Last night, I met up for dinner with a friend from out of town (let's call her Shana). Shana recently moved away from Atlanta to the left coast to go to grad school--she's getting an MBA with an eye toward taking some law classes as well. Since she basically knows no one in California, she went to one of those MBA program to get hooked up with a roommate.
She decided, when looking at her prospects, to go with a particular guy (let's call him "P"*), because he's Chinese (she's Chinese, too). From what she's told me, however, he's quite standoffish--he doesn't ever interact with her unless she initiates the conversation. She's told me that their MBA program colleagues have invited the two of them out through him, and he made it a point not to mention anything to her. She did mention that he doesn't quite approve that she's dating a white guy (because growing up in Miami and living in Atlanta gives all of us Chinese people ample opportunity to interact daily with dateable members of the opposite sex of our own race--pfeh).
So, in the course of our conversation, she happens to recount a story about bathroom garbage. In their apartment, they have separate bathrooms ("thankfully," according to Shana), and because P was in the process of taking the garbage out to the dumpster, Shana asked him if he would wait a second and allow her to add her bathroom garbage to the bunch
(Note that my recounting of this tale is hardly verbatim, names have been changed to protect the innocent, I don't even know what a poopaw is, yadda, yadda, yadda.)
"NO! I know what you put in your garbage, and I don't want to touch that stuff!" was his response.
"What don't you want to touch?" Shana asked in retort.
Now, any reader who's older than twelve years old will immediately think of one thing when a man doesn't want to touch a girl's bathroom garbage--"monthly products," which, let's face it, is just a polite way of saying bloody rags and/or tampons. I naturally assumed this, because most of the other guys I knew in college had an irrational aversion to anything relating to a woman's monthly visitor. Sorry to say, I made an ass out of u and me...
"You put your toilet paper in the garbage!"
When Shana told me this, I was struck dumb. Waitasecond...toilet paper?? I hope he doesn't mean... Ugh!
She assured me that, yes, P assumes that once she is done with number two, Shana disposes of the "cleaning supplies" in the non-water-filled, non-water-disposing wastebin.
She answers in the way most of us would: "HUH?? I don't throw my toilet paper in the garbage!"
"Well, what do you do with it?"
Now see, while most of you know the proper answer to this question, the really troubling thought is that P does something else with his used TP--something not unlike what he's accusing Shana of doing.
"I FLUSH IT!" she responds (as if there were any question).
"You're not supposed to do that!"
Now I've actually had experience in these matters. When I visited both Taiwan and China, there were times when the proper disposal of soiled toilet paper was actually something one had to consider. Sometimes, the toilet paper had all the softness of the outer shell of day-old French bread; other times, the plumbing/sewage system couldn't really take the addition of paper products. Usually some combination of those two factors led to someone telling me not to wash away my scooter tracks.
P, on the other hand, despite the advantage of modern plumbing and sewage treatment, insists that no good, self-respecting Chinese person flushes their toilet paper down the WC. I, for one, know that there's a family of four Chinese people, living in cities from Miami to Atlanta, who do. But hey, some people say that I've led a pretty sheltered life, so I'm looking to you, dear reader, to enlighten me (granted, unless the population of the mother country reads this insipid Livejournal, I'm thinking I've got a biased sample).
What do you do with your soiled toilet paper?
I throw it in the garbage bin.
Have you ever lived someplace where circumstances dictated that you do not flush your TP?
And, oh, by the way? *shudder*
* P is not really his initial, nor is does it really have anything to do with his name. I considered using his first initial, J, but it's really quite ubiquitous, so it wouldn't be of any use in differentiating him from all the other Js of the world. While I was brainstorming possible nicknames, the only appropriate subject that popped into my head was Poo. I thought about using "Poon," because, frankly, especially in addition to the Fletch
context, the word "Poon" is enormously funny, possibly on a par with the word "Turd." Poon implies a completely different function than Poo, however, so I decided to leave it at P.