September 13, 2006

I love clean toilets!

Promoting Toilet Culture in a John Near You

(A public toilet in Hong Kong. Photo from FEHD of Kong)

EVERYONE loves a clean toilet, but does the idea of an exceptionally pristine potty make you want to burst into song? Officials at the WTO summit sure hope so.

And in case you were wondering, that's the World Toilet Organization. No joke.

Singapore's Jack Sim, self-proclaimed "representative of toilet culture" and head of the WTO, says his organization is serious about sanitary loos — and they're gung-ho about getting the rest of the world to buck up to the challenge of making public restrooms less revolting.

And as for the singing, part of the organization's campaign for clean cans involves promoting seemingly farfetched events — one such event being a WTO rock concert, the Associated Press reports.

"You cannot imagine singers singing about toilets and sanitation, but this will be done," Sim said.

According to the WTO, well-kept washrooms are not only a welcome sight to those answering nature's call, but also a key to integrating countries into the globalizing world. They even go as far as to say that festering public facilities can harm a nation's work force by causing people to … um … resist relief so long they could develop bladder and colon diseases.

"In fact, the toilet is the competitive edge of a nation," Sim said.

British Toilet Association chairman Sir William Lawrence seems to agree, noting that most complaints made to tourism organizations in his country are regarding restrooms — and that could potentially impair a nation's ability to attract recreational travelers.

"People seem to laugh a bit when I tell them I'm chairman of the (British) Toilet Association, but then ... they say 'wait a minute, there's a reason we need a toilet organization'," Lawrence said.

(Originally published on the Fox News web site, Sept. 11, 2006.)

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