Pee in the Bath

I've been on a bathroom kick lately. No reason I'm aware of. Something subconscious maybe?

I've had this cute Brazilian TV commercial in my bookmarks for quite a while and thought now would be a good time to share it. It's in Portuguese but the subtitles will make it all clear. If you think it's crude, that's okay. I think the Charmin bears with their leftover toilet paper pieces is crude too. At least this ACT-endorsed spot from South America has a grander point: To conserve water.

ACT stands for Advertising Community Together. Their website showcases advertisements and commercials that align with the statement, "Federating, promoting and inspiring responsible communication."

I can get behind that mission. (I won't tell you whether I can get behind their invocation.) Enjoy!


Like Therapy (Only Cheaper)

Laughing Horse by Ella Richardson
I love to laugh. I even laugh by myself, though I swear I'm not crazy. I've laughed in church when I wasn't supposed to, in meetings both light and heavy, during late-night comedy and at matinee movies. I've laughed in the woods, in card games, at TV commercials, and one time I laughed when my wife and I hadn't spoken to each other for days.

Laughter does my body good. This month I wrote about it at The High Calling (see the link above). I also edited a reflection by poet Jeanne Murray Walker on laughter in a cancer ward. Then today, a colleague and I launched a little writing project on laughter.

Deidra Riggs writes for The High Calling, (in)courage, and her city newspaper. She's a delightful woman and a friend...and she loves to laugh. She's hosting the project at her site.

Check it out and be sure to submit your entry by Friday, September 23:


Where the Sun Don't Shine

Image from Respect the Roll.
As of late August, "Nearly 300,000 Consumers Have Signed Up for a Free Roll Cover at"

You've seen the commercials. The one where Eric, Amber and John discuss tp etiquette in defense of unsheltered rolls. And another, which I saw this past Sunday night, where an elderly husband and wife peep into a neighbor's bathroom, flabbergasted at the disrespectful practice of keeping their exposed roll on the back of the commode. (Not sure whether it's the neighbor's primary roll or the extra for when the primary runs out. Are we supposed to respect both? Just the extra? If both, what do you do with the lid on the primary roll when it's time to use it?)

TMI. Sorry. I know folks who find it grossly embarrassing to buy new toilet paper in the store, let alone talk about what we do with it at home.

I've never covered my toilet paper. We have a roll on the holder and extras under the sink. There you have it. And maybe because this has always been our practice, these commercials irk me. They feel a bit like bullying: "What?! You don't ______? You must be a caveman."

Cottonelle has created a site called "Where the Sun Don't Shine Tribune," patterned after an online newspaper. Videos, Letters to the Editor, Top Stories, Current Weather. It has the same gimmicky 50s feel as the commercials. And based on the numbers, the campaign is working, with "72 requests per minute on at the height of website traffic." Either consumers think the available patterns will compliment their bathrooms, or they're looking for novelty in otherwise utilitarian quarters, or they really believe tp should be respected.

Do you use one? Should I? Is this an emotionally manipulative ploy to woo germaphobes (I'm one of these) or a worthwhile purchase?


No touchy.

"No touchy." This phrase from Kuzco, the high-maintenance ruler-turned-llama from Emperor's New Groove, resonates with me. I can't help it. I am a fringe germaphobe, dabbling in the art of knowing where my hands have been.

So when I watch the commercial for Lysol's No-Touch Hand Soap System, I'm intrigued. For a split second, I'm intrigued. And then completely disillusioned:
"You and your family will never have to touch a germy soap pump again."

So? I could see this as a problem if I had to touch the germy pump after washing my hands, but before? Before I wash my germy hands? This product has no logical usefulness. Fear alone will sell it if it sells.

I'm acutely aware of the before/after touching of germy surfaces. For example, it's a major faux pas to place public restroom door handles on the inside of the door yet it happens all of the time. What's the point of washing my hands (No-Touch system or not) if afterward I'm forced to share the exit door handle with so many guys who head out without washing at all? There is no point. It's like touching the soap pump again after my hands have been cleaned. When does this ever make sense?

It seems that bacterial scientists and designers are working on different pages. Talk with each other, people. Good work - the kind Christ followers should see as the standard - gets done when effective profession-level collaboration serves the public in useful ways. And both are needed: the collaboration and the usefulness. Otherwise, I either waste money on senseless products at home or feel tempted in public to knock on the bathroom door, begging someone to let me out.    


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