a clean stick works fine.

Posted by: Russ | Mar 15 2020 18:26 utc | 26

Castle Martin. Went there as a cadet in the late 80s. Don't remember the toilet paper, but I do remember being 15 or so metres away from a Leopard 2 live firing. Wonder if we crossed paths?

Posted by: Some Random Passerby | Mar 15 2020 18:32 utc | 27

@PokeTheTruth #3

February 22
The coronavirus has only killed 2 Italians so far. What a joke! 20,000 Italians die from respiratory diseases each year!

February 29
The coronavirus has only killed 29 Italians so far. What a joke! 20,000 Italians die from respiratory diseases each year!

March 7
The coronavirus has only killed 233 Italians so far. What a joke! 20,000 Italians die from respiratory diseases each year!

March 14
The coronavirus has only killed 1441 Italians so far. What a joke! 20,000 Italians die from respiratory diseases each year!

(Sources: COVID-19 deaths per country, 2014 Italy deaths per cause.)

Do you understand now why Italy has introduced quarantine on March 8?

Posted by: S | Mar 15 2020 18:33 utc | 28

BuboTB That sounds very much like Castle Martin, when were you there?

Yes, Castle Martin - not sure which year I was there. Somewhere between 1979 and 81.

Posted by: b | Mar 15 2020 18:35 utc | 29

Well... that was a refreshingly candid discussion of the problem.

Posted by: Emily Dickinson | Mar 15 2020 18:43 utc | 30

I dont know if this is the proper thread to mention this, but could we get a blog on government response/reaction to the coronavirus as it plays into constitutional protections of citizens.

as someone who was extremely vigilant after 9/11 and disturbed with government overreach and consolidation of power in the executive branch--powers that were never "walked back"--I'd like to see some discussion on oversight of some of the government's actions being undertaken right now.

are all of the measures currently being undertaken by fed/state/local entities (quarantine, rationing, closing down of public gatherings, medical examination, limitations on travel, school closings, sending in the military, etc) being monitored by any outside entity to make sure they are necessary, purposeful, and short-lived? many of these measures are quite draconian, and, at any other time, rights activists would be alarmed with the speed and breadth of them being put in place--and the relative complacency (frozen in place) with which the public is accepting them.

is anyone keeping an eye on such things?

I'm not saying coronavirus isn't real. and I'm not saying it isn't making people sick, or even killing people. nevertheless, when a person looks at the numbers, it does cause a person to wonder...

Posted by: kdb | Mar 15 2020 18:49 utc | 31

I see a lot of accessory bidets because I am called in to repair the damage after they break

AT a very minimum do not consider using if you are in a multistory building and have neighbors living below you. Do not install yourself. Do not use some jack of all trades. Call a union plumber, presuming such still exists where you live. If the union plumber tells you they cannot and will not install because the unit purchased does not meet code consider that the plumber knows something.

If you don’t want to pay the freight for a union plumber consider you may soon have a painter, an electrician, a tiler, a different plumber, a carpenter, a claims adjuster, an attorney coming through your place.

Posted by: oldhippie | Mar 15 2020 18:50 utc | 32

No, bum guns are terrible. They splash water all over the bathroom floor. The dirty water ends up all over the place as people step on it. Really poor hygiene.

They are used extensively in the Middle East even on public restroom as according to Qadaa' al-Haajah (a sort of hygiene manual of religious origin) you have to wash your bum with water and use the left hand (the "unclean hand") to clean yourself. That is also the reason why orthodox muslim men will shake the hand of an unbeliever using their left hand, never the right. It is also a reason why I always refuse the left hand.

Posted by: Steff | Mar 15 2020 18:52 utc | 33

This was a fabulously German article. My experience of German lavatorial delights was when, for the first time, I discovered that Germans appear to want to inspect what they produce, so the egg is laid on a little shelf up out of the water. This came to me as quite an unexpected suprise when, after doing all required, I turned around to flush and found my efforts laid out in front of me.

Cultural differences are fabulous, and we really should make more effort to enjoy them.

Posted by: UBrexitUPay4it | Mar 15 2020 18:59 utc | 34

: kdb | Mar 15 2020 18:49 utc | 31 Dude, everybody sorta knew an' expected the next 911...whether an accidental release or a magic event, they mean to exploit every aspect... It looks to Wally like a con-game, one with real dead people and tons of manure, both verbal and, ah, "otherwise".

Ok now we have their next 911.

What happened right after? Make a list.

That would include suspension of habeas corpus. Attacking innocent States. Cover-up of the profits make and destruction of the evidence of demolition. The "Patriot Act" was obviously long prepared in advance....

Now for 911/2.0, Which Wally expects to include prison camps and "martial law" and attacking Iran-nam-is-tan...

Y'all, weuns, may be focused on a portion of the Elephant...lookit the whole appalling animal.

Posted by: Walter | Mar 15 2020 19:00 utc | 35

oldhippie | Mar 15 2020 18:50 utc | 32 Yewbetcha!

I repaired the fubars of scab labor for much of my Time in the Trade Union (here not named, but a proud local, at least when I wuz in). The scabs were our ricebowl...

Union work is cheaper 'cause it's better qualified and, being "'spensive", better managed and planned.

It's also safer...

(Though, from what I hear, my old local has degenerated, there was a coup. Now they're essentially stooges.)

Posted by: Walter | Mar 15 2020 19:06 utc | 36

Since we're speaking about the unspeakable, here's one of my favorite old true stories. I don't recall the names but it concerns two famous Oz cricketers whom I'll call Warnie and Sledge.

