The Courtesy Flush Stinks: Bathroom Etiquette Gone Wrong

Toilet and toilet paper holder in a white tiled bathroom

Jan Antonin Kolar / Unsplash 

Ever feel like you live in a parallel universe? From the selective flush, to the slightly less controversial shared flush, I thought I had covered all the options for alternative toilet flushing methodologies. Heck, I've even looked at using no flush at all. But, thanks to tipster Nathan, I'm now aware that there is an entirely different approach to toilet flushing that doesn't decrease the amount of perfectly good drinking water you are wasting—it actually increases it. And all this in the name of being "polite"!

Am I the only one who didn't know about the courtesy flush?According to Urban Dictionary, the courtesy flush is the act of flushing "in the middle of the toilet-sitting process in order to reduce the aroma...usually performed on a "foreign throne" as a courtesy to the owner of said throne..."

Now, I am no more in to smelling other people's, errrm, aromas than the next person. But I can't help thinking that at some point we have to accept the fact that, as the famous children's book says, everybody poops. As a culture that is already defecating in as precious a resource as potable water, only to send it scooting off for energy intensive processing and sanitation, you'd have thought we had done enough to hide this universal fact from ourselves. Now we are being asked to do it twice!?

As someone whose house is supplied by well water, I'd hereby like to ask any future house guests of mine to do me the "courtesy" of saving water for better uses. Oh, and feel free to consider the selective flush while you are at it.