Tag: Marketing

Bro, Do You Even Bidet?

I’ve been out of the country for a week and missed all the election fun. I’m sure you’ve been waiting breathlessly for my brilliant analysis of the shenanigans. This is not that. Instead, we’re going to talk about an extremely important topic – Bidet vs. Toilet.

As I said, while it’s been snowing back at home, I’ve been on a beach for the last week consuming far too many watered-down drinks and eating large volumes of chips and guacamole. Upon arriving and checking into our room I was delighted to discover that the toilet was a fancy electronic bidet. I’ve never had the pleasure of using one and was excited to discover a whole new world. I’ve read several condescending articles from Europeans on what Neanderthals us Americas are for still using dry paper to clean up after doing our business. Actually I think it was just the French, but the point remains. How do you expect to get clean just using dry paper?

Needless to say, I was looking forward to this new experience. The next morning arrived, and I was ready. This contraption was very high end. All electronic with a wall-mounted control pad. Upon lifting the lid, a helpful light illumined the bowl. I sat down and began the process. First observation – the seat was heated! That’s luxury. Except pretty soon my butt was sweating. The seat kept getting hotter and the perspiration was… well, you get the picture. I was a little worried I was going to slide off the seat. I couldn’t find any controls to turn down the heat. No matter, I soldiered on.

After completing the, ehh, uhm, err, deposit shall we say, it was time for the waterworks. Examining the control panel there were helpful pictographs describing what each button did. I pushed the one that seemed rearward facing. The water was warm and not the worst sensation in the world. I sat there enjoying rinse mode. And sat there. And waited. I couldn’t tell if it was going to shut off by itself or if I had to do it, so I just started hitting buttons. Front wash, power wash, pulsating, rain shower, jet stream… I’m not sure what you’re supposed to do, but I had a regular carwash going on down there.

Finally, I figured it was as good as it was going to get and managed to shut it down. I found a button that looked like wind. Basically, it’s hairdryer mode. So I sat. And sat. And waited. Maybe I’d spent too long in carwash mode, because hairdryer mode just wasn’t really drying out the parts. I gave up and had to do some additional manual drying.

Perhaps I did this wrong. I think maybe you’re supposed to flush before commencing with carwash mode? When I stood up the helpful light came on and highlighted the general mess in the bowl that I didn’t really need to see. I had a little trouble walking because it turns out I’d been sitting there trying to figure out the process for so long that my legs had fallen asleep. And my butt was still sweating. It took a bit to recover and return to normal.

So in the end, what did I think? Perhaps I wasn’t smart enough to figure it out, but I’ll stick to the regular toilet from now on. It seemed like a lot of effort, buttons, and steps to assist with something I’ve been doing all my life. I’m not sure I want a coach or need to watch a YouTube video on how to properly use the toilet. You can’t always teach an old dog new tricks. I’ll stick with what I know.

I know what you’re thinking. You’re disappointed. I’m a modern-day renaissance man. A man of many talents and skills, with superior intellect. You wanted the glowing review of the bidet so you could justify running out and getting one for yourself. I hate to crush your dreams, but I just can’t sign on to camp bidet. I’m sure the sophisticated folks see me as one step above still using a corncob, but it is what it is.

The final irony is that because I had to look up how to spell bidet… I will now have to endure non-stop bidet ads on Facebook and Instagram for the next month.

Research Paralysis

  • We live in a wonderous time. We have the entirety of human knowledge instantly available with one mouse click. This is a blessing and a curse. The kids of today have no idea what it was like to “comparison shop” back in the old days. Pre-internet if you wanted to do some research your choices were 1) Read magazine articles (yes, printed on actual paper that you had to purchase) 2) Talk to your neighbor Bob who used something similar twenty years ago 3) Go to the store and talk to a salesperson. Of course we also didn’t have 37 different choices for the same product either, so it was a little simpler. Today is different. I’m currently researching a reasonably high dollar purchase and the information is overwhelming. Step one is the casual search to figure out who the possible manufacturers and models are in the space. Step two is going to the manufacture web sites to get a sense of price and features. At this point I’ve narrowed things down to a handful of possibilities. Now comes the fun part. The user reviews. Using a combination of review sites and activity specific forums, I’ll spend countless hours reading user reviews. What you typically find is; 5 reviews saying it’s the best product ever invented; 7 reviews stating the product disintegrated thirty seconds after opening the box; 2 reviews of a completely different product; 3 reviews of the first version of the product from seven years ago; and 18 posts asking to click this link for free pre-paid phone cards. The next step is the dark hole of YouTube videos about the product. Those also fall into several distinct categories; Slick, professionally produced, manufacturer videos; Generic reseller companies that talk about the products but never offer opinions for fear of offending suppliers; Internet influencers paid to promote a product; And Joe-Bob from Nebraska who recorded a “review” video with his cell phone in the garage, with audio so bad you can’t hear anything but dogs barking and lawnmowers in the background. My final research step is to stumble upon a product I hadn’t heard of yet that looks absolutely perfect and has great reviews. I get all excited and then realize that it’s a European product not available in the US. Sigh… back to step one. It can literally take me weeks (months on occasion) of paralysis to make a decision for fear of choosing the wrong thing. While I appreciate all the new choices we have today, in hindsight I might have been better off in the old days with a salesperson just telling me what I need.
  • Speaking of purchase decisions, for those of you keeping track at home, I did get a new phone. I made a last second audible (audible. phones. see what I did there? gosh I’m clever) and went with the Samsung S21. I ended up liking the camera better and it was in stock. I’m all about instant gratification. So far so good. And the best part… it looks like my navigation issues with the phone and ginormous motorcycle may be mostly solved. My first test ride and it worked great. Mostly. Now the headset on the helmet is having trouble with a Bluetooth connection to the phone. How come things just aren’t easy?
  • I got an email today from United Airlines updating me on their role in the “global fight against climate change”. I guess they’ve made some commitment to becoming 100% green and reducing carbon emissions by 100% by 2050. I’m not sure that’s even possible unless they’re using battery operated planes using electricity only from wind farms… but whatever. This email was announcing their groundbreaking “Eco-Skies Alliance” and the commitment to SAF – Sustainable Aviation Fuel. What is SAF you might ask? Evil oil companies use things like used cooking oil in a chemical process to make it similar to standard jet fuel. They blend it with regular Jet-A and supposedly achieve lower carbon emissions. Sounds great, right? The problem is that it’s massively more expensive than regular Jet-A. So they’ve formed this group soliciting corporations to voluntarily contribute money to a fund to help airlines purchase the stuff. Oh, and to lobby congress to provide massive funding and subsidies to lower the price. So, as you end up paying the additional “SAF tax” on your airline ticket do you honestly think you’re preventing global climate disaster? I guess it doesn’t matter. At least United is woke and cares about the environment and the poor polar bears who are running out of ice and tasty seals to snack on.
  • Oh, by the way all that sorting of your recyclables you’ve been doing… China’s not buying our garbage any more, so in most cities all that stuff just ends up in the same landfill. So does that mean I still have to wash out my mayonnaise jars before throwing them away or not?
  • I’m not entirely sure why, but some scientists had a debate about who would win in a fight between King Kong and Godzilla. It astounds me that paleontologists actually had enough time to seriously think about this. I’m even more amazed that I read the entire article.

Song of the day: The Clash – Train in Vain (Live at the Lewisham Odeon)