Who would have thought that two individually dangerous things would create such a wonderfully useful device when put together? I mean bums are (often) dirty and smelly, and guns kill people. But the bum gun kills dirty smelly bums. I know, this still doesn’t sound very pleasant, but bear with me on this one.
Starting in Vietnam (and continuing throughout Southeast Asia), we started to notice a hose with a triggered nozzle hung beside whichever form of toilet we were frequenting, be it western or squatter. At first, I wondered if this device was used as some sort of quick and easy cleaning solution for the bathroom, until one day I learned that it was in fact designed as a quick and easy cleaning solution for my posterior. It was of course the day I heard the term “the bum gun” that I put one and “two” together, and realized I was sitting beside a kind of do-it-yourself bidet.
You see, toilet paper is not as commonly used in Asia, as most buildings have only a basic septic system. While some places offer little wastebaskets for toilet paper disposal, many places opt for the less smelly and paperless solution of the bum gun. Now, I don’t want to be disgusting or anything (well, maybe just a little), but I couldn’t help but inquire what the locals do if the “Enterprise” has an unfortunate run-in with the “Klingons”. I was told, “that’s why they do everything in public with their right hand.” Hmm… how about that!?