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How do You Use a Bidet?

October 2, 2009

I‘ll be out of commission for a few days, kids, so forgive me if your comments are slow to appear. I wanted to leave you with this little nugget to tide you over.

One of the first puzzling things I encountered upon arriving in Buenos Aires was the bidet.

We don’t have them or use them in the US, and though I quickly came to enjoy the ease of cleansing, I had some mishaps. I scalded my nether regions badly, and once I learned to test the temperature, I encountered the occasional bidet that sprayed several feet into the air, dotting my clothes with telltale spray.

The best bidet story I’ve heard was told to me by another American.

In answer to the stupid question, “How do you use a bidet?” The answer is:

Not Like This

Which one Will the Fountain Bless? Photo: JMazzolaa

Which one Will the Fountain Bless? Photo: JMazzolaa

He got food poisoning in the middle of the night – the kind where you’ve got it coming out both ends. The bidet’s proximity made for an easy target for the esophageal elimination and he barfed into it in a big way, heaving the contents of his stomach in great, spouting spasms while his intestines mimicked the action on the other end. By the time he was done, he was a limp, naked mess of tears and exhaustion.

A self-described crybaby, apparently unable to prevent himself from sobbing while hurling, you can imagine a crying man who has just been wracked by cramps and pain weeping wretchedly to himself in a small bathroom that stinks of shit and vomit as he’s confronted by a logistical problem: What can he possibly do to clear the vomit filled bidet of its offending cargo?

So what did he do?

Apparently, he cleaned it out as well as he could an then turned the spigot.

Heathen American that he was, he had never tested or used the bidet. He had no idea that turning the handle would unleash a pressure, the psi of which might put certain fountains to shame. Naked and spent, he went into a near blind panic as chunks of his own vomit and more water than he knew what to do with were flung from the bidet reaching the ceiling and walls and landing in his hair and on his bare skin.

I wish you could hear him tell the story. The best part is that it’s more mature than toilet humor. It’s bidet humor.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. October 3, 2009 9:48 am

    You’re certainly developing a niche here for yourself, Kate. 😉

    But seriously–Big Fish for Nights? “Bidet Mishaps and Other Tales Not Fit for Cocktail Parties.”

  2. February 21, 2010 5:43 pm

    This is pretty amazing. Bidets always confused me.

    For the first two months of my study abroad, I ignored the bidet. In the third month, I eyed the bidet suspiciously. In the fourth month, I approached the bidet with caution and cleaned my feet off a few times. In the fifth month, I tested the bidet, which resulted in me hollering and a totally soaked bathroom.

    • February 22, 2010 8:10 pm

      Thanks! I wish I had one in my current place. I grew to like them although I never quite got the temperature thing right.

      I figured out that it’s best to sit, turn on the cold and then cagily bring up the heat.

      There is a spigot you can turn to run the water first. This is probably both to clean the bidet and to adjust the temperature.

      Run the water in the non-fountain mode until you get the temperature right and then turn the handle to fountain mode for a pleasant luke-warm butt freshener!

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