At a party the other night, a friend waxed lyrical about her newly renovated house, demonstrating particular enthusiasm for her brand new ensuite bathroom. As well as the usual suspects – a toilet, shower with frameless glass, bath with spa feature, wall to wall mirrors– the bathroom has a special, vaguely exotic addition.
My friend loves her bidet. She talks about it often, and with tremendous pride. Apparently, the bidet gives her a new level of ‘freshness’ that toilet paper alone cannot provide – a freshness that evidently provides exceptional joy, because she was glowing just talking about it.
Well, glowing or not, I don’t want that level of ‘freshness’, or at least, I don’t want to receive it from a porcelain bowl. To me, a bidet is a malfunctioning toilet – one that flushes up, instead of flushes down. We have all had the experience of receiving a little splash back when we have flushed slightly too early, and we all know it is not pleasant. Why one would wish to give oneself a deliberate spray of water up the bum is utterly beyond me.
Of course, there is the possibility that I am traumatised by past experiences, and that I am forever prejudiced against bidets. I was once deeply scarred by a malfunctioning toilet that threw up water into my face. To make matters worse, the toilet was on a boat, and I was sea sick and desperately miserable. Since that day, I have associated spraying toilets with nausea and distress, which is as far from ‘freshness’ as one can possibly get.
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Okay, so the results weren’t really all that surprising. The vast majority of respondents answered with a resounding NO.
“Ain’t no way I wants water shooting up MY arse!” wrote Anita.
“It would seem awfully like sticking one’s bum in the toilet bowl and flushing,” commented Peter.
“My over-riding concern is the ‘warm-up’ factor,” wrote Carol. “Instant warm water necessary. Impossible.”
And I agree.
But apparently, bidets do have their place in society, or at least in the bathroom.
“They’re awesome for cleaning your feet!” wrote Jono.
“We’ve got one in our apartment here. We use it for the wet towels and cossies,” said Jen.
And from Kirsty, who lives in Qatar and has a bidet in every upstairs bathroom but has never used them for their intended purpose, “Doubles as a laptop resting spot while watching a movie in the bath.” So the bidet moves into the technological era, which is indeed something to celebrate.
But then there was a comment from my friend Adam, who was at the party the other night, and was listening to the entire bidet discussion.
“Depends on if you scrunch or fold!!!” he wrote on my Facebook page.
To scrunch or to fold. To scrunch or to fold……
But that is another issue entirely.