Sunday is World Toilet Day.
Look at you. You’re already smirking. A day to honour toilets. Is that what you think it’s about?
Or are you recalling toilet stories that have entertained you through the years? If you’ve got kids, you’ll have plenty of them. Well I hope you do, because my family has dozens of them and I’d hate to think my family is unique in this regard.
For instance, there was the time my then 10-year-old son made us stop the car on a busy highway because he needed to pee. He got out and was aiming at the car tyre when his dad drove forward a few metres. He tried to run after us, seriously unhappy that his ‘precious’ was on display.
We all laughed, he cried. Tough love. We still kill ourselves whenever we recall it.
There was also the time an inebriated son mistook his wardrobe for the toilet. His shoes copped a soaking. And when another son, then aged five, relieved himself in the pantry of our holiday houseboat. Lucky it wasn’t boy overboard, I guess.
And there’s the mother/wife who constantly complains that her three sons have inherited their father’s inability to aim straight, and never notice the mess.
But none of this has anything to do with World Toilet Day. This is actually a rather weighty and worthy 24 hours and its motives should not be diluted by cheap jokes. Sorry for that.
So what is the day all about?
The rationale behind World Toilet Day is to encourage countries, offices, sports groups, individuals, whoever, to get behind the quest for global sanitation.
The campaign’s official site, worldtoiletday.info, tells us that 4.5 billion people live without a toilet in the home, which obviously has a big impact on disease and death rates.
Open defecation is on the decline around the world – in India a toilet is being built every second – but we’re told that nearly 950 million people still practise it and globally, more than 80 per cent of wastewater flows back to nature untreated.
Combined with safe water and good hygiene, improved sanitation could prevent around 842,000 deaths annually, the website says.
So how can you help? Find out at www.wateraid.org/au/get-involved/itsnojoke.
It might be as simple as donating via the website or getting your office in on the act via assorted creative schemes such as a ‘pay to pee’ day.
And while you’re there, change the toilet roll if the paper has run out!
Do you have any toilet stories you’d like to share?