Location: Tulsa, Oklahoma, Tonga

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

This will probably not sell well in the new "freedomized" Iraq

The headline tells most of the story: "Japanese create toilet entertainment centre ".

A Japanese company has invented an entertainment centre to make going to the toilet a more enjoyable experience.
Toto Ltd's Z Series Neorest toilet, offers the worlds first auto fragrance release system and stereo music system, providing different scents and music depending on the season of the year.
The Z series is priced at £1,600.

Under today's exchange rate, £1,600.00 = $3,057.85. I'll ask my butler to count the bathrooms here in the castle to ensure that we order enough to replace our older models.

["Z series"? What about the A through Y series?]

Todo was an early innovator in low-volume flush toilets. Among Todo's current product offerings are three models of the Washlet, which combines toilet and bidet functions into one efficient porcelain dream machine. All three Washlet models have heated seats, self-closing lids, and heated water with temperature and pressure controls. The two most expensive models offer oscillating massage cleansing (!) and air-jet dryers. I suppose that the next frontier for vanity will be blow-dry styling for pubic hair.

The company claims to have sold 20 million Toto Washlets (seats start at $727) since 1980. A company in the United States, Brondell Inc., announced that it would market a competing bidet/toilet seat called the Swash (not to be confused with the Swatch, which usually adorns one's wrist).

Todo also sells the Travel Washlet. The product information for the Travel Washlet states:

TOTO’s Travel Washlet lets you carry along the high-tech hygiene technology you’ve become accustomed to at home. From the office to the airplane, you can enjoy the luxury of warm water cleansing at the push of a button.
The Travel Washlet is easy to use. Just fill the water reservoir and extend the wand. Two different washing modes—regular and soft—allow you to find your own comfort zone.
The Travel Washlet is available in Pink or Blue.

MSRP $128.00
Unfortunately, the website offers no suggestions on how to explain this device and its purpose to airport security personnel.

"Designing Public Restrooms for the Muslim Culture", an article reprinted from the January 2002 issue of BathroomToday (posted on the Restrooms of the Future website), suggests architectural considerations when accommodating Muslims in public restrooms. One of the six organizing topics, "Entering":
The Qur’an states that one should enter the restroom with left foot first while saying a prayer of protection. It is not permissible to enter a restroom while carrying anything that bears the name of Allah, such as the Qur’an, or any book with the name of Allah in it, or jewelry such as bracelets and necklaces engraved with the name of Allah. Muslims should keep silent when in the restroom. Thus, talking, reading, greeting others and answering greetings are not to be done inside the restroom except for risky situations, like guiding a disabled person.

This bit of advice, coupled with the admonitions ("It is permissible to listen to music which is not fit for diversion and play") of the Grand Ayatullah Sayyid Ali Husaini Sistani, indicate that plumbing salespersons in the "liberated" Iraq probably won't be stocking many Z Series Neorest models.