Exploding Toilet Strains International Relations

Japanese Raise Stink Over Shoddy Chinese Product

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Some days I wish I worked for Mad Magazine or Cracked or Maxim. Like today when I saw a story headlined Détente hit as high-tech WC sets off fires down below. And, no doubt, that headline writer wished he worked at the New York Post.

Foul things are afoot in Japan, it seems. "The scandal centres on Toto, the largest Japanese manufacturer of electronically controlled lavatories and the company responsible for the notorious Washlet — a unit with an automatically warmed seat and a function that washes and then blow-dries its user's fundament. "

Apparently, 180,000 of the fancy toilets are being recalled because they may burst into flames. And who does Toto blame? The Chinese, of course.

More amusing than the story is the extremely polite English language used to relay it. Must keep up appearances, after all. But the truth will out, even if The Times has to rely on another paper for a more crude take. Here's my favorite line in the story:

Inspired to terror by uncompromising evening newspaper headlines such as "Toto to fix buttock-scorching bidets", nearly 50,000 Washlet owners yesterday jammed the company's information lines.