Wednesday, April 14, 2010


Gentle Readers,

If you click on View My Complete Profile, then you will see that one of the blogs I follow is called Meditations In An Emergency.

The author, Mysterg, has been travelling for quite some time now and in his most recent post he wrote about his visit to China. He has many, many questions about the Chinese, such as Why do they walk so slow?, but you can read those for yourself.

I found one question to be particularly interesting. He wants to know why the Chinese do not use toilet paper. Someone wrote in a comment that Indians (not Native Americans, people in India) also do not use toilet paper.

I am mystified by this. I used to live in such a rural area that I hung out with a bunch of retired farmers. They called themselves farm wives, but By God they drove trucks and tractors and worked in the fields and canned vegetables and washed and ironed and fed everybody and had babies and raised the kids, so I think they deserve a special name for what they did. I don't know what it should be, but these women were pretty darn amazing.

They all grew up on farms and from time to time the subject of outhouses came up because none of them had bathrooms in their homes until they were adults. They also said there wasn't any toilet paper in the outhouse - they wiped with the Sears Wish Book.

Now I sincerely doubt that in China and India they have LL Bean and Victoria's Secret catalogs in the bathrooms for wiping purposes.

So if they don't have toilet paper and they don't have the Sears Wish Book, then how in the heck do they wipe?

I can understand drip drying, but some unmentionable areas require more cleansing.

And what if you're from North America or Europe and staying in a hotel that caters to folks who are accustomed to having toilet paper? Do they not have toilet paper there either? I don't know where Mysterg is staying, but I pronounce myself utterly confused by this conundrum. And I am definitely not going any place where they don't provide me with toilet paper. And I will not accept a catalog as a substitute unless I have no other choice.

If anybody can explain the world toilet paper situation to me, I'd be thrilled to know the answer.

As you can tell, it doesn't take much to amuse or confuse me.



My farm women also spoke very casually about having polio as children. One of them had post-polio syndrome and suffered from such pain in her feet that she often sobbed when she stood up. Thank you, Dr. Jonas Salk, and please have your children vaccinated. Vaccinations do not cause autism, and I am the final word on the subject.

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