World Toilet Day. Really.


Ancient roman latrines / latrinae, Ostia Antica

Today is World Toilet Day. I’d love to say I’m making this up, so I could proceed to write a hilarious satire on World Toilet Day, including mocking all the festivities of World Toilet Day, such as the Toilet Festival, the Toilet Parade, the crowning of Miss World Toilet Day, and the football game marking the culmination of the festivities, the world-famous Toilet Bowl. But turns out, World Toilet Day is not something made up, and is actually a very serious day designed to bring awareness of the many people around the world who suffer disease because of their lack of toilets and sanitation. World Toilet Day engineers, scientists, sociologists, anthropologists and others are working tirelessly to help developing countries solve this serious sanitation issue.

So let’s not make fun of World Toilet Day, because after all, anyone can see this is a day shrouded in seriousness. Let’s not tell funny stories about toilets, or mock the term “World Toilet Day” which just begs to be mocked, but let’s not. Instead, let’s remember the less fortunate. Let’s remember that something we take for granted in developed countries, such as flushing the toilet and not having to worry about what happens after it is flushed, is not  something everyone else enjoys. 

Let’s not use this time to tell funny stories with regard to this important piece of sanitation equipment. That would be wrong. Let’s not talk about how when I was a toddler, I somehow became convinced that if I sat on a toilet with a split seat, as most public toilets have, I would fall in through that little opening and be flushed away. I have no idea where I got this idea, maybe from an older sibling, but as one can imagine, it made taking me to the potty Hell on earth for my mom whenever we  were in a public building. “Nooooo, noooo, I’ll fall in. Noooo. Noooo.” Poor mom. Maybe that’s why she smoked.

Let’s not discuss the precursor of the toilet, the outhouse. When I went to scout camp with my kids I was introduced to the scout version of this lovely  modern convenience. The camp boasted a smattering of genuine wooden outhouses, most built pre-World War II. It never occurred to anyone at the camp that maybe these disgusting latrines should be updated. After all, they were good enough for the scouts all these years, so why change now? Besides, scouting was all about manliness and “roughing it” which somehow included using ancient wooden outhouses. When I complained to the scout leaders that the outhouses were a bastion of germs, unsafe and unsanitary, the leader assured me not to worry, that the scouts “cleaned” the outhouses daily. Funny, they never seemed clean though. Once day I discovered the secret. I caught the scouts on cleaning duty and watched the process. They took a large bottle of bleach, ran into the smelly contrivance, splashed some bleach around on the floor, then hosed the whole place down with water. Cleaned daily. Right.

So, no more mocking of the term “World Toilet Day.” Just remember the plight of many people in developing countries who lack clean water and sanitation facilities. Think of them every time you flush today on World Toilet Day.

© Huffygirl 2011

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16 thoughts on “World Toilet Day. Really.

    • Thanks Lisa. I just couldn’t pass this day up – such a serious issue, yet the title so begs to be made fun of. If they had called it “World Sanitation Day” there would be no post today.

    • I’m with you on the lack of privacy. It’s like the Walmart of bathrooms. We can only hope that maybe there were stone dividing walls that didn’t survive the excavation, but I doubt it.

  1. Great post! Last year when I was in a tiny village in the mountains of Peru…. I was literally praying that I could somehow find a decent toilet….. we totally take for granted just how good we have it…when it comes to something as simple as just a toilet….

  2. Excellent. The next time I stuff my face to oblivion with food I don’t really want, but eat just because it’s there, I will think of those less fortunate people in Africa when I crap it out.

    Rob

  3. I can see where your fear of getting flushed down could come from. I certainly appreciate the toilet. Toilets are great. As great as toilets is toilet paper. Without that, we’d be all messy. There should be a day for toilet paper, too.

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