Saturday, September 13, 2008

Oh, Poop!

Almost one year ago I wrote this--a post about the earthquake that will end all earthquakes, the one that is supposed to occur right under my feet. (And if I'm to believe the rumor mill at the junior high school, it's supposed to happen some day this week.)

If there is one thing that has been learned from past earthquakes here in Japan, it is that preparation and good sense really do save lives and prevent nasty episodes of wide spread panic and rioting. The above post was mostly about one of the ingenious methods the city was using to attempt to spread useful information to the people: messages printed on toilet paper. For every couple of squares of TP there were printed pictures of emergency kits and what you should include in them, or maybe some information about how much bottled water per household member should be prepared. The basics.

This year the powers-that-be went and outdid themselves.

Last Sunday we had a local Sport's Day where everyone in our area participates in various outdoor events for fun and small awards. J and I pulled our weight at tug of war (lost brilliantly!), but we did get two rolls of toilet paper for our efforts.


This year's toilet paper takes surviving an earthquake to the next level. I mean what can you possibly teach a bunch of evacuees who already have their tent, their required 2.5 liters of water per person/per day and a working radio?

Poop.

(Those with weak stomachs may want to avert their eyes.)



I remember having to attend several Elimination Observation classes while I was pregnant with my son. I thought it was a tad disturbing the amount of time and energy (and specialized teachers) devoted to the art of BM watching. But then again what better sign to judge what the inside of our bodies are thinking? Especially an infant who can't tell you garlic-tinted breast milk gives him a tummy ache.

I'll pretend no one needs a translation of the above. Basically, it's about stress and the amount of water consumed and the (ahem) end result.


Speaking of stress, there are still more lessons to be learned from my new TP roll. How about the relaxing and healthful past time of shiatsu/massaging pressure points on the foot? Not sure what points do what? Just tear off a square and have at it!


Now, if you are still constipated, stressed out and feeling blue don't worry. A little farther down the roll and we have the piece de resistance--aromatherapy for evacuees! The instructions are simple, they tell you to fill a bucket with hot water, add a couple drops of various essential oils and soak your feet. Lavender if you have trouble sleeping, chamomile to help relieve your worries, or rosemary and jasmine to wake you up and make you feel great.




Now, I only have to remember to add essential oils to my emergency escape bag along with the batteries, flashlights, first aide kit, toothbrushes, ...

16 comments:

Katarina-bakajo said...

I live in Vancouver and they have been predicting "The Big One" for the past 30 years. And every once in a while, about twice a year, scientists detect a little tremour and all of a sudden the city is in a panic. It's nice that people are prepared but I wish they were a little more accurate. It sucks living right above a major fault line. As for the oils, experience tells me they are very nice things to have when stressed... although I wonder why they describe anything other then "Extra strong and absorbent" on a roll of toilet paper... and who gives toilet paper out as a prize anyways?

Hilary said...

That's hilarious, Terrie. TP that provides it's own flushable reading material.

Kappa no He said...

Katarina, hey! I hear they now have a radio (I'm trying to get my hands on one) that will let you know BEFORE the big one hits. Albeit, only seconds before but enough time to dive under a table I suppose.

I'm not exactly sure who makes the toilet paper but when we were in charge of the neighborhood activities we collected fees and used that to buy things like cup ramen, laundry soap to give out as prizes.

Hilary, indeed! Just don't read, use, drop and then decide you want to re-read that last bit.

womaninawindow said...

How smart is this? Who doesn't wipe? Well, if there's someone who's not wiping, well then maybe you don't really want them around after the "big one" anyway.

Tigermama said...

I would love a few rolls of that tp to give as omiyage to some members of my family. Original AND funny!

Kappa no He said...

Womaninthewindow, very good! A perfect way of weeding out the "sanitary" survivors.

Tigermama, I just realized that maybe we weren't supposed to use it now. Like, then it's all gone. Maybe we were supposed to put it in our emergency bag and use it after the earthquake when the information will still be fresh. Yes, presents would be a great idea!

Girl Japan said...

Hi Terrie-- I live in the area where the big one is being predicted like "Kobe", I am in Tokai I feel safe where I live but my heart palpitates every time I feel a small jolt- and one would think we'd be used to this.. but sadly I'm not.

TP- very original and truly funny but not wiping.. hm.... air dry?

Girl Japan said...

P.S. I have never attended sports day in my life while living in Japan- is it for family events mostly?

Kappa no He said...

Hey hey, wow, we might be close. I'm in Shizuoka. Wouldn't that be funny if we were like neighbors and didn't know it.

The sports day thing is yea, either for the school kids or the neighborhood groups. They kinda strong arm you into doing it around my place. But a lot of my friends are able to safely avoid it.

Girl Japan said...

Oh.. yes.. we are close- well not a hop, skip and jump but close. DH goes there often for meetings with the GOV sometimes.

You are near the end of Toyohashi? The end of Aichi? I know this is personal.. but we have been chatting back and forth.. are you married, will be, kids, no kids-- career wonder woman? haha

Pat said...

TP with disaster tips! What's next? Tampons with stock data? Wow - that might not be such a bad idea...

As always, Terrie, your blog is filled with intriguing stuff!

Anonymous said...

Asians like to look at poop. Remember near the opening of "The Last Emperor" when the court physician looks at the baby emperor's poop and declares him fit? I suppose it comes from all those parasites and liver diseases that were so common in generations past.
When the big Tokai Quake hits, you're going to need epsom salts in addition to essential oils in your foot bath. My ex was in Kobe when that quake hit, and she had to walk nearly 20 km to get home.
It IS best to plan ahead. I wish Homeland Security would print up emergency toilet paper for idiots. There were a lot of people who stayed in Galvaston and are now surprised that there is no water, electricity will be out for a couple of weeks, and there's raw sewage everywhere. They, of course, are complaining the government isn't doing enough to help them.
Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst.
imomomo

Kappa no He said...

Girl Japan, Yaizu actually. Small town, smells like fish. Really. Married with one son, several pets. I need to stop over and read some more of your blog. Really wish I had more time in the day.

Pat, Ha! I could use that investing information about now. My broker isn't answering his phone!

I totally forgot about all the walking involved. We do have several emergency bags prepared and have had some basic conversations about what to do, where to meet up if the house is on fire, stuff like that. Furniture secured to walls. Still...

Imomo, I was JUST telling Julyan we needed to watch "The Last Emperor". Surreal.

Gina said...

Love that toilet paper! So funny, but yet informative though!Wink, wink! : )

My DH has been talking about "the big one"/earthquake a lot lately, hmm. I hope no big one happens around here or to any of you guys. : )

Ello said...

That toilet paper is hysterical! The earthquake situation not so funny. I really pray that you do not have to deal with one.

Frank Baron said...

I've always admired the Japanese for their ingenuity (among other traits) but never more so than now.

How wonderful to provide reading material in the bathroom in case one forgets his newspaper!