They'd been 'having a few beers' with some team-mates in a pub. Warnie told Sledge he was taking a toilet break and left the group. When he hadn't returned after 15 minutes, Sledge went to make sure he was OK. When he opened the door to the pub toilets the room was in darkness so he called into the gloom..
Sledge: "Hey Warnie, are you in here?"
Waarnie: "Yeah!!"
Sladge: "Are you OK?"
Warnie: "No, I'm effing not!
Sledge: "What's happened?"
Warnie: "When I came in the lights were out. I found a cubicle and had a crap but every time I try to stand up something grabs my balls.
Sledge: "OK Mate, stay cool and I'll be back with a couple of the boys and a torch."

When the rescue party returned and shone a light on the problem, they discovered, much to their eternal mirth and merriment, that Warnie had sat down on a mop bucket which had been left in the cubicle.
(The bucket has pedal-operated mop-squeezing rollers near the top and Warnie's foot was on the pedal which normally closes the rollers on the wet mop).

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Mar 15 2020 19:11 utc | 37

dh @16
The good old days of using rocks -smooth rolling stones- for the task are gone, it was a ritual, men would gather at night time to make their depositions and at the same time discuss serious business. The new generations are captive to all the trappings of consumerism, unable to live without remote controls for everything and the generation of untold amounts of garbage. A bidet is the best solution, at least for me. From southern Spain. Everything was recycled then, I still have chimney bellows made by my father with old tins and discarded leather. Maybe the coronavirus will make us recover some of that old and lost spirit.

Posted by: Paco | Mar 15 2020 19:15 utc | 38

I refuse to purchase such an appliance until it has a fully automated butt cheek spreader and a time-of-flight 3D sensor for precise targeting of the jet.

Posted by: S | Mar 15 2020 19:25 utc | 39

@S Post No. 28

Did I write anything about objecting to a quarantine?
Did I write anything to imply the deaths in Italy are not a concern?

I suggest you reread my post more carefully. Perhaps you will understand the epidemic in the United States is influenza, not coronavirus.

29,000,000 (29 million) Americans have been infected with influenza this current flu season (2019-2020) alone and there are two months left to go. 280,000 have been hospitalized and over 4,500 have died due to influenza alone.



Download the data for weeks 40 (October 2019) thru week 9 (March 2020) and read with your own eyes the mortality numbers recorded for each of the 50 States. Then you'll understand (I hope).

The government, the national media and the so-called "health experts" are pounding the airwaves every day about "another patient has contracted COVID-19" or "another patient has died due to coronavirus." They never bring up the epidemic of influenza virus that has been more deadly in the U.S.

Look at the U.S. coronavirus numbers for yourself. 63 have died.

I'm not saying that COVID-19 isn't a serious concern; it certainly is. But for a healthy person in the U.S. the palliative care is no different than for influenza.

As far as the unfortunate Italians and the Swiss, I believe that coronavirus is a much, much virulent strain than what we have here in the U.S. That observation leads to a possibility being that patient zero came from someplace other than Wuhan, China.

Posted by: PokeTheTruth | Mar 15 2020 19:28 utc | 40

JAMA published a retrospective analysis of the Chinese experience
It demonstrated that there is a 12 day lag between “confirmed” cases today and true infections today.
Further review of this study:
Shows that had China locked down Wuhan just one day earlier, there could have been 40% fewer cases to treat or 32,000 cases. This is the reality of exponential spread.
It also arrives at a correlation of 800 current true infections for each death. So Italy likely has over 1M true infections, as opposed to the 24,000 “confirmed “cases reported today.

Godspeed, all.

Posted by: Wve | Mar 15 2020 19:29 utc | 41

Sorry wrong thread @ 41

Posted by: Wve | Mar 15 2020 19:33 utc | 42

@old hippie - Call a union plumber, presuming such still exists where you live. If the union plumber tells you they cannot and will not install because the unit purchased does not meet code consider that the plumber knows something.

I support that. But I do not know of any code these things could violate.

Besides that the situation was very different for me than in a usual wood and drywall U.S. home. An electric outlet was directly available and the water access was not behind the wall but openly accessible. I changed a fixed connection from the water outlet to the toilet water tank to a 15 inch flexible high pressure line to make my installation more esthetic and practical. I used Teflon tape on all water connections. Took me less than 30 minutes to install plus the 20 minutes to buy the $5 high pressure line.

Not one drop of leakage during several years of usage. Not that it would have done much. First floor, tiled concrete floor with a drain. I also do have some experience with installations and someone who has none should better ask a professional.

But even if I would have had to pay for a professional to install it I would have done so because having such a seat is really a comfort enrichment for ones life.

PS: In Germany the health insurances will pay a share of the purchase and installation if one has some disability.

Posted by: b | Mar 15 2020 19:34 utc | 43

"Raas clat!", the Jamaican says.

Posted by: tucenz | Mar 15 2020 19:54 utc | 44

@steff - No, bum guns are terrible. They splash water all over the bathroom floor. The dirty water ends up all over the place as people step on it. Really poor hygiene.

Bum guns must be used from the front, not from the back, and applied while being seated. No spill, no dirt on the ground. They provide for a clean but wet butt with no spills when you are used to handle them.

