Because You Need To Know

Every day of my life, I thank my lucky stars when I get up, go into my clean bathroom, and take care of business.

Some days of my life, I’m less thankful when I am somewhere where the only “facilities” have no running water.  No handle to push.  No way to wash my hands.

Of course, with my potty problems, I guess I’m more in tune to toilet issues than most people.

Why am I telling you this?  You see, Thursday, November 19, is World Toilet Day. And of course, I’m (1) telling you about it; and (2) celebrating it.

The Wider Image: Around the world in 45 toilets

A toilet stands outside the Llamocca family home at Villa Lourdes in Villa Maria del Triunfo on the outskirts of Lima, Peru, October 7, 2015. REUTERS/Mariana Bazo

The point of World Toilet Day is actually pretty important.  People without access to hygienic facilities risk illness, many women are preyed upon and attacked as they seek out a place to go.  Diseases are transmitted, including infections, cholera, well, here’s a picture.

The "F-diagram" (feces, fingers, flies, fields, fluids, food), showing pathways of fecal-oral disease transmission. The vertical blue lines show barriers: toilets, safe water, hygiene and handwashing. Source Wikipedia

The “F-diagram” (feces, fingers, flies, fields, fluids, food), showing pathways of fecal-oral disease transmission. The vertical blue lines show barriers: toilets, safe water, hygiene and handwashing.
Source Wikipedia

Hope you’re not eating.

World Toilet Day is to help the fortunate ones of us around the world realize that:

2.4 billion people around the world don’t have access to decent sanitation and more than a billion are forced to defecate in the open, risking disease and other dangers, according to the United Nations

We in the West are rather spoiled.  And the reality of what some folks, many folks must deal with can be eye-opening.

About 25 years ago, my friend Ed got a grant and went to Africa to study something or other.  It was his first experience visiting the Third World.  When he came back, he talked only about poop.

It seemed that the city he had visited ran with raw sewage.  Poop was in the gutters. Children played in those gutters. The sewage ran into the river that was used to irrigate crops.

Piles of poop were everywhere.  In the street.  Under trees.  In the corners of buildings; everywhere, he said.  Even inside.  Ed described a memorable elevator in the middle of a hotel lobby, that he had seen. The decorative ironwork around the elevator shaft was delicate and beautiful. But the elevator didn’t run — in fact, the elevator itself had been removed.  But people would stand with their backs to the elevator shaft, pull down their pants/up their skirts, hang their butts over the open elevator shaft.  And they’d poop.

“I realized something incredibly important, “ said my horrified friend:

“Civilization all comes down to what you do with your poo”

So when you’re thinking about the craziness in today’s world, maybe we all need to realize that part of our problem is that so very many people just don’t have a pot to piss in.


Filed under Adult Traumas, Advice from an Expert Patient, All The News You Need, All We Are Saying Is Give Peace A Chance, Criminal Activity, Disgustology, Farts, Flatulence, Good Deed Doers, Health, Health and Medicine, Huh?, Humiliation, Humor, Hypocrisy, I Can't Get No, Illness, keys to success, Mom would die of embarrassment, Neighbors, Oh shit, Poop, Shit, Shit happens, Taking Care of Each Other, Toilets, Useful thing to do with poop

63 responses to “Because You Need To Know

  1. Okay, I’m thankful for plumbing. What has this country come to when we have to look to toilets for comfort? 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What a great reminder of how much we truly have. Also, love that wrap up line.


  3. I applaud this message! That is exactly what it is all about. I know I’d be in trouble without that porcelain goddess in my home. I think I’ll go give her a nice shining just to show her how appreciative I am.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I cannot think of a better advocate for World Toilet Day. But this also reminded me of the days of gathering all the celebrations! … and thanks for the perfect use of a seemingly useless elevator shaft.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Sooooooooooo….I just finished eating right before reading this…

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Proper sewage removal is such a critical public health need. So sad that many still don’t have access to it.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I understand this is important but let me ask you this: How do you un-read something?

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I’m not bowing to my throne as much these days, thank heavens, but I am eternally grateful that I live in an area where there are adequate facilities wherever, and whenever, I need them. Although there have been times when I would have been more than willing to use an elevator shaft if nothing else was available.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I visited Greece in the 70s. There were the stalls with footprints and a drain (how do they maneuver without peeing on their shoes?) and at one spot they had a marble rest room where the toilets were automatic flush and the hand faucets automatically came on. I didn’t see that where I lived in the US at that time. It was such a contrast. As someone who is always aware of the nearest bathroom, I share your interest in these matters.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. When as a boy we visited my mother’s relatives down on the farm the outdoor privy made a lasting impression on me. The standard design featured spaces between the wall boards for ventilation and a Sears catalog which did double duty. Hornets, spiders and flies were included at no extra charge.

    Recently my blogging friends Jim and Melanie returned from an educational trip to Cuba. Their reports were interesting and revealing, but your post here, Elise, made me recall a surprising fact they revealed. The ordinary Cuban town does not have effective sewage infrastructure. The sewage system, such as it is, will not handle toilet paper and is discharged (somewhere) untreated. They didn’t say what the Cubans do with the paper.

    Boy, am I glad we live here and not there. I’m also grateful that terrorists aren’t smarter about their targets. Instead of bars and nightclubs they could be attacking our water treatment, sewage and electrical infrastructure.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I was trying not to laugh as I read through this… 2.4 billion? No laughing matter there. My son recently participated in a service project at a large homeless shelter for men… one of his jobs was to clean up in the back lot… where he saw what he called “multiple communal piles of poop” as well as many containers filled with urine. And even though he said it was gross, he also said how bad he felt for the people who had to do that there… Really made him appreciate the simple convenience of a toilet, for sure.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. wait… I just read on Twitter that today is International Man Day… so we have the same day as the toilets???

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Merbear74

    I’m going to go kiss my porcelain throne now. (Air kiss, of course.)

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Glazed

    I wonder how long it will take to fill that elevator shaft. I experienced a few horrifying situations with poop when I lived in Turkey. At the beach, I went to the public “restroom” to change into my swim trunks. It was an empty, cement room about 10′ X 10′ with a drain in the middle of the floor, and a hose laying on the floor. People pooped on the floor. The hose was for washing the poop into the drain. Poop was everywhere, because no one used the hose. It was difficult to find a clean spot to change into my trunks.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Elyse, sometimes you bring such a perfect perspective.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. To think I was upset when I realized that I’d have more people in my family than bathrooms in my house

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Ah, so that’s why the world can be such a shitty place.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. A new perspective to be thankful for! Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

Play nice, please.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s