Toilet Manners

February 9, 2010 at 3:42 pm 1 comment

I got this link from a friend today, a $19 gadget that emits white noise in the restroom. She knows I’m paranoid about carrying out private things in public places, so this battery-operated gizmo helps lessen the embarrassment.

Most female visitors to Japan have come across the original ‘oto-hime’ (literally, ‘sound princess’). It’s fixed into the stalls of most upstanding Japanese restrooms, and at the push of a button it plays the sound of a flushing toilet. The portable version of this gadget is called ‘eco-otome,’ stressing the fact that using this thing can save gallons of water women will otherwise flush down as white noise.

I can’t understand why the ‘oto-hime’ is such a hit in Japan, yet hasn’t found a home here in the U.S. Then again, women here aren’t nearly as self-conscious about what they do behind closed stalls. In Japan on the other hand, once you hear the woman next door drowning out her bodily sounds (#1, 2 and/or 3, for the record), you’re compelled to do the same. Etiquette is contagious!

It’d be neat to start the trend over here. Maybe this Christmas, I’ll buy every female friend one of these gadgets and urge them to use it. Next thing you know, women across the country will be using it. Save a flush, save the world! \(^o^)/


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February 2010


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