Posted by: b | Mar 15 2020 20:06 utc | 45

Walter | Mar 15 2020 19:00 utc | 35--that's what I'm suggesting. "they" are really good at doing bad things while the rest of us are distracted worried, scared, in the crouch position.

so what is exactly going on right now?

what legislation is getting rammed through without anybody paying attention?--aren't some patriot act provisions on surveillance expiring today? when's the vote on that? are any of our troops getting redeployed overseas to create a staging ground for a war with Iran-anis-tan? (didnt they just arrive in saudi last week?) who shorted airline, oil, shipping, or transportation stocks last fall? did anyone stockpile masks, gloves, and purell late last fall? if so, who? were there any RAND reports written up on this precise scenario? if so, when were they published and who requested them?

to me, this might have a lot to do with a long overdue stock market "re-set"/correction. they needed to bring the market down to more rational levels. the only way to do that was to get every last sucker into it, crash it as a result of some cataclysmic event, and reap the rewards of the mayhem.

net result: massively in debt citizens. Americans who lived like they actually had the wealth their 401k account said they had--on paper-- when the market was teetering unreasonably at 27,000, are now screwed. Yeah, so they could typically live paycheck to paycheck, but now that will be gone since nobody's going to work for the next month or so. who can afford that? do folks really have a month's worth of cash on hand to pay bills, food, etc? not to mention the disruption of the food and supply chains. it is going to affect every citizen at every level. for months.

other than the survivalists, who really has a bunker filled with food, meds, and supplies--let alone toilet paper??? who is truly prepared to see their stock account halved, their paycheck totally stopped, and then be forced to live with their wife and kids for a month under the same roof with limited food supplies and literally no escape??? that's not surreal, that seems to be our soon to be reality. and really, who would benefit from a situation like this? I bet I could come up with a few.

all I know is that local government now has the right to enter my home, physically examine me, keep me quarantined in my home, and determine my medical course of treatment. that violates a slew of constitutional protections. they also have the authority to physically examine me before I travel to determine if I can travel. that's pretty scary since I was already unhappy with facial recognition and things like pro-vision at the airports. moreover, they have the power to limit me being in contact with friends at gatherings. isn't that against freedom of assembly? not to mention rationing food, closing schools, and bringing in the military to build hospitals. all of these things scrape along the lines of constitutional violations. and as we know from 9/11, it's a very slippery slope. I just want to ensure the horse can be returned to the barn once this is over.

again, I'm no math wizard(so if these numbers are wrong, I apologise), but the numbers don't make sense to me. more than 1.5 billion people live in china. 81k got sick. that's .000054% Only 3100 died. That's .0000020667%

in ny state currently, there are 19.45million people. approximately 524 current cases. that is .0000269409%

Posted by: kdb | Mar 15 2020 20:10 utc | 46

/r shitpost

Posted by: Tannenhouser | Mar 15 2020 20:24 utc | 47

@kdm. No. People are going to be weirdly settled about it when they wake up and realise the stuff they gave away isn't coming back.
@Russ poopin in the woods is the best

Posted by: Tannenhouser | Mar 15 2020 20:27 utc | 48

Despite my settled aversion to scatological humor and discussion, after perusing B.'s quasi-clinical review of TP alternatives, I can't resist this opportunity to present a Fun Fact:

Rabelais claimed that a live goose was the best thing to wipe your bottom with. The full quote from Gargantua is:

"'I have', answered Gargantua, 'by a long and curious experience found out a means to wipe my bum. The most lordly, the most excellent, the most convenient that was ever seen. I have wiped my tail with a hen, with a cock, with a pullet, with a calf's skin, with a hare, with a pigeon, with a cormorant, with an attorney's bag, with a Montero, with a falconer's lure. But to conclude, I say and maintain that of all the torcheculs, arsewisps, bumfodders, tail-napkins, bunghole cleansers, and wipe-breeches, there is none in the world comparable to the neck of a goose, that is well downed, if you hold her head betwixt your legs. And believe me therein upon mine honour, for you will thereby feel in your nockhole a most wonderful pleasure, both in regard of the softness of the said down and of the temporate heat of the goose, which is easily communicated to the bum-gut and the rest of the inwards, in so far as to come even to the regions of the heart and brains.'"

Posted by: Ort | Mar 15 2020 20:37 utc | 49

Every time I think of the toilet paper hoarding, I can't help but think of an old Sylvester Stallone movie where he was a cop in the future (forgot the details). One thing for sure, the preppers are having a great time with this CoVID-19 scare. I bet some of them are probably thinking when it's time to whip out the thirty-aught-six to do a little "house" cleaning.

Posted by: Ian2 | Mar 15 2020 20:37 utc | 50

Nah, the toilet paper had "Government Property" printed on it. Not only did it survive longer in damp environments but you could also write on it and use it as tracing paper, so squadies out in the field always had something to write on. A commercial version, Izal, was available until quite recently but all the oldies I knew who preferred it to the soft stuff died out a few years back. Though most were kind enough to provide soft toilet paper as well. BTW, I seem to remember that similar toilet paper was provided on DB at one time.

Posted by: Ghost Ship | Mar 15 2020 20:38 utc | 51

How very interesting ...

I can come out in the open on this website but I can assure you I would not go into this graphic detail with others in my culture ... (Australian).

For many years now I have placed my butt over the vanity sink with the cold tap running slowly. I cup my hand near my butt to wash (rinse) it first. Once I have butt rinsed I then pick up the bar of soap and lather everything extensively. I try to remember to scratch my butt at the end of lathering. The scratching gets the soap under the fingernails. Then I rinse again and use a towel to dry. A quick rinse of the sink and surrounds may be in order.

I would never not use soap. It would be very unhygienic for me. Devices that only rinse your butt would leave me feeling quite unnerved.

I end up with a very clean butt, very clean hand and perhaps one roll of toilet paper in the last 8 years.

There has never been any sickness caused by my activity in this house. E-coli are washed away with running water very effectively. It is even more effective to use soap after a rinse.

Cheers !

Posted by: imoverit | Mar 15 2020 20:45 utc | 52

plus toilet paper causes piles.

Posted by: Laurence Warburton | Mar 15 2020 20:52 utc | 53


Residential bathrooms in US do not have floor drains. I would have needed a different job.

Most failures I see happen quickly, one to six months. Which says the installer was wholly incompetent. No drips for a few years is better than that. Also consumer hardware as sold in US is often/usually much cheaper than German market product, even German origin product with same branding. Flexible connectors are not inherently bad, many I see are so flimsy no one with a lick of sense would use them. And they are packaged with bidets that cost $1000.

