“Cleanliness is next to godliness!”

Alright now! The gauntlet has been thrown down! I hadn’t planned on writing this particular post but when I jokingly brought up the subject at a recent backyard barbecue my kids- thought it was funny and encouraged me to write it. I told them I didn’t think so as it is a rather delicate subject. But they kept talking and joking about it, telling me to do it and I kept saying no, no, no. And that’s when it happened. My youngest son who was sitting across the table from me looked me in the eye, smiled and said loudly, “Come on dad I dare you to write about it.”  With that my son-in-law joined in the dare and soon they were all in on it. Although I hate to pass on a dare (and my son knows it) I told them I wasn’t going to write about it and that was that.

Well that was more than a week ago and I’d actually put the whole idea behind me, then yesterday I was reading an article online which happened to contain the phrase, “cleanliness is next to godliness.” Well the words seemed to jump out at me, and reminded me of the dare from the week before, perhaps because the sensitive subject my kids wanted me to write about has to do with cleanliness. Anyway, the idea to write the post gained new life and though I’m still hesitant, I’ve decided to take the dare.

Clean and fresh, the bidet way!

It all started when a package arrived for my youngest son a couple of weeks ago from Amazon. I didn’t really think much about it as he is always getting deliveries. Later that evening after riding my bike I went in to shower and found him in our back bathroom with the toilet tank cover off working on something. When I asked him what he was up too he told me was installing his latest Amazon purchase, a Joy Bidet! It seems it wouldn’t fit properly on the toilet in the front bathroom so he was putting it on ours. Funny, I had no idea you could even buy a kit to accessorize your normal everyday commode with a bidet. I was at first amused and jokingly asked if he was having a little trouble keeping it clean and was having a skid mark problem. He laughed and began singing the praises of the bidet and how European countries all used the bidet because it was more sanitary than wiping, I listened to his bidet commercial then help him finish up the installation so I could get him the hell out of my bathroom so I could finally take my shower. In case your wondering, by shower I mean a full body shower not a bidet bottom blast.

The following morning I took care of my bathroom business and yes, I finished up with the help of the bidet. I have to tell you although it was certainly different, it was much more sanitary than the traditional method and it did save on toilet paper. Before leaving for work I couldn’t resist popping into my sons room to tell him that I had tried the bidet and liked it! I told him I thought it was awesome that I was leaving for work with “fresh breath and a clean ass!” We both laughed, but you know what? I wasn’t kidding!

For the next several day we both sang the praises of bidet usage to anyone in the family who would listen and to others as well. A few family members were embarrassed by my son’s proclamation that “the bidet is the only way!” They believe that toilet etiquette is something personal and that it is improper to be talking about it. Of course my son and I disagreed, stating that it is a natural function that we must all deal with (some more than others) and therefore open to discussion. So began the great bidet debate: Wash versus Wipe.

First there’s the environmental argument. Pro paper bottom wipers believe that using a bidet to clean your butt wastes too much water. On the other side you have the pro bidet brigade who believe bidet use is environmentally friendly because it uses far less paper.  Toilet paper is only used for drying purposes, less paper means more trees saved. Some more expensive bidet models even come equipped with warm water jets and air dryers, doing away with the need for paper toilet paper all together. And truth be told the actual water use is minimal measuring 1/8 of a gallon per use. The average person doesn’t realize that it takes as much as 37 gallons of water to produce one single roll of TP and Americans use more than 36.5 billion rolls of TP a year, that a hell of a lot of wasted trees. The new cry of tree huggers everywhere should be,”Save a tree today, get a Bidet.” Instead of  going green by simply buying a hybrid vehicle, serious conservationists should consider buying a bidet.

Then of course there’s the sanitation aspect. Let’s face facts a bidet is a much more sanitary method of cleansing. A short stream of water cleanses the bottom and TP is used only to dry the area. Contact is minimized. It is definitely a much more efficient cleansing method and a safer alternative to wiping which puts the person wiping at higher risk of making contact with fecal matter. Did you know that it is estimated that only about half of us actually wash our hands after wiping! That’s right, only 50%. When you consider that nearly 80% of infectious disease is passed by human contact, going the way of the bidet makes perfect sense, or should I say it’s the way to go after going!

Everyone knows whether they care to admit it or not, that sometimes wiping can be a real pain in the ass. Sometimes the more you wipe, the more you can irritate your behind. Once irritated, wiping can be especially painful especially if you develop a rash or God forbid a hemorroid! At times like these you definitely don’t want to be rubbing the area with TP because even ‘Nice N Soft’ or ‘Charmin’ can feel like your wiping your bottom with sandpaper! But with a bidet a gentle stream of water on the irritated area can be quite therapeutic.

There was a time when the bidet was seen as strictly a European commodity. But today bidets are popular in many countries all over the world—except guess where? That’s right, North America! Can you believe that? We who profess to be so advanced and civilized still  resort to wiping with thin squares of paper when a much more sanitary and efficient way to cleanse ourselves exists. I believe it’s a conspiracy proliferated by the major American paper companies. They don’t want Americans to discover the truth about the efficiency and cleanliness of the bidet. It would be bad for business. real bad. How could they possibly replace the millions of dollars they would lose from toilet paper sales. 37.5 billion rolls a year generates a lot of green, the spendable kind and the only kind of green these companies care about. As long as bidets don’t catch on in the United States they will continue to make their fortunes and that’s just the way they like it. I guess they just don’t want the average American Joe to be able to go to work each morning with fresh breath and a clean ass! What a downright, dirty shame…

Just saying…

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