With plenty of time to ponder topics for future KCC stories. I caught a news story that prompted my interest in what appears to be yet another near nationwide crisis. No, it’s not ObamaCare or the NSA obtaining all of our personal data.
However our privacy is about to be invaded in the most personal way yet.
Municipalities are about to place cameras in sewer lines to study our toilet habits and any one of us could be one flush away from prosecution. Persecution even.
What’s the problem?
The culprit is you and your moist towelettes, a product that’s become a staple in my bathroom since The Blonde moved in.
A $6 billion dollar industry, moist towelettes has experienced huge growth marketing baby wipes to adults, which has now the largest segment of the market. Ten years ago this was almost exclusively a product sold for infants and dirty diaper remediation.
Seems these little five by five inch sheets aren’t all that flushable regardless of what the label says and its costing cities millions.
The problem got so bad in a western New York town this summer that officials set up basket strainers in sections of pipe to figure out which households the wipes were coming from.
“We could walk right up, knock on the door and say, `Listen, this problem is coming right from your house,”‘ said Tom Walsh, senior project coordinator at South & Center Chautauqua Lake Sewer Districts, which was dispatching crews at least once a week to clear a grinder pump that would seize up trying to shred the fibrous wipes.
The problem got worldwide attention in July when London sewer officials reported removing a 15 ton “bus-sized lump” of wet wipes.
This is some serious shit, people and it needs our immediate attention.
Who’s to blame?
Would you believe, musician, activist and toilet paper authority Sheryl Crow?
Who can fix it? The French. For once it turns out they can actually contribute to something.
It all started when left wing, tree hugging zealot Crow first made her appeal for Americans to use just one square six years ago.
You’ve made it clear; all you want to do is have some fun, just stick to that, OK?
The singer told the Global Warming College Tour, “We are an industrious enough people that we can make it work with only one square per restroom visit, except, of course, on those pesky occasions where 2 to 3 could be required.”
Thanks for not going into more detail on exactly what a “pesky occasion” is.
People eager to please followed Crow’s advice but soon found a hole in her theory, leaving them with a huge mess on their hands while trying to be “green”.
As much as we hate those pesky French, they have it all over us with their 17th century invention of the bidet. It’s really the only proper solution to this problem.
Let’s review just how far we’ve progressed with human waste hygiene.
The poor of old had a chamber pot as their only “facility.”
Walking the streets you would hear shouts from the windows above, “gardez l’eau,” which translated, “watch out for the water.” Out the window to the sidewalk below would come its contents.
This is also where we got the phrase, “to poor to have a pot to piss in or a window to throw it out of.”
If you were rich and lived in a castle, it was only slightly better. The pot emptied onto a slab of wood and the waste slid down into the moat. That’s why castle dwellers didn’t post a lot of Instagram pictures bragging about their gondolas and floating around the moats enjoying picnic lunches.
If you were the King of the castle, you had on staff the ‘Groom of the King’s Close Stool’. That’s right; someone to wipe your butt for you. Regardless of your status, there was no such thing as toilet paper; you used leaves, moss, and anything else you could get your hands on.
They’ve been notoriously bad fighters, laid down arms in WW2. They have given up or “sat it out” more times than we can count, but when it comes to the needs of the bathroom, my hat’s off to them; they know their shit and we are now seemingly the butt of the joke.
Would you follow your dog on its evening walk, pick up poop with your bare hands, then wipe them off with a piece of paper and call it good?
Of course not, but you do your bum. What’s up with that?
Cottonelle is running a spot showing someone washing their hair with no water or shampoo with the tag line, “You can’t clean your hair without water, so why clean your bum that way?”
So thanks a lot Sheryl, for making it the issue it’s become today. Thanks, people of France, for showing us what we should have known all along.
Be kind to your bum unless you’re just a huge ass anyway, in which case it doesn’t matter. I’ll continue to flush my wipes, I live in Johnson County where everything is perfect; we have yet to experience the problem in our sewer system.
However, if you’re in KCMO or you feel bad about flushing you wipes, call Roger the Plumber today, and thank the French.