More generally US housing stock is pathetic relative to Germany. Houses here are not expected to last. Such old buildings as survive never receive preventive maintenance and the craftsmen needed for repair/rebuild do not exist.

Posted by: oldhippie | Mar 15 2020 20:57 utc | 54

Tannenhouser says:

...poopin in the woods is the best

that's deep, but for an even more transmundane experience, try poopin' off the stern of a little sailboat, 5 miles offshore, in a thousand feet of deepness, in a semi-fetal position.

Posted by: john | Mar 15 2020 20:58 utc | 55

With your marketing ability, no one ever need fear a recession.
The German units will likely require more periodic maintenance by the owners. The Japanese units will inevitably incorporate anime hologram companions, a lonely Japanese gentleman will want to marry one very publicly, and his family is not coming to that ceremony. The units made available by US and Chinese vendors will include covert spyware to monitor how, when and where you do God's work. The Chinese units will give both advice and encouragement to ensure you evacuate your bowels in a socially responsible manner. The US units will monitor what is evacuated to advise on your health and your diet, but the software capabilities will ultimately be proven to have been wildly overstated and the company will go bankrupt, but the entrepreneurs who started it will walk away with millions of investor dollars.
Americans, particularly the younger generations, will eschew such devices over cost issues and because they are obviously waiting for someone to invent an app to wipe their butts for them.

Posted by: Bruce | Mar 15 2020 21:00 utc | 56

@PokeTheTruth #40:

I suggest you reread my post more carefully.

It is you who needs to reread my comment more carefully.

People have immunity to influenza, that’s why the U.S. annual influenza deaths have stayed in the 12,000–61,000 range in the past decade:

    Season      Deaths

2010–2011 37,000
2011–2012 12,000
2012–2013 43,000
2013–2014 38,000
2014–2015 51,000
2015–2016 23,000
2016–2017 38,000
2017–2018 61,000
2018–2019 34,157

There is no pre-existing immunity to SARS-CoV-2, so its case fatality rate is at least an order of magnitude higher than that of seasonal influenza. It’s also highly infectious, and, absent a quarantine, the number of confirmed cases rapidly grows, as can be seen in Italy’s case:

    Date    Cases   Deaths    CFR

2/15 3 0 0%
2/22 62 2 3.2%
2/29 1,128 29 2.6%
3/07 5,883 233 4.0%
3/14 21,157 1,441 6.8%

Putting together the U.S. population pyramid and COVID-19 case fatality rates reported by the Chinese CDC:

    Age      Population     CFR      Deaths

0–9 39,891,845 0.000 0
10–19 42,398,071 0.002 84,796
20–29 46,179,065 0.002 92,358
30–39 43,980,069 0.002 87,960
40–49 40,288,440 0.004 161,154
50–59 42,557,686 0.013 553,250
60–69 37,845,098 0.036 1,362,424
70–79 23,009,234 0.080 1,840,739
80+ 12,915,409 0.148 1,911,481

Total 329,064,917 6,094,162

we get 6.1 million deaths if the entire U.S. population is symptomatic and tests positive. Assuming a more realistic 20% of the population, we get 1.2 million deaths. This crude, order-of-magnitude estimate suggests that SARS-CoV-2 is much more dangerous than seasonal influenza.

The reason there are few deaths in the U.S. at the moment is that the U.S. is still in the early stages of the epidemic.

As far as the unfortunate Italians and the Swiss, I believe that coronavirus is a much, much virulent strain than what we have here in the U.S.

And this belief of yours is based on what, exactly?

Posted by: S | Mar 15 2020 21:27 utc | 57

the great toilet paper famine of 2020.
Was caused by Arseholes!

Posted by: Kelly | Mar 15 2020 21:49 utc | 58

If shit hits the fan, can you use a bidet to clean it up?

Posted by: Shadow | Mar 15 2020 21:53 utc | 59


Human poop is a big problem. Rabbit poop is environmentally friendly:

Rabbit poop is rich in nitrogen and phosphorous, two crucial nutrients required for plant growth. Furthermore, rabbit poop is not a hot manure. This means you can drop rabbit pellets straight into your garden soil without the need for further processing.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Mar 15 2020 22:09 utc | 60

Yeah, Ian @50. The three seashells. Then he cussed to get enough paper to use. Laughed my ass off. If only our future was so bright. It's like George Orwell, The Three Stooges and Twilight Zone were combined into a never ending episode.

Posted by: Shadow | Mar 15 2020 22:11 utc | 61

@too deep for be. i get the willies over deep water.

Posted by: Tannenhouser | Mar 15 2020 22:40 utc | 62

too deep for me*

Posted by: Tannenhouser | Mar 15 2020 22:41 utc | 63

Bidets and related devices are very convenient, civilised, and far superior to the USAnian invention of TP, not to mention the use of the left hand (ghastly). But, why not just get in the shower afterwards to soap and rinse off the below deck region? It should go without saying that one needn't get fully undressed: just the lower part of one's clothing needs to be removed, and sitting on a toilet seat already requires some disrobing, so a little more is just not that much trouble. Personally, I have not bought TP for years; this method works well and costs nothing except a little bit of time and perhaps just a little inconvenience. A simpler method employs a water bottle for bicycles, which has a spout which will stream water when the bottle is squeezed, and this method can be used over the toilet itself. Note that neither system requires any extra plumbing or electrical work, and the cost of a bike bottle is minimal.

