March 9, 2007

Ooh, I’m glad to know you guys are with me on the You Excreted It, You Deal With It rule. Can I just gross you out a little bit more and say that another thing I really, really hate is when you discover someone else’s . . . well, there’s no better term than skid marks, on the bottom of the bowl? I have to concede there’s not much a person can be expected to do about that (although you COULD try flushing a couple more times, Mystery Dumper!), and at least the main event has been taken care of, but the fact that I can visually confirm the sheer weight of the turdage is disturbing. No, this wasn’t a floater, friends, this fucker went down periscope and scraaaaaped along the bottom on its exit journey . . . perhaps becoming trapped briefly in a horizontal position before the water suction turned it, like a kayak aiming towards the rapids.

Also, I’d like every woman using a public restroom to collectively agree on one approach to pushing the toilet handle. Either we ALL use our hands, or we ALL use our feet. I know some people use their feet to flush, because I’ve seen bottom-of-the-shoe evidence, and hell, I’ve done it myself in particularly skeevy restrooms. Once I did so, I wondered how many handles are typically stepped on with shoes that have also walked through—I can barely type this and boy I hope you’re not eating lunch—those globs of (gag gag gag) gooey mucusy spit on sidewalks. Yes, we can all wash our hands afterwards but STILL.

So! We should all as a nation either do the foot thing exclusively (which is a drag for the people who may be challenged by the task of balancing on one foot while holding a purse and some bags and possibly a squirming child), or agree to use hands only.

When I was in Japan in 2005 I couldn’t believe how advanced their (Western-style) toilets were. There were heated seats, recorded waterfall sounds to camouflage any indelicate explosives, and a plethora of buttons on each toilet, all of which I was too intimidated to try despite the helpful instructions.



I mean, maybe “rinses your posterior with warm water” is a misleading translation for “blasts a piping-hot enema right up your tooter”, you know?

Okay, ENOUGH ALREADY with the toilet talk, I’m sorry to have subjected you to it two days in a row. Can we move on to the honey, which some of you are awfully suspicious about? I wrote about it over here (you should also check out the Moo minicards review becase those cards are very cool), so please come visit and get edumacated about the benefits of using insect byproducts on your pretty little mug.


50 Responses to “Second turd, same as the first”

  1. samantha jo campen on March 9th, 2007 11:49 am

    I love toilet talk and you are fucking hilarious.

  2. ElizabethZ on March 9th, 2007 12:00 pm

    Feet, feet, feet, I NEVER use my hands to flush the toilet in a public restroom. Even at the office. Do some TaeBo – you will be balancing on one foot with all listed above in hand – NO problem. I guarantee it. I also use my paper towel to open the door when I am done. I am not a clean freak but public toilets equals germs I don’t even want to think about being there in ABUNDANCE! As always your descriptions are so wonderfully vivid although I may have to omit the “wonderfully” in the case of the flush description – EW and EWWWWWWWWW! Sorry. Have a great weekend!

  3. Amy on March 9th, 2007 12:02 pm

    So does it actually flush or just play the flushing sound? And I love that they must have sent the instructions out to an English interpreter because otherwise, how would they know to use the word posterior? So cool! Why can’t we catch up to their toilet technology?

  4. laura on March 9th, 2007 12:20 pm

    Please forgive the instant message lingo, but ROFL, or as a good friend would say “ROFFLE.” I want one of those Japanese toilets just for fun. I can only imagine how great it would be for a toddler… I would scare her off potty training altogether by pushing the bidet button as she timidly sits there wating to make a deposit. Ok, no I wouldn’t but just thinking about it makes me smile b/c I’m evil like that.

    ps. I use my foot, always. The number one reason is because when you flush, if there is no closed lid on the thing, millions of tiny fecal and urine particles are thrust into the air and thus, land on said handle, the seat, and whatever is withing spraying distance of the bowl. Have you ever flushed an empty industrial strength toilet? It usually leaves a ton of spray just on the seat alone. It grosses me out to no end. Needless to say, I am compulsive about touching nothing within the stall.

  5. angela on March 9th, 2007 12:29 pm

    To get rid of skid marks (GAK) I always take a bunch of ass gaskets and loosely crumple them before throwing them into the bowl and flushing. Works every time.

