Monday, July 12, 2010

Sound Princess Headache

It could be said that I am becoming obsessed with this seemingly innocuous button that spews forth the sound of rushing water to cover any embarrassing sounds during my toilette. But you would be too if you had to concentrate with every fibre of your being to ensure that you got all your business done during the Sound Princess's run time. For reals, I have to either pee really quickly before the sound stops or press it a second time to extend my window of safe pee time. There is added stress when things are taking a little longer and there are other occupied stalls - I have to constantly reassess whether to press the button again or whether I can get it all done before the sound runs out. I don't want to be one of those girls who keeps renewing the SP, because that would give it all away wouldn't it. I know how I look at other ladies when they come out of a stall after extending their safe time more than twice or having just had a one-on-one coochie spa session with the bidet feature. Some women feel so paranoid I can actually hear them increasing the SP volume once it gets going. Yes, gentlemen, you can turn the volume up. You can also yank frantically on the toilet paper roll to add to the symphony being conducted in your stall. The latter technique is most often applied when I first step foot on the tiled bathroom floor, alerting some other toilet-goer to the fact that she is no longer alone. It's almost guaranteed that the moment my heel hits tile some previously solo toiletter is pulling on her toilet paper roll for dear life.

Today I have an SP headache. It could just be left over from an intense session at Dan last night (ladies in Tokyo, try this!) but some days I can't handle the cacophony of faux rushing water. It's not just the sound either, but the creeping exhaustion that comes after constantly worrying about whether my toilette sounds are being fully covered. On days like this I turn down the volume on my SP or I forgo it altogether, piggybacking some other woman's SP, which is all fine and dandy until it runs out and I am caught out mid-pee. It's like hanging off the edge of a fucking cliff. Thank god we all wear heels because if the warning tap tap tap of our soles didn't signal the need to employ the SP, we would have a serious problem on our hands.


Anonymous said...

It puzzles me. Why is it not OK to pee audibly, but it is OK to gargle and spit? Ever since the swine flu scare, the OLs in my office building have taken to a) meticulously washing their hands, wrists and elbows for 10 minutes at a time and b) gargling with gusto and spitting copiously, also for what sounds like 10 minutes, without necessarily cleaning up the basin afterwards. So an emission from the nether region is not acceptable - natural and unavoidable as it may be - but an arguably unnecessary emission from the upper orifice is perfectly fine?

These days, when I walk into the restroom and there's a spitting viper at the basin, I deliberately don't use the Sound Princess. It chokes off that gargle in mid-action. Childish? Heck, yes. Petty? Oh, undeniably. Fun? You bet.

Foggia said...

Why do you care in the first place ?

Green-Eyed Geisha said...

Anonymous: I wish I had an answer to that, because I find the gargle-spit issue a lot more offensive. And also, washing up to their elbows?!?! Love your counter tactics, I wish I was that brave.

Foggia: Why do I care? I don't usually see myself as a follow-the-in-crowd kinda gal but I feel immense unspoken pressure to use the SP. Arguably I could look at this like anything else and just say fuck it, I'm peeing without it, but I don't relish the thought of being known among the office ladies as the gaijin who is loud in the toilet. I feel weird enough without adding to it in the realm of something so personal (and yet very universal).

Anonymous said...

Actually if you stop and think about it, the toliet is one of the last free things left in society. I mean you do your business, use toliet paper and water and the seat heater, all for free. The water the jet sprays is also free, and the power to the actuator. The soap from the dispenser and the water at the sink, then the highwattage heater to dry your hands. All free. As far as the masking of sounds, I dont care anymore. Going to the office toliet seems to be something that Japanese love doing, I dont know why. So since its a family type ordeal, why not just be natural about it? I cut a fart or use the washlet with no shame now.

Foggia said...

I understand the social pressure part of this thing, but think it's not worth bowing to it at least in that respect.
Of course it's easy for me to say, as I'm a men, and my J-counterparts don't give much of a damn about their own noise-making, whatever the orifice (no SP in the men's usually).
Hotel rooms usually always let water flow when you sit down though, which always pisses me off (such waste).

Anonymous said...

What you should do is play a recording of a female Japanese friend of yours fake farting loudly or saying loudly with extreme relief 'What a massive shit I did. I think I passed a kidney!' or "OH GOD!! IT'S COMING OUT SIDEWAYS!!' Followed by big kerplunk like a brick being thrown into a lake. :) Just to break up the monotony. Or even better get someone to change the Sound Princess (If it's installed into the cubicle) from running water to Farting and moaning. Should be as easy as replacing the recording chip/card. Great to if you can get to any annoying persons mobile and change their ringtone to farting. I believe you have a secretary that nags you with messages about getting back to work. ;)
Best of luck

Green-Eyed Geisha said...

Anon at 8:58: I think they like it because as you said, it's one of the only free places and in an open office environment, really the only place to get any privacy or alone time. Still, I feel very un-free in our office bathroom.

Foggia: It's not worth it at all but now that I've made a habit of it, I find it hard to turn back now!

Anon/Jerry: all awesome ideas, maybe to be used in my last week of work!

J said...

I'm hooked on the sound princess, I increased the sound today AND piggy-backed. I worry about the times I'm in a hurry and have to "power pee" an overconsumption of water: there's nothing quite so distressing as the SP finishing before it's done and having to adjust the flow pressure from karcher to drinking fountain. TMI.

Green-Eyed Geisha said...

Jen: I am the queen of TMI! I can see you are a pretty hardcore user like myself. It's totally distressing. And even more so that I spend perfectly good waking hours worrying about this stuff...ahh