June is National Bathroom Month! (Or so I was told yesterday via email by a PR firm hoping to sell toilet cleaner.) I can’t imagine that going to the bathroom needs an awareness month, like AIDS, or to be celebrated like Black History. (I do know that you can’t get AIDS from a toilet seat, and I just learned that in 1872, black inventor Thomas Elkins patented a chamber commode that was a “combination bureau, mirror, book-rack, washstand, table, easy chair, and chamber stool.” According to About.com, “It was a very unusual piece of furniture.”)
Nonetheless, I was surprised to find out that according to the Bathroom Reader’s Institue, “the average American spends nearly 180 hours (8 days) a year in the bathroom,” and that “66% of Americans admit a portion of that time is spent with light bathroom reading.” (It turns out the prestigious Bathroom Reader’s Institue is really the people behind Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader series, but with titles like Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader Plunges Into Canada, Eh!, let’s just go with it.)
But reading isn’t the only thing people do while, uh, dropping the kids off at the pool. Research (on my Facebook page) shows that 14% of Americans spend their toilet time carrying out phone conversations with friends and loved ones. Other popular toiletivities include eating, drinking, and as one respondent reported, practicing clarinet.
Me? I’m among the 1% of Americans who use their time on the bidet (yes, I own a bidet) (no, I don’t but I sort of wish I did) to hone their freestyle rap skills.
I made this video last fall as an audition to become a bloggertainer for Charmin. I didn’t get the gig, which is just as well, because I would’ve had to spend the entire holiday season locked in the Charmin bathrooms in Times Square. Instead, I got a job at Babble, and that totally doesn’t stink.