Friday, May 18, 2007

Le Bidet

Vanity Fair, whose second annual green issue has been giving me lots of guilt problems lately, recommended that I rethink the way I use the toilet - something about each flush wasting 8 gallons of perfectly clean water and the 15 Rhode Island's worth of Canadian old growth forest we wad up in blossoms of double-ply to wipe our butts.

It's grim indeed.

So I was contemplating the alternatives. Left hands as they use in the Arabic world. Or the bidet, popular in the more mincing parts of Europe - like Luxembourg, Monaco and France.

This got me thinking. Are the French big environmentalists simply because they prefer the bidet? Or is it just a convenient, socially-acceptable guise for the way they carry their laziness onto the toilet.

It is much less effort after all to sit back and enjoy a lukewarm wash and drip dry while you're going to be on the toilet anyway. Ripping, wadding and wiping is far too manually intensive. Plus you can stretch the bidet, crotch-cleansing as it is, into arguable proxy for a shower if you're as
lazy and disinterested in true hygiene as the French.

Now that's it's saving a little water it's not lazy, but activist. Let's all be more French!

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