    I am so embarrassed that I know that.

  6. Anonymous on March 9th, 2007 12:39 pm

    You guys need to go to

    This is the most discusting site I have ever seen. To think that someone would actually take a picture of it and post it on the internet….

  7. Moose on March 9th, 2007 12:48 pm

    I just put Japan on my list of Places To Go When I Have Lots of Money Or Cease To Be Worried About Extraneous Debt – purely for the toilets.

    Also, after reading your blog post yesterday, I washed my face in honey for the first time this morning. I’m sold.

  8. aoife on March 9th, 2007 12:48 pm

    The Japanese were having a water crisis about 10 or 15 years ago due to people flushing and flushing and flushing while getting their business done (just a little too modest — yes, its poop, but we all do it) that someone invented the electronic water noise to go with the bidet and stuff… Just thought a bit of history would be useful…

    However… did you get to use a TRADITIONAL toilet??? :) That’s interesting.

  9. Keaton on March 9th, 2007 12:48 pm

    I’ve spent a fair amount of time in Japan (It’s my major!), and so I’ve had a chance to play around with those things. I stood to the side and hit both the bidet and “posterior” washer, and it flew out of the toilet and gave the wall a good washing. It was like someone wanted to fire one of those Super Soaker xz9864 Omega editions right on up there. I won’t even go into the story about a girl who tried the bidet…

  10. Mel on March 9th, 2007 12:56 pm

    Going into public bathrooms is both a blessing and a curse for someone who is blind. For the blessing, I can’t see how disgusting the bathroom is. For the curse…well, same as the blessing, really. Ugh! Those bathroom toilets really gross me out. And, unfortunately, I use my and to flush the toilet because…well…I don’t have great balance. Plus, you never know exactly where the flusher is. I’m so thankful my husband can see. He takes our son into the men’s bathroom, complete with our changing pad and sanitary wipes, and does the job there. I’m sickened by feeling around the tilet walls to flush, let alone taking my child in trying to find the chnaing station along the same disgusting bathroom walls. Yuck! The toilets in Japan sound great, if there really is such a thing as a great toilet. *grin*

  11. Sunshyn on March 9th, 2007 12:58 pm

    I ate at a Japanese restaurant in downtown Sacramento, CA, that actually had one of those, just like in your picture, along with sales brochures of a local, um, bidet dealer. Today’s Sacramento Bee features a local inventor, the very guy who invented the dealie on the gas pump that makes the gas fumes go back in and therefore makes the gas so DAMN hard to pump in many cases. He has now invented a cheap, easy, bidet attachment that he hopes will go on every toilet in America! Woohoo! I wonder if it attaches to warm water, though. Cold bidet? No thanks…

  12. Jan on March 9th, 2007 1:05 pm

    Well, once again, I am totally clueless. I didn’t know you were supposed to flush with your FEET. How come nobody ever told me this? I guess it just never came up in conversation. And I can’t imagine why not.

  13. Leah on March 9th, 2007 1:10 pm

    Always feet. Always.

  14. Amy M. on March 9th, 2007 1:13 pm

    Foot, always with a foot.

    Did you use a “traditional” toilet in Japan? That’s an experience! I have no idea how a woman in pantyhose and heels could do it, much less an older person. I have relatives in the “countryside” in Japan who only have those. I held it pretty much for the whole visit (just the day) until I could return to the comfort of my hotel room bathroom! If you stay in a more traditional inn, they even provide special slippers for the restroom that aren’t to be used anywhere else. They’re usually red, for “Oh God no! Don’t step in the hall with those nasty bathroom slippers!”

  15. Trina on March 9th, 2007 1:44 pm

    Always with the foot. Always. Always. Always. Even at the super fancy restaurants.

  16. Josh on March 9th, 2007 2:07 pm

    While I have to admit that occasionaly there comes a BM of the wrong consistency and I wouldn’t mind some H2O assistance in the nether cleaning. Still, I picture something between a water fountain and a pressure washer rinsing/piercing my ass with a stream/jet of water/sheer pain. I don’t trust plumbers enough to toy with my holiest of holies. They can’t get anything right. Waters always either trickling or full blast, icy cold death or super heated lava, and frequently changes from one extreme to another with no warning. I’ll stick to our low tech TP procedure for my hygiene needs, thank you very much.

