You might have heard about the marvel that is Japanese toilets, but what do you do when you meet one in your hour of need? You’ll be confronted with this:
Oh yes, it’s a regular space shuttle cockpit. When you’re at your most vulnerable, random buttons causing grinding and whirring noises between your exposed regions is less than comforting. A sampling of buttons:
- bidet mode
- “bottom” mode
- “soft” mode
- water spray strength control
- deodorant mode on / off
- heated seat on / off
- heat temperature setting
- warm water on / off
- water temperature setting
- toilet self-cleaning mode
- power saver mode
- power saver timer
Many women’s toilets also have a “Sound Princess” button, usually shown with a musical note. When pressed, loud waterfall noises mask the terrible, terrible shame of your ablutions.
Some people’s home toilets also have the lid automatically rigged to compliantly lift when you open the door. If you don’t know this, it’s quite a shock when you open the door to an apparently empty toilet and see movement. “Waah! Sorry, I…. oh, it’s just you, robot toilet.”
Another favourite is when alongside the panel encrusted with buttons, there’s a single large button. Not being able to read Japanese, you figure this obvious large button must be the flush button. When you press it, there’s no flush: just peels of laughter from outside. You press it again. More laughter, no flush. Eventually, you work out the button that flushes. When you walk back out to the party in progress, you find out you just announced to everyone that you had finished your business via a buzzer that you couldn’t hear, but everyone outside could. Luckily, they had already stopped the building superintendent rushing up to the apartment to help the older person who apparently needed urgent assistance.
The one button missing from Japanese toilets is “Recover lost dignity”. Coming soon, hopefully.