Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The Carnivorous Toilet

Map picture

The Carnivorous Toilet

We were at the end of a VERY long travel day which after 32 hours finally found us safely in our room at the Singapore Ritz Carlton. Lisa got to the bathroom first when all of a sudden, she screamed out my name in a long howling shout, “Je-em!”

I ran into the tiny toilet room and found her almost in tears. In a panicked plea, she asked for help getting off the toilet. When she tried to sit up, I noted that the toilet seat was spring loaded, and as she moved to rise, water started to spray everywhere, thus necessitating a quick return to seated position. She truly was stuck! What in the world was going on, I wondered? Quickly she told me this was some kind of “special” toilet, and that it had instructions on the toilet lid, but of course with Lisa seated, about all I could gather was that this toilet was equipped with an “eco-washer,” whatever in the world that meant!

So next I tried to figure out what had started this sequence. Lisa explained that she had reached back to her right to flush, and all she could find was a rotating valve which she had turned assuming it would flush the toilet. Instead it had unleashed the deployment of some unseen probe that started to spray her bottom with an intense spray of water. She quickly turned the valve the other way, and now every time she tried to stand, the water spray intensified.

Talk about awkward – I am now trying to lean over poor Lisa, who is in near panic mode, to find some small rotary knob that is almost covered by her bottom and invisible to me in the small quarters. If she moves wrong, we both get sprayed! Since Lisa had reached over with her right hand to turn the knob that meant the easiest way for me to reach the knob was to use my left hand as I faced her. Unfortunately my left arm is broken, and therefore the only way I could work the knob was to use my right hand. That involved a long line of absurdly funny positions as I tried to reach across, and around, and over poor Lisa while every time we moved, we all got sprayed. Finding the knob I rotate it one way, and the water spray intensifies. Quickly, I turn it the other way, and it really becomes stiff, in fact, it was with a great force that I finally turned it off, thus releasing poor Lisa from her bondage. I quickly retreated to the main bath area leaving Lisa to retain some dignity while she tried to extricate herself from her wet condition.

At this point, we both broke out in uncontrollable laughter. Neither of us quite got the “eco-washer,” but we don’t think it is ready for prime time. The idea of having some invisible probe spraying my “privates” is just too funny, and neither of us has the courage to try it again. So, if you ever see the words "eco-washer" on a toilet near you, don't even think about it!

As you can tell Lisa and I made our journey across the Pacific safely in a 32 hour odyssey. We flew from Kansas City, pausing in Dallas, and continuing to Los Angeles. After a four hour layover, we boarded an 18 hour flight on Singapore Airlines direct to our destination, Singapore. Unfortunately we did not have good seats on this long flight. We knew in advance that the seats were at the very back of the middle cabin, and we accepted that. What we did not know is that from those seats, we had absolutely no view whatsoever. Behind us was a wall, in front of us was a high seat, and to either side of us were cabinets. It turns out that these cabinets were the main storage spaces for supplies to be used during the flight. Therefore, during the entire flight, the stewardesses would congregate on either side of our seat, opening these cabinets, and rustling among them to find supplies. Each time they opened the cabinet door, our area was flooded with two things. First, we were flooded with light, which did not make our attempts at sleeping any easier, and secondly, and most unbelievable, is that each time the cabinets were opened our area was filled with the smell of some kind of incense. It was so overpowering that both Lisa and I ended up with terrible allergic reactions before we landed in Singapore.

We landed at around 5 AM in the morning, and by the time we got to our hotel dawn was just starting to break over the city. I happened to have enough presence of mind to ask if there were any upgrades available, and to my surprise the agent gave us a full-size suite with the most magnificent view over the city that you could ever imagine; best of all, there was no additional charge! That's one time that remembering to open my mouth did pay off. Most of that day we spent sleeping, but we did try to do some shopping to see if I could find a watch to replace my "travel watch" that I normally use when traveling. During the trip it became obvious that it is on its last leg. Unfortunately, after shopping for several hours, we were completely unsuccessful in finding a new watch. The next morning dawned and I was finally prepared to write this blog using my new Dragon dictation software, only to learn that the brand-new Bluetooth headset which I had purchased before leaving home, was now no longer working. So we spent the time before boarding the ship, searching the city for a replacement. Fortunately, this time we did get lucky and found one that we can use.

Today is our first day at sea, and sometime during the evening we crossed the equator headed south. The temperature outside is about 98°F, and the humidity is around 85%. I expect that we will enjoy this kind of weather for the next several days. Tomorrow will also be a day at sea, after which we will make landfall on the island of Bali in Indonesia. I was there almost 40 years ago, and it will be very interesting to see the changes that have occurred.

So, this is my first attempt to dictate a blog using my new software, and while it seems a little strange at first I believe I'm starting to get the hang of it. I hope everyone is doing well at home, and I will look forward to keeping you up-to-date as we travel along.


PS this will be posted on our blog page at I got a few pictures in Singapore but have not had time to post them, so stay tuned.

1 comment:

Lorna said...

I didn't know you could use the potty and take a shower at the same time!