Of course, with any physical system of any kind, there are three characteristics: quality (or efficiency, if you prefer), convenience, and inexpense, and you can have any two; all three together are not possible. It would seem, in the case for TP, that convenience and inexpense win, while instead with the bidet and toilet seat shower we have convenience and efficiency, and finally with my method of simply using the existing shower or bike bottle we have efficiency and inexpense. I've always balked at sacrificing quality/efficiency, and my pockets are not deep enough to ignore expenses, so I always sacrifice convenience. Many problems go away with this mindset. One can, for instance, make one's own solar hot water heater for a fraction of the cost of commercial offerings, but there are many other such examples, and furthermore if one examines the trappings of the modern world, one finds that far too many things are made and sold and used solely for convenience. I find this to be the height of vanity; our recent ancestors made do with much less.

This is just my little opinion here, just to be clear, and I offer it humbly.

Posted by: Theophrastus | Mar 15 2020 22:59 utc | 64

b ...

during my Boy Scout years ... i had the pleasure of using leaves to wipe my ass. it's good if you don't have diarrhoea. we don't have poison ivy where i grew up.

TP is also in very short supply here in Japan ... so are masks, tissues. i am not concerned about TP ... i live alone. i can use the shower head in dire situations. my unit-bath (it's a molded unit that has small bath, sink, and loo) has no provisions for a bidet.

what i have been buying is bleach (i have some ethanol as i use it as camping fuel, but buying it off the shelf is PITA now), canned goods, cup noodles, protein powder (wtf, gotta keep those gains), bottled water and vitamins. this is in case i have to self-isolate.

Posted by: r | Mar 15 2020 22:59 utc | 65

plus toilet paper causes piles.
Posted by: Laurence Warburton | Mar 15 2020 20:52 utc | 53

It might aggravate them but the usual CAUSE is pushing/straining too hard.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Mar 15 2020 23:01 utc | 66

My wife went to the supermarket to get a few things yesterday and a number of shelves bare. No red meat in either supermarket though chicken and fish were still available. Flour I think was cleaned out along with a number of other items.
but that toilet paper getting cleaned out a few days before hands - well before the run on food started sure shows the group intelligence level. Level with that of a mob of sheep or a school of fish.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Mar 15 2020 23:16 utc | 67

This is why I love you so much, B!!
We have a bidet at home. It is a cheap one we bought off Amazon. And you will literally freeze your ads off when you use it but it has saved us immensely with toilet paper!
PLEASE write about what the stupid Fed just did!!

Posted by: Annie | Mar 15 2020 23:19 utc | 68

@ r | Mar 15 2020 22:59 utc | 65 Yup! Soap an' bleach...though salt is smart too (you can make lotsa stuff from salt, bleach, for example, an' it's not hard to do). Vodka is always useful too, even for people who don't drink - it's tradin stuff. Vodka used to be a means of exchange in Soviet Sugar.

Posted by: Walter | Mar 15 2020 23:33 utc | 69

We use this: It is an unheated, stationary (but well-directed) water jet, so it requires is that the user move herself a little and have a small folded wad of toilet paper to dab herself dry afterwards. (I do "swoosh, jiggle, and dab.") When I was a child in England we had a fearsome, non-absorbent toilet paper called "Bronco." OMG, it pains me to remember it.

Posted by: Helena | Mar 15 2020 23:34 utc | 70

Thanks very much, b, for the excellent change in subject! The device you installed sounds quite excellent. I explained it to my wife and told her the price, now she wants one! One of the slang terms for TP I found amusing was Mountain Money.

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 15 2020 23:46 utc | 71

Jeyes was the brand of the unusable small squares of off white paper 'b' encountered in england. I know this because they were once popular among the anglo pakeha who settled in Aotearoa & believed reliving "Tom Brown's Schooldays" was the route to a good education.
My father, in country for some indiscernible reason, dropped by our family home to announce that as an incorrigible I had been enrolled at some sort of ersatz kiwi Eton, which I would be attending as a boarder. 'Not pleased' was my own reaction. I was 11 and horrified at the thought of having to leave my mates to be imprisoned with whiny wannabe poms 24/7.
The 'school' used this Jeyes useless stuff. One side was too shiny to do the job and the dispenser ejected the paper folded in half, that made going for the rough side required a one-handed skill. I vaguely remember the dispensers were on the right hand side of the stall. Thinking back that was obviously a rejection of 'orientalism' by these bring back the empire types who congealed in and around this 'school'.

I never managed to master the correct technique for using the rough side as two weeks into my sentence I had a falling out with the 16 yo drongo I was instructed I must 'fag' for, over my reluctance to polish his shoes. I'm not kidding people paid a lot of money to have 11 & 12 y.o. children forced into slavery (or so it seemed to me back then - if there were any benefits to the regime, they certainly didn't apply in 1960's Aotearoa where no one had servants so didn't need educating in 'managing' them). The 16 y.o. child was permitted to beat his 11-12 y.o. 'fag' with a sandshoe (tennis shoe early forerunner of the sneaker) if the fag wouldn't comply with instructions. I saw no need to go along with that classic example of pommieisnesh and jobbed the creep with a decent left a couple of times, so ended up in the principal's office - er sorry 'headmaster's study' and departed the world of fags 'n jeyes nonfunctional toilet paper immediately afterwards. I occasionally saw the stuff in england & Aotearoa up until the 1980's & could never suss its purpose - it quite plainly could not do the job was entrusted with, so why did purchasing officers keep purchasing it?
One more imponderable in a world chocka with them.

Posted by: A User | Mar 16 2020 0:00 utc | 72


i hope you like whiskey

Posted by: r | Mar 16 2020 0:05 utc | 73

Per Colonel Lang's blog, here is a Covid-19 tracker put up by Johns Hopkins University.

Interesting: I read some news Web sites today that said there were around 2800 cases in the US as of Sunday morning. At the same time I read that this tracker was showing 3,200 cases - some 400 new cases added within a few hours. I just - 6:30 PM - looked again. Now it's up to 3,500 cases. Another 300 cases in two hours.

