I couldn’t resist it. Today, November 19, is World Toilet Day. Seriously. There’s even a web site.
The World Toilet Organization, sponsors of World Toilet Day, say that 2.6 billion people, “or roughly 40 per cent of the world’s population do not have access to adequate sanitation.” The idea behind World Toilet Day is to raise awareness. It’s the perfect set-up for some bad jokes of course, but in reality, it’s a serious matter.
This sanitation crisis is not only an affront to dignity. It results in the release of hundreds of tons of feces and urine each day directly into rivers, lakes, landfills and oceans, creating an immense human and environmental health hazard. Every day more than 4,000 young children die from sanitation-related illness. Fully half of the hospital beds in the developing world are occupied by people whose ailments can be traced to poor sanitation.”
In the past, toilets and related issues were not talked about. There was a time when they couldn’t even show toilets in movies and on television. Some of us are old enough to remember those commercials with Mr. Whipple (see below), who had to whisper the words “toilet paper.” I guess now that we can talk about toilets openly, it’s means we’ve evolved as a culture.
But the severe lack of toilets worldwide is just one aspect of a greater sanitation issue. The World Water Council, an international intergovernmental and NGO network dealing with water policy topics, says that
[More] than one out of six people lack access to safe drinking water, namely 1.1 billion people, and more than two out of six lack adequate sanitation, namely 2.6 billion people (Estimation for 2002, by the WHO/UNICEF JMP, 2004).”
The WTO calls World Toilet Day a time to celebrate. I guess that means that while it is a somber issue overall, it’s still okay to have some fun with it. So here goes . . .
Some great toilet quotes:
“Castro couldn’t even go to the bathroom unless the Soviet Union put the nickel in the toilet.”
Richard M. Nixon
“It is better to have a relationship with someone who cheats on you than with someone who does not flush the toilet.”
“It is difficult to produce a television documentary that is both incisive and probing when every twelve minutes one is interrupted by twelve dancing rabbits singing about toilet paper.”
“All my good reading, you might say, was done in the toilet. There are passages in Ulysses which can be read only in the toilet – if one wants to extract the full flavor of their content.”
“You know an odd feeling? Sitting on the toilet eating a chocolate candy bar.”
Some famous toilets:
Some famous Toileteers:
BTW, if you are into this, you might want to visit The Toilet Museum.