A feature of three- and four-star accommodation is the ribbon of paper that bears the reassuring words above. Although in this case they are below.
As you lower yourself towards the annular shelf above the bowl you breathe the freshened air confident of your safety, more confident than in your own home, where no-one issues certificates of hygiene.
The unspeakable dangers we face from uncertified bowls are – it goes without saying – unspoken. And unsaid. The dangers are so great someone must break the silence: as a health scientist I accept the responsibility. I will speak out.
Do not be misled by your visual inspection of the bright waters. Have you sniffed them? Have you tasted a sample? I thought not. The transmitters of the unspoken lavatory dangers are, it happens, transparent: you look right through them and you do not see.
Clear water has been a known hazard for many years. To the day of her death, one day short of ninety-two years, my late mother refused to drink water. Don’t drink water – fish fuck in it – someone advised Mum. And she never did. (Long before Science spoke thus to Mum, her native canniness guided her, that same wisdom that saw her breakfast for decades on toast with clotted cream. Mum recognised her comestible enemies and she shunned them: she had been frightened by a vegetable once in childhood and she never came near one again.)
The hazard that no-one mentions is the miasma, the unseen vapour of the hydroptic sewer. The innocent excretor takes a seat; the nether eye (as Chaucer terms it) surveys all, sees nought, winks and closes. At this point you relax and breathe out. And, it may be, your bottom too sighs, perhaps barks, but in some way or another, breathes out. What if that sphincter were now to breathe in! Whose lurking anal breath, bearing what malign bacterium, might invade with that indraft?
Have you, by chance, any knowledge of the clostridium? Happy – blessed – is she who knows nothing of this bum-residing pathogen. Google at your peril: clostridia are the Macbeth of the bowel: Sleep no more, Macbeth doth murder sleep.
Make no mistake, the hazards are real. Take the example of my close friend Nicodemus. On a recent trip to a small country town Nick and children booked in at the local motel that claimed, I believe, one star. At the end of a tiring day the family repaired to their sleeping quarters where they found freshly made up beds, all spread with a fabric we used to call candlewick. On Nick’s candlewick, he found a small but genuine human stool. These premises were not protected by the Seal of Sanitary Hygiene.
So how must we approach the dangers of the bathroom fittings of our own homes – how do we make our loved ones, our tender little ones, (or our tender large ones – depending upon how we are hung) safe? I have the answer, the solution, the rescue remedy: on my last visit to three-four star accommodation, I secreted within my clothing the strip certificate of the Sanitary Hygiene and Safety of caromatic appliance. I took it home and I attached it to this post.
I believe the text to be out of Copyright.
Thus readers may find and reprint this sacred tract, the Trinitarian Promise, and deploy copies on their own toilet seats.
And abide there in peace.