Posted on November 21, 2011 by Xavier Toby

World Toilet Day

Sitting on the toilet is one of my all time favourite activities. Maybe that sentence needs another ‘h’ at the beginning, but let’s not get too graphic. 

Sure there’s the whole disgusting business of why you’re there, but apart from that the toilet upside is outrageous. I adore toilets, and it’s all about what you can’t do.

You can’t do much work, because you’re away from your desk. You have an excuse not to use a phone, and in my experience people hear the echo and things get awkward. There’s also the danger of dropping the phone in the toilet. One of the single funniest things ever, when it happens to someone else.

I’d also advise against using a laptop, because having something that gets that hot close to your most sensitive bare parts sounds dangerous. Also, it’s a disgusting image.

The toilet is a sanctuary, where you’re hidden away and difficult to distract. How offended do you get if anyone attempts to speak to you while you’re in there? ‘Go away!’ you want to yell. ‘This is my time!’ I pity those in large households with only one toilet. Especially in the morning if you’re fifth in line

Technology means we’re more in touch than ever, but for me the toilet is a chance to escape. A magical space where I’m able to immerse myself in a book, or reflect on the difficulties of the day. ‘Is it rude to ask my disabled friend to lie, to get me out of a parking fine?’ ‘Who picks up the mess after a guide dog goes to the toilet?’ ‘Because I don’t like black jellybeans, am I a little bit racist?’

Now when you’re busting and can’t find a toilet, well it can ruin your day. If it’s a real emergency, it might ruin your career, or relationship. Worldwide there are 2.6 billion people who don’t have access to proper, clean sanitation. So that struggle is their life, and there are a host of health, emotional and psychological consequences.

November 19 is World Toilet Day (www.worldtoilet.org/WTD/).

Closer to home, Engineers Without Borders (EWB) Australia is working in Cambodia with the local community to develop a new type of floating toilet. Which is pretty cool. http://www.facebook.com/floatinglatrine?ref=pb&sk=wall

Some random toilet facts:

– The average person spends three years of their life on the toilet.

– The first stall in a public bathroom is the least likely to be used. It is also usually the cleanest.

– Lack of sanitary toilets kills nearly two million people a year.

– Every eight seconds a child dies from easily preventable, fecal-related illness.

– According to the BBC the average person visits the toilet about 2,500 times a year. That’s 6-8 times a day.