In the air

I flew to Des Moines this past weekend. When I got off the plane, I made a beeline for the restroom. There I was brought up short by something new to me: a prophylactic toilet cover operated by a red button. What? Yes. A plastic cover, “never reused,” covering the seat in its entirety. Each new patron is meant to refresh it by means of pressing the red button, thus ensuring that no one’s bottom need touch the same spot as another’s.

Le sigh. It’s not that I object to sanitary public toilets. How could I? It’s just…really? What about the flushable solution of a paper cover or toilet paper, or, you know—hovering? I really don’t want to blog about issues scatological, but this plastic toilet seat thing really annoyed me. It just seems so wasteful. Is there any data out there to support the fact that diseases are spread via toilet seat? And do we not already have a significant problem with plastic in this world?

The other thing that instantly sprang to mind when I saw this hysteria-driven sanitary “solution” was, well, squatting toilets. Like they have in China! Not only do these save plastic, but apparently this position also promotes better bowel health. It’s true! Evidently there was a Slate article about it today (unread by me) which Gawker summarized. Not that I’d call myself a “squat evangelist.”

But plastic seat covers. Jesus Christ.


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