Friday, January 25, 2008

Another Bad Idea: Low Flow Toilets

I am certainly all in favor of trying to save the environment. I try to do my part to recycle, minimize automobile emissions, and bathe as infrequently as possible to keep down water usage. I can certainly understand the desire to protect the Earth and all she has to offer us.

All of that said, I have to ask: What sadist came up with the brilliant idea of low flow toilets? Who was it that thought to themselves, "I think it would really save the world if we had toilets that even hampster turds can't go down, therefore requiring the user to flush it at least half a dozen times every time they even think of pooping."? Further, I'd like to know who the moron was that agreed with the first guy.

I know some of you are thinking, "Well, you know you can't be using two-ply or Charmin. Those are guaranteed to clog your toilets. Besides, two ply uses too much, and Charmin isn't recycled. Both are bad for the environment". Let me just assure of the fact that I am NOT using Charmin. That is a luxury that only Canadians can enjoy. (I hear they have amazing TURBO flush toilets there!) I use Northern toilet paper, the quilted kind, of course. And, I'll admit that I have two ply. That's because I like to be a vigorous wiper, and two-ply insures that my finger doesn't rip through the paper causing further embarassment.

I can honestly say that I do make a dedicated effort to poop as minimally as possible, and still my low flow toilets clog every single time. This is especially true when I know guests are coming over. Without fail, the toilets are clogged. There is nothing classier than allowing a guest to use your toilet, but explaining that they'll simply have to expect that their poop won't go down the drain, despite their repeated efforts at flushing. We've all been in that embarassing moment at least once where we're at someone's house and realize we've clogged their toilet. We try as quietly as possible to flush it and make it go down. We run the water in the sink to try and cover the sound while we hurriedly try and find some solution to our problem, even considering (but hopefully never trying) removing the poop and putting it in the trash. For guests in my home, that moment is a recurring reality.

There are several tactics we've tried to help make things go down a little smoother. One thing we've tried is simply waiting it out, thinking that perhaps the poop will soften and go down with the next flush. This never works. Instead, a cloud of brown poop dust fills the toilet when it's flushed, causing millions of tiny brown spots to adhere to the inside of the toilet. This, of course, forces me to use environmentally un-friendly products to clean it out.

Another method we've tried is squeezing the poop as it's coming out to try and break it into smaller pieces before it ever even hits the toilet. This doesn't work, either. It does, however, cause hemorroids. Hemorroids are environmentally harmful as well. I don't have any real reason to explain why they're bad for the environment. They just are. Take my word for it.

We've resorted to even thinner toilet paper. This would be a brilliant idea, but most people just use twice as much paper when it's half as thick. That doesn't solve any problems. For those who don't use twice as much, there's the problem of a stinky finger after it's torn through the paper at an inopportune time. Yikes!

Some of you may have noticed that I have children. Children and low flow toilets should NEVER live in the same house. For whatever reason, small children believe that everything they own should, at one time, live in the toilet. Pretty even put her toy cell phone in the toilet. Remarkably, it still worked after that whole ordeal. (Not bad for a Dollar Tree toy, eh?) Yes, I did wash it before giving it back to her. When Number One was much younger, he tried flushing a binky down the toilet. Since it was low flow, the binky simply got stuck. This resulted in us hiring a young friend from church to fix it. That decision resulted in The Great Backyard Toilet Explosion of 2002, and will require a whole other blog entry.

I worked for a family who actually smuggled in Turbo Flush toilets from Canada. That mother's toilets never clog. Her husband can poop, her sons can poop, and even guests can poop. No one ever worries about getting the plunger because it isn't needed. And, I hear they use Charmin. That is the ultimate test of a toilet's flushability. I've considered employing some rogue Canadian to help me secretly import the Turbo Flush toilets, but I fear I'd get caught and be ex-patriated for not caring enough about saving the environment. Then, I'd be forced to live out my last days freezing to death in Canada.

There have been many, many great inventions in the history of America. Some of which may even help the environment. For example those highly overpriced cloth bags you can buy for when you grocery shop. Those help by eliminating the need to use plastic bags while at the same time advertising the fact that you were too stupid to just use the plethera of canvas bags you have in the back of your closet somewhere. I can understand why you'd buy them, though. Everyone needs all of their groceries to go home in matching bags. There is also the fine invention of the Chia Pet. If you're really loyal to it, I'm sure you could transplant what you grow in your yard to help with local vegetation. And what about the ever-popular invention of solar power? Sure you're in the dark when there's no sun for a few days, but it's still good for those of us who don't live in London or Seattle.

I am willing to make sacrifices for the environment. I'm willing to drive a car fueled solely by urine. I'm willing to go naked three out of seven days a week to minimize energy usage on my washer. I'm even willing to eat foods grown in cow manure to limit the amount of whatever it is they put in my foods to make it yummier. But, I feel that it's a lot to ask me to utilize low flow toilets in my home.

Consider this a plea to the powers that be. Please, please, please stop requiring the use of low flow toilets. Give me back my sense of security in knowing that my poop is going to be taken far, far away every single time I deposit it. Allow me to live in a world where toilets flow freely. Grant me the gift of a Candadian Turbo Flush Toilet.


AmberL said...

Only you can write a blog entry that is so very long about toilet clogging.....and have someone like me totally feel your pain.

And it was quite informing too. For example: Our toliets did this same thing over the past several weeks. And I discovered just now it is b/c I had bought the Charmin Double rolls. Who knew it was the paper that was doing the trick? This was a first for us and trust me...a last!

AimeeTheSuperMom said...

I'm so glad my vast knowledge of toilet-clogging toilet paper could help you. Quilted Northern is about the fanciest our fine porclain throne can handle.

Robin said...

....... and here I was, apparently an eternally ungrateful Canadian, trying my best to be kind to the environment in searching for a low flow toilet for our reno's when I stumbled across your blog, thought I saw "poop", was sure I saw "poop" and kept reading despite the tears and laughter. Okay, I'm sure it can't be as bad as all that, but, I, um all the same, will hesitate (and defecate) before becoming a guest in your home all the same ...... deep sigh ..... so, no, low, flow .... how about 1/2 and 1/2 - where the option is available for twice the water for twice the "job"?? Any experience with those??

Anonymous said...

Wow... we would totally get along. There was a chuckle for each sentence.... and a very vivid picture in my mind! :)