This thing is just getting started in the US. Also, the tracker showed 146 countries have the virus, although most only have a couple cases, so it's just getting started in those countries, too. The tracker dropped one country - back to 145 - apparently because one case proved a false positive.

So far there are over 167,811 confirmed cases and 6,471 deaths worldwide so far, with Washington state the highest in the US with 40 deaths.

I did go out the other day and get another month's worth of toilet paper (and some paper towels since I was on my last roll). The downtown San Francisco Target store was completely out of any sort of hand sanitizer or disinfectant spray.

Today I visited some gun-related sites I usually get articles referred by on my RSS feed. They are showing massive runs on guns and ammunition with some Big Box stores having two hour lines to get to the gun counter. While some people joke about "shooting the virus", the real reason is that people are panicking and panicked people get dangerous - so people are arming themselves in case things get ugly.

The site also had some pictures of several stores visited by one of the article writers. Grocery stores are starting to be cleaned out of various food items, although there still appears to be some fresh meats and vegetables. Canned goods and luncheon meats are being cleared out.

Some of the idiots commenting on these sites are loudly proclaiming that "it's all a hoax", and "there are next to no deaths" and one moron proclaimed he didn't expect more than 12,000 deaths worldwide over the next year (when the tracker already shows 6,000+).

This is going to get worse before it gets better. What are these people going to do when the total of confirmed US cases to date starts hitting 100,000 or one million and the deaths hit 10,000 or 50,000 if they can't even handle 40 deaths in Washington state?

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Mar 16 2020 1:31 utc | 74

BTW, only use that tracker link I provided. Hackers are putting up malicious Web sites based on the Johns Hopkins tracker and using it to spread malware. Also, some trackers for mobile are spreading ransomware. Be sure the Web site you're accessing the tracker on is legit!

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Mar 16 2020 1:33 utc | 75

Richard Steven Hack

It is the testing that is just getting started. Virus got started a lot earlier. US numbers will likely skyrocket for a bit then steady up when they run out of test kits.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Mar 16 2020 1:36 utc | 76

Hmm I may hafta rethink my attitude towards the types who inhabit the town I visit for shopping and the occasional meal. I couldn't be arsed shopping - stocking up after a trip away, until this morning. While away people in Auckland and Brisbane kept on and on about the lack of toilet paper in the supermarkets. There was plenty in the shops in my local town. Not so much of the 'pastel' colored brands people buy to match the curtains, perhaps, but plenty of the stuff normal people buy. I was surprised - nay stunned.
One interesting thing, I had bought the usual 18 roll pack I grab once in a blue moon so as to not have to think about such things for months, a few days before I went away, yet I felt almost overwhelmed by the urge to buy another pack 'just in case'.
I guess these materialist urges are nearly innate so tough for some to resist. I still cannot figure why my neighbours, so reactionary about most things I steer clear usually, have avoided following the herd on this.

Posted by: A User | Mar 16 2020 1:54 utc | 77

@S Post No. 57

You wrote, "People have immunity to influenza"..

If people have immunity to influenza, there would be no need for new strains of a vaccine to combat the virus every year and no vaccine currently formulated eradicates influenza. So your oxymoronic correlation between immunity and annual deaths is flawed. The influenza numbers depend upon R0 (Basic Reproduction Number), which is fluid and changes over time due to a myriad of factors such as: seasonal weather, geographic differences, population shift, population density, age, medical history, level of education, employment, etc. and not just based upon a gross statement of "immunity."

If you sift through the data carefully, you would have seen the majority of China's cases are clustered in Hubei Province with a population of 59 million and total cases of 67,790, that's roughly 0.115 percent of the population. The total cases across all of China is 80,858 as of 3/15/2020. The remainder of the 13,033 cases is spread over 30 provinces. The second largest province is Hanan with a population of 96 million with total case count of 1,273, that's roughly 0.00133 percent of the population.


The total population of China is 1.437 billion and the total number of coronavirus cases stands at 80,858 as of 3/15/2020, that's roughly 0.0056 percent. So the percentage of total cases to total population for either Hubei Province, Hanan Province or all of China is well under 0.05 percent of the population. The total count of deaths stands at 3,213 as of 3/15/2020.

I looked at your statistical analysis and found it so poorly conceived that it makes no sense at all.

You took the entire U.S. national population (329 million) and organized it into the same age groups that matched the Chinese report and applied their CFR (Case Fatality Rate) to our people without adding any adjustment factors such as: quality and access to healthcare, population density, etc. You first assumed the entire U.S. population becomes infected with coronavirus (really?) and extrapolated the number 6.1 million dead which equates to a CFR rate of 1.8 percent overall.

Then you revised your figures and assumed only 20 percent of the population die of the 329 million infected, applying the same CFR rate of 1.8 percent to arrive at 1.2 million deaths.

Now if we apply your analysis and CFR rate (1.8 percent) to the population of China (1.437 billion) would mean that China should expect the total number of deaths from coronavirus to exceed 26 million people. Isn't that correct?

China is seeing less than 50 cases per day and their ADRI (Average Daily Rate of Infection) for over 100 days since the first case was reported is consistently dropping.


I guess President Xi Jinping better not break out the champagne because you think millions more of his people are going to succumb to coronavirus.

Lastly, my belief that Italy is experiencing a more virulent strain of the coronavirus compared to the U.S. is based upon reports from various news sources.





Posted by: PokeTheTruth | Mar 16 2020 2:55 utc | 78

Cold water for washing the bum? Reminds me a mountain hostel some decades ago, with conveniences like electricity out at night (off the grid, they had a generator). Shower had two knobs, one with cold water, the other with icy cold. Great of a quick burst of pain in the bones.