  17. Deanna on March 9th, 2007 2:17 pm

    FLUSH twice, or run like hell when you leave. Or both. Being a Southern Bell, I’m quite fond of potty humor (don’t ask) so a coworker once sent me a list of “how to poo at work.” If I can find it, I’ll share. Regarding the flushing – I’m a footer – but never gave any thought to who might be flushing, a hander, after me. Hmm. I’ll think twice. Nah, I’ll probably use my foot, I have to share a unisex bathroom with very “macho men.”

    Regarding the Japaneese toilets, I do like the masking sound feature. I found myself at the grand opening of Bloomingdales in Atlanta and, yes, had to POO. And I was not alone in the stall. I would have paid good money for a sound effect, other than my ass-effects.

  18. Kiernan on March 9th, 2007 2:57 pm

    See now you’ve made me homesick for the heated toilet seats that we had in Japan. They seemed ridiculous when we moved in, in April, but I loved with all my heart by January.

  19. Annie on March 9th, 2007 3:37 pm

    When we lived in Japan, many of my American girlfriends prefered the traditional Japanese toilets because there was no seat to deal with at all. But I’ll tell you, they are a nightmare when you’ve been drinking.

  20. Anais on March 9th, 2007 3:42 pm

    I always use my foot. Always.

  21. whoorl on March 9th, 2007 3:49 pm

    I want one of those toilets.

    And yes, I’m guilty of the foot. 100% of the time.

  22. Brooke on March 9th, 2007 4:36 pm

    Oh, Christ, you people are hysterical. I’m silently laughing and co-workers think I’m nuts. I could really go in for a bidet, I tell you. Like someone said above (Josh?), sometimes regular TP doesn’t cut it. Flushable wipes are the next best thing. Not just for kids, those.

  23. dennis on March 9th, 2007 4:59 pm

    Spray Strength ???

    What sort of power washing setting do you need to clean your uhhh yourself.

  24. Jennifer on March 9th, 2007 5:09 pm

    To Amy M: I’ve had the same wondering thoughts that you mentioned: about how do older Japanese women, wearing dresses and pantyhose, use those in-the-floor squatters?! When I lived in Tokyo I went to “Phantom of the Opera” (all sung in Japanese of course) in a very fancy performance hall. At intermission, a very rickety elderly woman, dressed very stylishly, was in front of me in the bathroom line. She went into that little in-the-floor stall and was in-and-out of there in a flash, business done. I was amazed. I guess they develop good balance and good thigh muscles from birth, by using those toilets their whole lives.

  25. Junniper on March 9th, 2007 5:25 pm

    I vote FEET ONLY 100%!

    Also, I wandered over to your Flickr account, and you are a goddamned fantastic photographer.

  26. Lesley on March 9th, 2007 9:24 pm

    Where I work some women step onto the toilet seat and squat. You can see the scuffs on the seat.

    What I do is wipe the seat and then put toilet paper all over it to cover it (if there are no seat covers), then sit, do my business and flush everything down the toilet. If number 2, I wait til it flushes and if necessary flush again. I never leave anything in there.

    Women who leave a wet seat, do not flush – and the worst! menstruating women who don’t flush – deserve to burn in hell for eternity. The hell Rowan Atkinson describes in his Welcome to Hell sketch.

  27. Kym on March 9th, 2007 9:32 pm

    As a friend once advised after coming out of a rather skeevy restroom, “all I can say is: squat and flush with with your toe”

    A couple I know installed the cool gadgety Japanese style toilet in their house recently, they love it. I want one sooo bad, but they are quite pricey.

    I live with 4 boys and one bathroom, so I am constantly confronted by the skid markage, and truthfully I am just thankful when they actually remember to flush enough times to get it all down and wipe the pee off the rim. Our toilet clogs about once a day, nothing worse than having to plunge someone elses leftovers. UGGHHH!

