Contrary to the popular opinion that the flush toilet was invented by Thomas Crapper in the late 19th century, it actually first appeared in the Indus valley over 4000 years ago.
One would think that by now human beings would have learnt to use it properly, but, judging from the filthy appearance and revolting aromas permeating public conveniences everywhere, this is clearly not the case. I therefore offer this short user manual which you may freely print out and attach prominently to the wall or door of your favourite privy.
1.1. Examine carefully the bowl of the toilet. There are design differences which, when it comes to defecating technique are critical. Pay special attention to the position of the pond: in order to avoid leaving “skid marks” it is important that you position your outlet valve directly over the water.
1.2. Put down paper before you commence discharge. A yard or two of paper is sufficient, and it should be allowed to settle lightly onto the surface of the water. The paper forestalls the distressing phenomenon of splash-back and also provides some protection to the walls of the bowl near the pond should your adherence to the rule contained in paragraph 1.1. not be of the highest accuracy.
2.1. Seat yourself in accordance with the instructions given in paragraph 1.1.
2.2. Let the sphincter open fully, allowing discharge to occur with minimal impedance. Should difficulties arise at this point you may need to adjust your intake of fibre, but dietary advice is beyond the scope of this document.
2.3. DO NOT read books or magazines, solve crossword or soduku puzzles, make telephone calls, or engage in other activity that may have the effect of lengthening your stay. Haemorrhoids are the punishment for this form of sloth, and they are not pleasant.
3.1. Thoroughly wipe the sphincter and neighbouring areas with toilet paper. Newspaper, corncobs and the like are not adequate substitutes.
3.2. Rise and adjust your clothing, paying particular attention to the fly if you are a boy, and making sure the back of your skirt isn’t jammed into the top of your knickers if you are a girl.
3.4. Examine the bowl to see that no trace of your visit remains. If you detect such traces, then scrub them off with a toilet brush and repeat 3.3. and 3.4.
3.5. DO NOT spray so-called “air fresheners” into the air. These are invariably carcinogenic and smell worse than crap.
3.6. Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water.
3.6. You may now leave with your head held high, smug in the knowledge that you are a good citizen and everyone else should be proud to use the facility you have just vacated.
Have a great weekend.
Grumpy Old Man by Mark Widdicombe is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.5 License