In my rampage against talking toilets I quoted an article about a device to get German men to sit down when they pee. I actually wondered why this seems so much more important in Germany than elsewhere. I didn't actually discuss my curiosity because it didn't fit the post, but I think a perceptive reader could see the idea floating there under the seat, as it were.
Well, now the mystery has been solved (link from a comment on SpaceMonkey). It seems that German toilets don't have a deep water-filled bowl like the toilets of the civilized world. Instead, they are only a few inches deep in the center, with a deeper trough around the edge. There are two problems with arrangement. Problem number one would be that when one pees standing up on this shallow platform, it splatters all over. Problem number two doesn't concern us here, I recommend you read the article if you want details (hint: you probably don't).
Anyway, this revelation rather drastically changes the story doesn't it? I mean, I'm no neat freak. Rather than clean the bathroom, I just move every couple of years and forfeit the cleaning deposit. (It's sort of like having a housekeeper who comes on a biannual schedule.) But these German toilets are rather much. I mean you have to get major, major splatterage from that sort of arrangement.
How is it that this significant piece of evidence didn't turn up in the article about the talking toilet? Or did it? I confess I didn't read the whole boring article. Who wants to read a whole long boring article about men who sit down when they pee?
This seems like an incredible business opportunity for an enterprising manufacturer of plumbing fixtures. I'll bet a well-designed marketing campaign could sell a million American-style toilets over there in a year. To help overcome the political resistance to American culture, they could call it the Kerry John. Cuz he's like, you know, a multilateralist as opposed to those mean unilateralists.
Read the whole thing as they say. But not too near a meal.