Metal Yarmulke
Wednesday, September 03, 2003

Terrorized by a Toilet.

Steve Marshall vividly remembers the night he was terrorized by a toilet.

"When I approached the toilet, the lid lifted automatically," said Marshall. "Then, as I stood in front of it, the seat also lifted. All I could think was, whoa...haunted bathroom! I just could not urinate for fear of what might happen next."

I'm visualizing Marshall as Seymour in Little Shop of Horrors, and the petrifying potty as the carnivorous Audrey:

"Feed me, Steve! Feeeeeed meeeeee!"

The Very Hungry Toilet is the, um, flagship product of the Japanese company Toto, whose head P.R. honcho, Lenora Campos, thinks that us Yanks need more "education and exposure to" thrones that do everything for you except go pee-pee and ca-ca. However...

Exposure, at least of the unexpected sort, is exactly the problem with high-tech toilets, said Nathan Cohen, a British tattooist. ¶ Cohen encountered a Toto toilet during a convention for skin artists recently held in Tokyo. ¶ "So there I am, sitting on this sleek-looking loo, idly punching the buttons on this little panel next to the toilet, and all of a sudden my bum is right smack in the middle of the perfect storm," he said. ¶ "Things are spraying, sloshing, squirting and swooshing. The theme from Jaws suddenly starts playing in my head, and I tell you I retracted my personal parts from that toilet very quickly," Cohen said. ¶ "I see buttons, I press buttons," said Cohen. "And sometimes randomly pushing buttons does have unpleasant consequences — but I never expected it to provoke a full-scale attack by a toilet."

I devoutly hope Toto doesn't start supplying the airline industry with their high-tech terlits. If you think people are scared to fly now, just wait until the inevitable urban legends start circulating. 
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