Words & Banter

If You Behave … You Can Clean The Toilet. And Consider Yourself Lucky?!

Photo by htomas for iStock

When Red was a child, toilets represented more than a place to go when, well, you had to go. Much to Black’s amusement, Red saw cleaning them as a reward. (Really! Check out Red's post below.) But neither of us realized that billions of people don’t have access to toilets. And if it weren’t for today being World Toilet Day, we never would have known the magnitude of the associated health and safety issues – or the connection between sanitation and groundwater.

RED: What can I tell you? When I was a kid, one of my all-time favorite things to do was … clean the toilet. Yes, you read that correctly. And it wasn’t because I was a germophobe or a clean freak. I just loved being able to sit on the floor, using as much Bon Ami (I’ve no idea why I remember the brand) cleaning powder as I wanted. And the best part? All those bubbles!

It kept me entertained for hours. Not to mention, my mom was thrilled because it kept me “contained” and out of her hair. So much so that if I was very good and behaved myself, she might even give me “special permission” to clean the toilet in my parent’s bathroom. Of course, Black, being five years older and understanding the situation, found it all extremely amusing. Even now, decades later, she still gives me grief about it,


I couldn’t help but think of you when I saw the photo of a robot cleaning a toilet at the recent World Artificial Intelligence Conference. Growing up, I may have been “punished” with a budget, but it is good that you were such an obedient child, as Mom would have hated punishing you by taking away your toilet cleaning privileges.

Of course, Black doesn’t have children, so I’m not sure that she appreciates some of the best childhood memories include simple activities – no technology necessary. (For all the parents out there, how many of you have experienced a Christmas or Chanukah where the kids enjoy the box and/or plastic bubble wrap more than the gift?) There’s even a current TV commercial about a kid fishing in the toilet bowl using a sock as bait. Bottomline: the only “requirement” is a desire to have fun and maybe use some imagination.

And for those of us of a certain age … doesn’t this describe pretty much everything we did as kids growing up? Even Black’s admitted to her love of watermelon seed spitting (although I think she’d enjoy doing it even more now that she lives in a high-dollar high-rise).

Now, don’t get me wrong. Love it or hate it, technology has its place in almost all our lives (and what kid doesn’t want the latest and greatest “gizmo”), but not everything has to be powered by technology,

A computerized toilet cleaner is a marvel of technology, but can it beat the smiles and laughter of a child sloshing a brush around a toilet, especially when you can’t tell if they’re having more fun with the bubbles or the mess that they’re making?
Photo by OnTheRunPhoto for iStock

Are you taking the Dry January challenge and not having any alcohol for the month? Or, maybe you plan to drink less (but not nothing), which makes it Damp January. Or, maybe this is the first you’ve heard of it. (If so, there’s still time to start!)

Well, nothing much has changed from our approach to Dry January last year, except the one who had started drinking more last year is continuing the trend …



red headred head assets.rebelmouse.io

I keep getting emails about where to go for mocktails. I know alcohol-free cocktails, like Virgin Margaritas, have been around for a while, but I’d never heard that term before. Do you think it has to do with New Year’s resolutions?


Black's HeadBlack assets.rebelmouse.io

It can if any of your resolutions are to lose weight, save money, sleep better. Or, drink less. Psychologically, January is the month when we “reset”, so a UK-based organization, Alcohol Change UK , started Dry January , where you abstain from drinking alcohol.


red headred head assets.rebelmouse.io

Perfect timing since many people shop, eat, and drink more than usual over the holidays.


Black's HeadBlack assets.rebelmouse.io

I know you used to drink a glass of Cold Duck on New Year’s Eve, a tradition going back to our childhood, but that hardly counts as drinking. But, I have always wondered why you rarely drink, but never asked.
Keep Reading ...Show less

red headred head assets.rebelmouse.io

It’s January, and everyone’s probably tired of reading about New Year’s resolutions.

Black's HeadBlack assets.rebelmouse.io

Not me. Since I never make them, I never feel the need to read about them.

red headred head assets.rebelmouse.io

Of course, you don’t. So, what should we write about?

Black's HeadBlack assets.rebelmouse.io

How about that we celebrate some of our favorite things in January?

So many “National Days” in January are fun (we’ve written about them over the years) and remind us of some of our favorite things. (Can you pick which are Red’s favorite holidays and which are Black’s?) And whether or not you make resolutions, it’s always important to have a sense of humor and enjoy the simpler things in life …

Answer: Red’s favorites are Bagels, Popcorn, and Hugging. Black’s are Clean Desk, Bagels, and Backward.

Wishing you Happy 2024 – with new beginnings and much more!