Although we (unfortunately for our visitors who want to take one for a test drive) don’t have a bidet in our apartment here in Switzerland, we had one at our hotel in Prague. It occurred to me that are unfamiliar with bidets and it’s probably about time to for Bidet 101.
Until I came to Europe for the first time, I’d never heard of a bidet. I saw this perplexing contraption between the toilet and the shower and couldn’t understand why you just wouldn’t use one or the other.
A bidet (pronounced bid-day) is a low-mounted plumbing fixture, similar in size to a toilet, or type of sink intended for washing the bits that rub together when you walk. In other words, it’s a mini-shower for your undercarriage.
Theories about as to why Americans don’t have or use bidets:
- They don’t come standard and cost extra money.
- Saving water and energy (which is expensive here) isn’t as much of a priority for Americans.
- Americans shower more frequently.
- We don’t know how to use them. Wikipedia says that bidet is an old French world for pony and that helps you imagine how you would use one. Without go-go gadget legs, it’s next to impossible.
- When the Ritz Carlton hotel in New York installed bidets, the puritanical League of Decency immediately compelled their removal. Perhaps bidets are still morally objectionable?
Now that you know how to use a bidet, it’s time to get creative. Possible other uses for your hotel room’s bidet include:
- Baby Bath
- Storage – It’s useful for storing things, kind of like a medicine cabinet. You could also store your reading material or extra toilet paper in one.
- Wet bar – Filled with ice, it makes a great ice bucket.
- Doggie water bowl
- Water fountain
- Vomitoir – It is handy for throwing up in the case of flu or food poisoning.
- Foot bath – Soak your feet after a long day of walking
- I’m sure Cosmo Kramer could find another use. How do you follow up installing a disposer in the shower? Just imagine what Kramer could do with a bidet…
- Children’s toy? Fishing Pond? Barbie bathtub?
Sorry, it appears that some of my suggested uses for a bidet are not permitted.