  28. Sara on March 9th, 2007 10:40 pm

    I’ve been to Taiwan and can I just say, I actually love the squat-style toilets? Maybe I’m weird, but it takes the whole toilet seat hygiene issue away. I believe there were push buttons on many of them (on the floor) or sensors (love the sensors!). Perhaps my greatest feat there was using a squat toilet on a moving train while, um, using a tampon and holding on to a wall for fear I would pitch forward into the sink. I can’t believe I just told you that, but I was seriously proud of my ability to balance and remain amazed. My life really isn’t this small, but hey, you brought it up!
    P.S. That David Sedaris story is one of my favorites.

  29. samantha jo campen on March 9th, 2007 11:15 pm

    Oh, and I’m a foot flusher all the way.

  30. Steve Wilson on March 10th, 2007 1:35 am

    Seems Japan has come a long way since 1965. The only ones I had the pleasure of encountering were “co-ed” and had nothing but a little ditch carved in the floor. And they washed into narrow open gutters in the streets. Annie knows… you ONLY went into them drunk, and then hope you were steady enough on your feet to not fall down near the curb. Sweeeeet!

  31. Gentry on March 10th, 2007 3:24 am

    In France, a “hygenic” paper toilet seat cover is never offered, so everyone sits. It’s a tacit agreement that squatting and spraying isn’t allowed. And really, what germs lurk on your upper thigh outer buttock region? And the flusher is a button on the top of the toilet, impossible to get at with your shoe (unless you removed a stiletto and manually pressed down using the heel).

    Just thought you’d like to know.

  32. Melissa on March 10th, 2007 9:15 am

    Flushing with your foot is seriously disgusting. There isn’t some unspoken rule that all women do this, so there are tons of women flushing public toilets and getting who knows what on their hands because you went walking on the dirty ground and then put your dirty shoe on the toilet handle. Seriously, if you are that paranoid about germs, pull off some toilet paper and use that to flush. And then wash your hands. I mean, seriously, EWWWW. If you wouldn’t put your foot up on a table or a chair or somewhere else public where others are going to be, don’t put your foot on the toilet. Any part of the toilet.

    Also, for the love of everything holy, if you insist on hovering (and germs die almost immediately on a toilet seat, so you’re really not doing anything but making yourself uncomfortable) please WIPE UP YOUR MESS.

  33. Aunt Linda on March 10th, 2007 1:18 pm

    Does anyone know why toilets flush by hand vs with a toe pedal? Makes more sense, doesn’t it?

  34. Donna on March 10th, 2007 2:35 pm

    I am totally amazed that so many of you actually have the option of deciding whether or not to use that bathroom at work! Maybe it’s just my age but sorry, if I gotta go, I gotta go!

  35. Melissa on March 10th, 2007 7:00 pm

    Okay – Great posts! I always flush with my foot and I live in Manhattan where people spit, shit and god only knows what is on the bottom of my shoes. If you are a hand-flusher, please use T.P. to cover your hand. I understand but I’m not touching that thing. Please flush multiple times with skids and if that doesn’t work, throw some T.P. in and flush again.
    It is worth the effort!

    Also, hasn’t anyone heard of the courtesy flush? Flushing while pooing (t.p. on hand) does help the issue of stink for the most part. And it may even prevent the dreadful backup that comes with the wads of T.P. that are required for your giant turd!

    Sorry – I needed to get that off my chest!

  36. Michelle on March 10th, 2007 8:43 pm

    1. I wonder if I work with Lesley because I’ve found shoe prints on the toilet seat at work, too.
    2. Why can’t all toilets have that fancy “seeing eye” thing that just flushes for you once you stand up?
    3. Did you know that honey has a mild laxative effect? (Tah-dah! I just brought your potty talk and your Sundry Buzz full circle. More satisfying than a non-skidding poo, eh?)

  37. Melanie on March 10th, 2007 8:45 pm

    Japanese toilets appear to be so very, very awesome. Why are they so much more advanced than we are?

  38. aibee on March 10th, 2007 9:03 pm

    okay, somebody really needs to show me what a (clean please, because anything otherwise would be totally gross) public toilet looks like in the US because this being able to flush with your feet thing? Is giving me some rather disturbing visuals.

  39. MJ on March 10th, 2007 11:22 pm

    Always use my feet. Always. In fact, somewhere in Europe I found a toilet that flushed by stepping on a button on the floor. I thought it was (and is) the coolest thing ever.

