Not sure why I haven't posted this yet but Bart's dream of bidets in every American household might soon be arriving.
From the 9-27 edition of the NY Times: "Flush With Excitement: Pitching the Modern Bidet"
Some of my favorite parts:
-Now, after 15 months of regular use, both Falsettis are ardent fans of the Washlet. “It sounds crazy,” Mr. Falsetti said, “that you could like a toilet bowl seat so much.”
-In July the Times Square Church, an interdenominational house of worship at 51st Street and Broadway, felt compelled to seek a restraining order to prevent the campaign’s first billboard — a two-story banner depicting a row of naked derrières painted with smiley faces — from going up on the building that houses the church. Toto and Van Wagner Communications, the company installing the sign, relented and covered the derrières.
-Lenora Campos, a Toto spokeswoman, said the company believes the time is right for a breakthrough because of the current interest in environmental issues (bidets reduce paper waste) and the “obsession with personal hygiene: antibacterial soap and things.” (“We use water to clean everything else in our lives: dishes, clothes,” she said, summarizing the company’s pitch. “At this critical juncture, you use paper?”)
-The fixture, which was invented by French furniture makers in the early 18th century, was rejected by the English, who regarded French imports as tainted with the hedonism and sensuality of that country. That sentiment, rather than the bidet itself, traveled to America, Professor Molotch said. Later, at the turn of the last century, he said, bidets installed in an upscale Manhattan hotel incited public protest, resulting in their removal. And during World War II, the bidet suffered another blow when American soldiers encountered it in European brothels, perpetuating the idea that bidets were somehow associated with immorality.
-Arnold Cohen, 66, is familiar with the problem. He invented one of the first bidet seats, the American Bidet Wash ’n Dry, in his Brooklyn home more than 45 years ago. He believes that if his product was placed strategically in restaurants and hotels, people everywhere would want one, and he has dedicated his life to spreading the gospel. The license plate on his Cadillac reads MR BIDET, and his standard greeting is, “Peace and good bidet.” But in more than 45 years in the business, he said, he has sold only 200,000 units.
-To help destigmatize the bidet seat, Toto sponsored a Clean Is Happy day in August in Times Square, an event that attracted hundreds of passers-by. Two toilets with bidet seats stood back to back on the traffic island at the intersection of 45th Street and Broadway, and curious pedestrians stopped to watch a demonstration of how the seats’ sensors automatically lift the lids in a welcoming salute.
Some onlookers were enthusiastic. Michael Epp, a 24-year-old actor, said the stream of water might appeal to his 4-year-old daughter, who needed motivation to give up her diaper.
Michael Robles, a 15-year-old skateboarder, recalled the trip to Japan when he first encountered a bidet seat. “It makes you look forward to going to the bathroom,” he said, stuffing a handful of smiley-face Toto pins in his pocket before skating away.
But Hollis Nymark, a 19-year-old Boston College student, said the idea of a toilet seat spraying water did not appeal to her. “I wouldn’t use it,” she said, giggling uncomfortably. “It seems very unnatural.” And a 29-year-old computer consultant from Long Island named Dan, who said he was too embarrassed to give his full name while discussing his bathroom habits, was skeptical.
“Seems a bit expensive to me,” he said. Baby wipes, after all, “do pretty much the same thing.”
A photo from Clean is Happy Day
Phillies 9 Mets 4
2 weeks ago