Our editor, Dan Mills, can't resist adding to David Farnsworth's article about the traditional "squat" toilet. Here is his expressive commentary:
The invention of the "water closet" - one of the saddest examples of so-called human ingenuity - is probably responsible for most malfunctions of the lower intestine in countries that consider themselves advanced.
When defecating, the body is designed to squat. This straightens the colon, supports the abdominal wall and facilitates evacuation.
Do you really imagine that traditional man constructed some kind of seat before he took a bog?
Sensibly, Eastern nations and some European nations - even until recently in areas not yet Westernised - accepted the hole in the floor with places each side for the feet that is the basis of the "squat" or "squatting" toilet. This can still be found - thankfully - in some modern airports in the Middle East. One example: Dubai. And in some provincial European cities. Years ago, in Chartres, I found one in a local restaurant.
The squat toilet has its disadvantages. There is the need to remove trousers to avoid fouling articles of clothing - a small price to pay for allowing the body its natural position. And the floor toilet is less accommodating than the raised seat.
But, if you have two neurons to rub together, the advantage should be obvious .
The floor toilet allows the body to function correctly - free of the damaging lazy ease that we are conditioned to accept.
So how do we counteract the evil seat of ease and constipation?
How to use a "water closet" sensibly:
The simple way to avoid this effete scourge is to squat on top of the seat. Again, this involves removing clothing if you are male. And it requires bare feet. But if you visit the can in the morning - clothing and footwear are not an issue.
Admittedly, squatting on a Western configuration toilet may not be simple for those past ninety or obese. For others, it's a doddle.
Simply plant the feet either side of the seat and you will be delighted to find that elimination progress with a facility you never thought possible. Even compulsively efficient types will barely have time to file their toenails.
The Western Toilet needs to go! Pass it on!
Surely you've noticed the trend?
While the East has become obsessed with motor cars, iPods, fast foods and luxury, the jaded West has been rediscovering what Eastern nations have so readily discarded - from Zen Vedanta and Tai Chi, to acupuncture and traditional remedies.
And it's high time we rediscovered natural elimination!
This message needs to filter into communal consciousness. If it gathers adherents and goes viral - humanity will be served. But if you, at least, hear and understand, it will not have been in vain.
Stamp out Western Toilets!
To be precise - stamp on them. You'll soon get used to it. And it's a small price to pay for better health.
Addendum: The euphemism plague:
It's impossible to leave this subject without mentioning the endless labels for the bog hole. In polite English society, "toilet" is considered common and the term "lavatory" favoured - a word even more absurd.
Then there is "loo", "latrine", "privy", "jakes", "comfort station", "W.C.", "convenience", "thunderbox" and so on. It's a sad list of evasions. As are the jocular expressions for eliminating the body's waste: "Watering the horse", "Emptying the bilge", "Pointing the Peter at the porcelain"... I'll spare you the jocular terms for defecation, though the nautical "Crimp off a length," deserves mention.
Curious, isn't it, that there is no standard term for the bog-hole?
In an era where the "F" and "C" word issue from the petal mouths of infants, our impolite society still dances around the labels for the loo.
Yes, Buzzword is ready to take suggestions for a standard term.
All comments welcome.