  40. Jem on March 11th, 2007 3:34 am

    I also have never heard of using a foot. I feel so deprived! I normally use my hand, but the back of it, where nothing ever touches. Or the knuckle of my finger if its a press down one. I was just about to suggest someone should invent a button on the floor, and then I saw the person above me just said they’d seen that before! Doh.

  41. Cartwheels At Midnight on March 11th, 2007 9:37 am

    I lived in Japan with Annie (up there at XIX), and I’m one of those who preferred the old style Japanese toilets in the floor. Nothing to touch, and having freakishly short legs as I do, hovering over a seat is sometimes difficult for me.

    Also – I lived there for 4 years and NEVER got past the intimidation that a seat with so many functions generated. (Except for the heated seats – even in a strange bathroom, if it was freezing cold and the seat was heated, I sat my butt right down on it – germs be damned.)

    And – I’m a foot-flusher – unless it’s too high or I have on a skirt that won’t allow leg-lifting. Then, I use a piece of TP to protect the sanctity of my flesh.

  42. Karen on March 11th, 2007 12:59 pm

    In England, some public toilets now have a sensor to flush. You just waft your hand in front of the sensor and away it goes.
    I found a (oh my god I was looking at toilet websites) website that shows something similar, 4th item down!

  43. Jennifer on March 11th, 2007 2:45 pm

    I love it, now Sundry’s got us surfing toilet photos online.

    Here’s the one that I think we are debating in the “flush by foot or by hand” comments, is this it?

    When I see this kind of toilet flusher, it’s FOOT for me. And even if the person in front of you used her hand, it was likely just as germy, having previously wiped her ass, right? So does it really matter whether we all choose to use hand vs foot? The germs could be as noxious, so a post-flush hand-washing is needed regardless…

  44. Pete on March 11th, 2007 4:30 pm

    A little of topic but since I posted before (what are you doing this weekend?) I thought I do a follow up. Just got back for doing the Solvang Century ( and after 104 miles which took me 7 hours 10 minutes, I burned 5875 calories, peddled over 30,000 times and my heart beat over 60,000 times (gotta love bike computers), I am so glad that it’s over. Also, I now know what Michael Jackson’s ass would feel like if he ever went to prison. ;-)
    In the theme of toilets did you know that at the end of the day the crap in a Porta-Potty starts rising above the blue liquid the same as a volcano in the ocean?

  45. emily on March 12th, 2007 8:05 am

    Thank you for making me squirt coffe through my nose on Monday morning. You are a HOOT!

  46. Josh on March 12th, 2007 5:46 pm

    Wow. Being a guy I never even realized this foot flushing thing existed. I’ve always just grabbed some TP to flush if it looked dirty. If it looks clean, it’s clean enough to come off when you wash your hands.

    I guess this is on par with the urinal spacing rule, or the no-talking-ever rule which men know about but so often ignore. I don’t even want to get into female restroom etiquette problems, I’ve got my own, but good luck with that!

  47. Melissa on March 13th, 2007 7:13 pm

    In this household, those skidmarks are called “jazz.”

    As in, “Jesus Christ, honey, you left a lot of jazz in the bowl.”


    A public bathroom foot-flusher

    P.S. Been reading your blog for ages – how sad is it that this is the post that moved me to comment? Issues. Methinks I have issues …

  48. Emma on March 14th, 2007 4:11 am

    I just got back to the land of internet connections and am catching up with reading your blog. All I have to say is the following:

    1. In regards to toilets, I also cannot stand it when people do not wait to check if the flush has actually worked – ick!

    2. Honey is great on the face – a brilliant antibiotic as well (and good for coldsores/mouth ulcers).

    3. I have never, in my entire life (all 21 years of it *g*), heard of flushing a toilet with one’s foot… I’ve obviously led a very sheltered (and somewhat unhygenic) lifestyle!


  49. Jane on March 16th, 2007 11:57 pm

    I am in Japan right now and am just catching up on the entries I’ve missed while I’ve been away. I couldn’t believe that the first one addresses the very toilets I’ve been experiencing since I arrived yesterday. They are indeed a new experience, and I do enjoy the warmed seats. Like you, I didn’t try any other buttons… at first…

  50. Topamax. on November 9th, 2007 7:21 am


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