People – and by ‘people’, I mean, of course, my mother – are always talking about the good old days when life was so much simpler and everyone was happier. Then they move on and grumble about the lazy kids today, how rude everyone is, and how the world is going down the toilet.
Of course, what no one dares tell my mother is that the crazy, upside down world she’s so despairing of will eventually be, for her children, thirty years later, the good old days.
As my sister once said when she called me during a two hour long traffic jam in Los Angeles, “Can you believe that when we’re ninety and drooling in a nursing home, I’m going to look back on this crap and say it was the good old days?”
Speaking of toilets and crap, did you read that the modern toilet is actually really bad for you? Old news to hypochondriacs like my best friend Barney Chen, but for those of you who came in late, a growing body of medical research is concluding that sit-down toilets are giving us all sort of horrible ailments.
It seems that the rise in bodily illnesses like colon cancer, bladder incontinence, hemorrhoids, hernias and prostate disorders are caused by doing our business while sitting down. Apparently, people back in the good old days didn’t suffer from these things? Why? Because they had squat toilets.
It’s all got something to do with the pelvic muscles working more actively when you’re squatting and everything gets exercised the way Nature had intended them to. When you just sit on the toilet, the various organs get fat and lazy. Muscles that aren’t supposed to strain get strained because of the sitting position. Eventually, everything just break downs and before you know it, you’re signing yourself up for a colonoscopy.
Of course, Saffy found out about all this from an article she read on Barney Chen’s Facebook page. And, of course, she slipped into full hysterical mode.
She speed-dialed me and demanded that I step out of my meeting for just a second. “Did you know about this?” she yelled after spending a few minutes giving me a very graphic summary of the body’s waste elimination process.
You could practically hear Saffy’s bosom inflating on the other end of the line. “And why didn’t you tell me about it? Do you not care if I die a horrible death from uterine fibroids?”
I sighed. “I didn’t tell you because the whole process requires that you actually squat. And, not only do we not have any squat toilets at home, you have so famously demonstrated your inability to squat!”
The famous event I refer to was the time we were all at Zouk and a very drunk Saffy told an equally drunk Barney Chen that she couldn’t squat because she didn’t have the muscles and that she toppled over when she tried, which was why she never holidayed in countries in which a squat toilet was a distinct possibility in the hotel. And when Barney drunkenly roared that he didn’t believe her, Saffy staggered onto the dance podium at Zouk and proceeded to demonstrate her anatomical shortcomings.
“Oh, that!” Saffy giggled. “Really, those were the good old days, I tell ya. Everyone’s so uptight these days! But listen, seriously, I’m worried about this. I don’t want to get all these urinary and bowel diseases just because I inherited my father’s lazy leg muscles that won’t squat!”
Barney Chen said he’s got a harness that he’s not using these days. “We could hook it up above the toilet so it sort of, you know, cradles Saffy over the bowl. What? Why are you looking at me like that?”
“What do you mean you’ve got a harness that you’re not using these days?” Saffy demanded. “Whatever do you need a harness for?”
“Well, excuse me for being helpful and generous,” Barney growled. “I’ll have you know that harness is vintage! The tales it could tell!”
But the idea intrigues Saffy. She spends a lot of time in front of the toilet bowl, looking up at the ceiling and picturing in her head the logistics of getting into the harness in the first place and then getting out.
“We’ll need a step ladde, of course. And we’d have to move is the position of the toilet roll holder,” she said. “It’s too far down to reach if I’m hanging from the harness.”
Sharyn says she’s embarrassed to be seen with Saffy these days. “Not like before when she more normal. Wah, no joke, those were good old days!”