Talk about an unusual request. On November 8, Senior and Program Housing Area Coordinator Alexia Thompson sent out this email to seniors in woodframe houses:
Please see message below from physical plant.
Physical Plant has noticed that bidets have been installed in some of the woodframe bathrooms. This is extremely problematic, as they can lead to plumbing problems, and possibly flooding and damage to your belongings. If there is a reason you need a bidet, please submit your request to the office of accessibility services, and if approved, Physical Plant will professionally install one for you. Thank you for your cooperation.
Naturally, that got us here at Wesleying asking the important journalistic questions, such as Who installed the bidet? and How “extreme” is “extremely problematic”?? So we went looking for answers.
This was one of our most popular tweets in weeks, by the way. We knew a lot was at stake.
Luckily, we got a swift response.
Ask and ye shall receive. After a quick email exchange, we set up a date the following week to meet in person and take photos, which sounds boring as hell and doesn’t convey how excited we all were to find out what all the bidet hubbub was about.
On a dark, rainy Thursday evening, I trekked over to Home Ave., not quite sure what to expect. Well, that’s not entirely true– I was expecting something like this, an entire new appliance the size of a toilet inexplicably installed in a woodframe house bathroom. I mean, c’mon, the phrase “extremely problematic” had to imply that the floor had been torn up for this thing, right? Someone with (supposed) knowledge of the situation even told me that the bidet had caused the house’s septic tank to flood, spilling out onto the neighboring houses’ property. If Physical Plant’s panties were in this much of a twist (sorry) over a single bidet, surely it had to be a shitshow (sorry x2).
And turns out, it was a shitshow! A shitshow of an overreaction.
See that little knob attached to the toilet seat? That’s the bidet. That’s the entire bidet.
Being a dumb American with only secondhand knowledge of how bidets work, I had no idea that these little “electronic bidet” attachments existed. As you can imagine, they’re a lot easier to install than a full bidet seat, and they’ve steadily gained popularity here in the US, where bidets still aren’t as common as in southern Europe. And before this blog post turns into a Wikipedia article, look here for further reading.
According to the bidet-installer, he managed to use his electro-bidet last year with no issues from Physical Plant, which makes their sudden crackdown this year all the more surprising. Who knew the War On Fun could morph into the War On Hygiene.
Anyways, I hope Physical Plant shifts its focus to the moldy Frankenstein pumpkins that are still lining the Fountain porches. I’ve seen enough pathogen episodes of The X-Files to view those as extremely problematic.
Editor’s note: The name of the student who owns the bidet has been removed, to protect the bidet’d.