Posted by: Piotr BermanW | Mar 16 2020 2:58 utc | 79

Peter AU1 | Mar 16 2020 1:36 utc | 76 Agreed. I assume the virus has been in the US for weeks, just not tested for on any consistent basis until the media hype increased sufficiently for local governments to get cracking. For other countries, especially small countries without much air traffic to and from China, I would expect much lower rates of infection than the US or Western Europe or Asian countries.

I'm wondering about these measures to limit numbers of people at given events. San Francisco has restricted all event over 1,000. Some places have placed limits of 500 or even 250. I wonder whether there is adequate science behind these random numbers being effective as compared to say, 5,000 people. In major cities, I imagine during rush hour there are thousands of people on the street at any one time. Of course, street movement is less infectious (presumably) than masses of people in one location. Still, I rather doubt that at this point in the pandemic that restricting groups of arbitrary numbers is going to have any significant effect, as opposed to simply closing all bars, restaurants, movie theaters, etc. I suspect we will see such restrictions coming soon. I read today that some municipalities are imposing curfews from 10PM to 5AM except for night workers.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Mar 16 2020 4:28 utc | 80

DUS7 @ 11, Vintage Red @ 23:

Many ancient Roman city-dwellers used public toilets located next to public baths.

Grey water from the public baths were diverted to the public lavatories to wash and carry away excrement into sewers that emptied into rivers or the Mediterranean Sea. The toilet facilities were made of marble with holes in them where people sat and did their business. They used sticks with sponges, cleaned in vinegar that was carried by a slave, to wipe themselves. The sponges would be stuck back into the channels where the grey water flowed until the next patron needed to use the privy and then the patron might clean the sponge on the stick in the vinegar supplied by the slave (rich people might bring their own slaves and vinegar supplies) before using it.

Rich homes most likely had their own bathroom and toilet facilities as the public facilities were not very sanitary.

Posted by: Jen | Mar 16 2020 4:35 utc | 81

I love the remote control. Murphy's law says that the AAA batteries will go flat at the worst possible point in the process :))

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Mar 16 2020 4:36 utc | 82

dus7 #11

Allow me to be blunt, the bidet spray hose is for your arse not your jolly roger.

They are preferred by many women as they reduce rashes and itchy and periodic needs. They are much cleaner than most any other method and they don't have to be as sophisticated as the remote control and heater dryer combination. You can even hook one up to a pressure bottle on the floor if plumbing is not achievable and fill it with warm water in the frosty times. I have done that in rentals where nothing can be altered or it is impossible.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Mar 16 2020 5:26 utc | 83

In Turkey, there is a siphon located at the back under the seat that jets out cold cold water. You use it in conjunction with toilet paper to clean and dry. Less TP is used than in N. America. Its main advantage is that it does not require heating energy, though water is cold in winter.

Posted by: Blue Dotterel | Mar 16 2020 5:28 utc | 84

First thing I did after reading this article was odering a MEWATEC device. I didn't know that such devices exist, let alone being available in Germany. I had seen something similar somewhere abroad decades ago (which looked rather self-made) and thought, something like that would be nice to have...

Thank you for for reporting about something peoeple usually do not talk about.

Posted by: th3l0nius | Mar 16 2020 5:44 utc | 85

Theophrastus #64

Thank you. Especially suited when one is camping in the wilder spaces on our magnificent planet. The squeeze water bottle is a pleasant accessory.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Mar 16 2020 5:50 utc | 86

This topic and discussion tread are hella more informative than the Democratic Party Debate.

That is for sure.

Bidets beat Bernie/Biden/Trump everyday of the week!

Posted by: ak74 | Mar 16 2020 6:00 utc | 87

Posted by: ak74 | Mar 16 2020 6:00 utc | 87

"Bidets beat Bernie/Biden/Trump everyday of the week!"

It all has to do with sewage.

Posted by: Russ Bangs | Mar 16 2020 7:26 utc | 88

The pound down to 1.10 against the euro again. No wonder the UK's stooge journalists are starting to dial up the rhetoric about the EU collapsing - quick, look over there!

Posted by: Tom74 | Mar 16 2020 8:22 utc | 89

I read an account years ago describing British and Dutch civilian detainees held by the Japanese in WW2. The former used paper, though this was often in short supply. The latter favoured washing themselves with water from a bottle, which may have been closer to local practices, but this was seen as disgusting by the British detainees.

Posted by: Waldorf | Mar 16 2020 8:28 utc | 90

A Czech prisoner held by Nazi authorities in WW2 was given sheets of toilet paper by a sympathetic guard, as well as a pencil, which the guard would sharpen on request. The paper was used by the prisoner for writing material, which suggests it was nowhere near as soft as most modern toilet paper but OK for writing. The prisoner was transported to Germany in 1943 and executed but his book was published postwar. I think over 200 sheets were used in this way. The guard, later assisted by a Czech policeman, would hide completed sheets in a disused drainpipe and later take them out of the prison in his briefcase.

Posted by: Waldorf | Mar 16 2020 8:37 utc | 91

If you didn't press too hard with the writing utensil, I'm sure you could've written on the paper we had in my college dorm.

Posted by: Russ | Mar 16 2020 8:43 utc | 92

Lived in Asia for years, now the whole house has bum guns installed, cost very little. They are a much better alternative, most westerners don't believe it though. I just look on at the insanity of toilet paper fights with amazement and chuckle.

Posted by: Rancid | Mar 16 2020 10:05 utc | 93

Oh, buck up, little boys! Cold water is bracing and invigorating! It is not like you drink your water hot (well, there is tea, but most people here drink even that iced), and we're just talking the other end of the same tube. The exit can handle a splash of cold water just as easily as the entrance can, and once over the psychological "squick" one can adjust the perception to experience it as refreshing... and that adjustment doesn't really take much.

