Too too Toto
In reading through the Fortune 101 Dumbest Business Stories of 2007, I realized that I missed a few good ones. (I'll definitely have to fine tune my quirky-story-o-meter for 2008.)
One that I missed was the story about Toto's toilet recall.
While I have two Toto toilets in my home, they are the definitely from the bottom of the Toto line: all they do is flush.
The toilet that Toto recalled was their high tech number, complete "with bidets that have blow-drying, air purification and seat-warming functions".
Apparently some of the hot seats started to smoke, and three actually caught fire.
No one was injured, but what a way to go.
Imagine, sitting there calming reading the newspaper, when flames start - quite literally - licking your butt.
Fortunately, there's water available to help put the fire out, but you have to worry about just how flammable toilet paper might be - something that up to now I have never thought about.
Bidets I get, since I'm at least familiar with them from French hotel rooms.
Well, it is sometimes necessary, but isn't that what a spritz of Lysol, an open window, or a match are for?
And a heated toilet seat?
I hadn't realized that toilet seats were all that cold. Yes, the rim of the toilet bowl sure is if you get up in the middle of the night, in the dead of winter, and the man who last used said toilet had neglected to put the seat back down. But a heated toilet seat wouldn't handle this problem at all.
In my experience, toilet seats actually heat up pretty fast on their very own once they come in contact with human flesh, which, in my experience, is not so apt to spontaneously combust. (I do, however, heartily endorse heated car seats.)
As I said, I fortunately do not have to worry about my plain vanilla Totos going up in flames. I can just keep to my plain vanilla toilet fear - that a rat will come up through it. Yes, we have a special valve that is supposed to prevent back-wash (and rat appearances), but every once in a while I hear something about a rat torpedoing up through the toilet of some misfortunate urban dweller. Sounds like an urban legend, but apparently it's not - when my friend Mary Beth was a librarian at Cambridge Public Library years ago, they had rats coming up through the toilets.
All I can say is that, if that happened to me, I would either get the most high tech, anti-rat toilet I could find - or install some type of clean and fragrant version of a Porta-Potty in our condo.
Just to make sure it doesn't happen, I think I'll go google what your supposed to do for rat prevention. I think it's put a few drops of bleach or ammonia in the toilet bowl. Let me check to make sure. Wouldn't want to combine bleach and ammonia and get knocked out by the fumes...
Description of the toilet used above taken from this Reuters article.