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Thursday, September 16, 2010

Clever glasses and toilets

image Hello everyone,

I have a pair of glasses that I put on every once in a while when I want to look scientific and intellectual. When you put on spectacles, you instantly look more sophisticated and very very intelligent. This is a fact. A Scientifically proven fact. SCIENTIFICALLY proven, do you hear me?

Of course, if I told you this while wearing glasses, you’d believe me instantly, because wearing glasses instantly gives the wearer a +6 credibility bonus attribute.

My glasses are not corrective at all. They don’t help me see; in fact, sometimes they get cloudy and actually make it harder to see. But it’s an absolutely essential part of my costume whenever I need to give a speech. It’s especially useful for all the times when I’m not thoroughly prepared, and then I have to resort to spewing bullshit statistics without any proof whatsoever that no one would ever believe if I wasn’t wearing glasses. Plus, when you furrow your brow a bit, and then make a slight frowning face and make slight “hmmmm” noises, it adds to the effect and makes you look like you’re very deep in thought, perhaps pondering something profoundly intellectual. This trick is not difficult to master; just pretend you’re trying to poop. Really, it’s the same facial expression.

Sadly, sometimes just wearing glasses and tying back my hair doesn’t get me the desired effect, like yesterday during French culture and communication class, for example. We’re all supposed to think of a subject we’d like to present in a month’s time. I suggested to the lecturer that I’d talk about differences in culinary practices and table etiquette between Malaysia and France, because I’ll take every opportunity I can get to talk about food, but she wasn’t all too impressed with that topic, saying that “it’s not very interesting”. Now, I wasn’t prepared to have my proposition rejected, so I wrinkled my brows a little, said “hmmm”, then said the first thing that came to mind:

“In that case, I will talk about the differences between toilet habits in Asia and Europe, with emphasis on the evolution of toilet facilities from the 16th century onwards”.

(I wonder now how my mind made the leap from “table etiquette” to “toilets” so fast)

FYI, I wasn’t even kidding when I said that, because incidentally, I happen to know a whole lot about the history of toilets and the different types of toilet facilities all over the world. I even have statistics, mind you. From the internet! That in itself makes me an authority.

Apparently my serious frown and intellectual glasses weren’t enough to convince my lecturer, and she shook her head, then gave me a look that basically said “Are you frikkin kidding me?” She was quite visibly surprised by what I’d said, but I guess you can’t blame her. I’d imagine even the most experienced culture and communications lecturer wouldn’t be prepared for an impromptu discussion about toilets and water versus toilet paper anal cleansing methods.

“Come on, there’s plenty other more important and interesting subjects out there. Why, out of all the things in the world, would you want to talk about toilets? I’m sure no one would be interested”.

I was about to rebut, and give her an example of some of the things I know about toilets, but she would have none of it, and stopped me short right there. Quite frankly, I think that would have made quite an awesome presentation, because it’s a matter of great cultural significance which is relevant to everyone, due to the simple logic that EVERYONE POOPS.

Besides, I’d already spent at least half an hour on Wikipedia a few weeks ago reading detailed articles about the invention of toilets and the different types of high-tech remote controlled, heated-seat toilets with automatic flush and built in bidets that they have in Japan, so I would have been able to present the subject with great detail. Plus, it would be really easy to find photos and sound clips for the presentation. Sound clips? Yes, sound clips of toilets flushing. Did you know that in Japan, due to the embarrassment of bowel movement sounds in public toilets, Japanese ladies tend to flush the toilet continuously during the whole process? This wastes up to 20 litres of water each time! And that is why a device was introduced in the 1980s that, after activation, produces the sound of flushing water without the need for actual flushing. Japanese people invent everything!

There’s tons of other interesting things really: The dual flush system in Japan which gives you the option of a “small flush” or a “big flush”, squat toilets (which have certain benefits, such as reduced risk of contamination), bidets, the use of toilet paper, the use of toilet slippers...I could actually talk about this for hours. I think that I spend too much time on Wikipedia...


Oh my, it’s 1.54 am, and I’m still not asleep. Mainly because I was looking in my fridge, and discovered the chocolate mint ice cream I bought a while ago, which in turn reminded me about the mint tea I bought in Paris, so I brewed myself some. Naturally, I couldn’t just have tea without something to go with it, so I made some toast. French toast of course, because I’m in France.

I have class later at 8.45 a.m., so I don’t have to get up as early as usual (usually class starts at 7.45). I would have slept earlier, but then I prepared some tutorial exercises for a subject that I don’t even have tomorrow. Not because I’m really hardworking – I just looked at the wrong day in the time table. You see, no matter how fluently I can speak French, I still confuse the words for “Thursday” (jeudi) and “Friday” (vendredi)...

Good night, everyone.


drifter said...

Hakim this is my favorite blog entry ever, I couldn't stop laughing from beginning till end.

And daw...! I thought she let you cover that topic! oh wait, you did, actually, just not for this assignment. (I remember trying to finish reading the article you gave me a link to. Tried and failed.)

So what topic did you choose? Shall we expect that you'll post everything about it? :D Good luck!

Hakim Bin Luqman said...

I still haven't decided yet...I haven't really thought about it, but I don't want to talk about some boring subject like economics or geopolitics or anything serious like that. I prefer talking about simpler, more basic things, like food, and toilets, and sleep patterns.

Wait, sleep patterns! That might be interesting, although I have no idea how I could ever talk for 20 minutes about that.

If I come up with an interesting presentation, I might post about it here. Otherwise, no, because this blog is reserved for awesome things only.

Anonymous said...

dude, gimme your brain

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