Posted by: William Gruff | Mar 16 2020 11:02 utc | 94

Posted by: S | Mar 15 2020 21:27 utc | 57

Well analyzed. According to a HK specialist, using COVID RO vs H1N1 RO(20% infection rate), 60% infection rate is realistic. Which is why UK & Germany adopted in their modeling.

So to let the virus run its course without drastic isolation actions taken by China,now SK & Italy, many nations will be staring at millions of deaths.

UK is expecting 9M hospitalization that will overwhelmed its resources,and up to 800k deaths for its herd immunization. That's provided everything goes smoothly as modeling, if it turns nasty, millions lifes are been grilled leading to a catastrophe for entire nation.

Posted by: TTdr | Mar 16 2020 11:05 utc | 95

Just look at US long history of using biochemical warfare in Vietnam war, tonnes of Agent Orange dumped. In Korea war, Chinese & Korean were attacked by US biowarfare air dropping plagued infested fleas, chemicals, etc....what was the consequence even complaints were lodged in UN? Nil, even history was whitewashed.

They are still spraying African swine flu, bird flu, HIV, Ebola, MERS, SARS, ...and now COVID19 is just another new toy out from Pentagon war funded 200 biowarfare labs, located all over the world to test directly on indigenous.

That's reason Chinese took it very seriously after alerted on 27Dec, shut down seafood mkt by 31Dec, and shutdown 11M Wuhan mega city within 3wks of studying it. This was quickly extended to 60M Hubei province, eventually covering entire 1400M nation wide isolation.

The resources required & social economic cost are astronomical. Was Chinese leaders so stupid not able to differentiate a flu to risk killing own economy and destabilize themselves?

Chinese knew reasonably that its not an ordinary flu, but a low lethality bioweapon designed for maximum infection outbreak to overwhelm hospitals, a low death rate to spread longer thus deplete more resources with longer crisis.

All these are to achieve maximum economic damage and social instability for color revolution incitement using media warfare. But not lethal enough to force an immediate WMD retaliation. SARS, bird flu, Africa swine flu, H1N1,..are also serving such purpose to certain extend.

Russia and China have own offensive program for defense against such attack, esp USM war funded NGOs(Harvard) had been caught extensively collected both Russian & Chinese DNA samples. So US will face a nasty response later.

Revenge is always best served cold.

Posted by: TTdr | Mar 16 2020 11:11 utc | 96

Im surprised b is sharing on this old entertainment long been use in Japan & luxury hotels.

I have used a water spray for long time to clean my butt, dried with TP. This is most hygiene & easier way.

Its an old tradition for many to wash their butt with water. Indians, Sri Lankan, South Asians, Malay, Muslims, minority tribes of China Yunnan, SEAsian like Myanmar, Indonesian, etc. Most used left hand to clean, while keeping right hand for eating and serving. In India & Myanmar, some rural area serve my food with bare right hand, no diarrhea. But in Sri Lanka they eat & serve with both hands have driven me crazy.

Buddhist monks are mandatory to wash with water as one of their precepts. This is said to help prevent rectum disease due to unclean residue. Its also good to prevent piles or lighten ts bleeding due to TP abrasion.

During my business trip to Japan decades ago, i first came across automated bidet toilet bowl with blower and warm seat, like b described, which is wonderful experience. But they are uncommon in my country, and very expensive in range of $2k. However last year i found one simple add-on that has hot-cold water mixer with man/woman selection mode at $35 in Alibaba (Amazon carried them), what a steal.

There are various bowl seat add on with remote-button control, instant water heater, warm seat, drier, night lighting, ...cost around $300~1000, but that will only work with power supply. I might try one later when needs arise, since my resided area winter us mild.

The cheap one has hot water supply come from a tube joining to the usual hot water supply in basin/ shower water heater. The cold toilet seat is solved with a stick on thin cushion for 50cents. Drier is a piece of tissue, as i don't like to accidentally soil a small towel.

Since, using toilet was a wonderful experience esp during cold winter. Moreover, the water spray seem to help agitate the bowel to excrete all leftover, making a very completed clean motion to my surprise.

The only regret is these bidet design only come with option(extra self cleaning nozzle) for women urinating region, not for man. As i also has habit of cleaning after urination, cold spray is not very nice in winter. We shit once a day but urinate 5~8x.

I have suggested to Chinese factory to have a extra outlet for connecting a hand spray so hot-cold mixer can be utilized too. No success. Any know if there is one or how to improvish?

Posted by: TTdr | Mar 16 2020 11:43 utc | 97

Yea we muslims have been doing that for millennia

Posted by: A | Mar 16 2020 11:44 utc | 98

TTdr @101

If you are bitten by a vicious dog, do you plot revenge against the dog? Of course not. It is just an animal behaving in the only manner it can understand.

When the Russians, Iranians, Chinese, Syrians, Venezuelans, Cubans, etc observe that America is "not agreement-capable", note that they are not stating that America is "unwilling" to come to agreements and honor them, but rather that America is not "capable" of reaching and honoring agreements. America cannot be reasoned with because from a nation-state perspective it is just an animal. America only has behavior, not volition and judgement. This is, in fact, the case with all nation-states that allow their societies to be driven by "The Invisible Hand of the Market"; the socioeconomic equivalent of knee-jerk instinct... capitalism, in other words.

Taking revenge on animals is senseless.

Posted by: William Gruff | Mar 16 2020 11:54 utc | 99

My grandmother often told me that during the Great Depression down in south Georgia, if they ran out of pages in the Sears catalog, then they would use red corn cobs for the dirty work and white cobs to check the job they did.

Posted by: Morongobill | Mar 16 2020 12:44 utc | 100

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