Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Tabo or Not Tabo, That Is The Question

Warning: This blog may contain offensive language and foul-smelling bits and pieces of information. Literally. So if you are turd-queasy, get off the page. Now.

Our weekend Filipino nanny shared with me some not-so-palatable info about her employer's kids. Apparently it is common practice among these youngsters to pick their noses and eat their boogers. Not only that, one of them has actually developed a taste for the stuff that comes up when one has a hacking cough. I believe the clinical term for it is phlegm. I don't want to sound snooty and all but my kids are banned from this kind of sport. Besides if it happens behind my back (which I'm sure it does) they don't go around saying "But it's delicious!" Now if this has not grossed you out yet, let me go even further. When they go, and I don't mean to #1 (or is it #2) they simply get some tissue and wipe when done. Wipe! No water, no wetnaps, no nothing. To add insult to injury, the kids only take a bath twice a week and when they do bathe, they stew in their tub and don't even rinse after.

Ew. Ew. Ew. Ew. Ew.

I've heard about the Dry-Wipe method story from a friend of mine, a flight attendant which gives her access to interesting varying poo stories from around the globe. The practice of dry wiping is apparently wide-spread and accepted. With all due respect to each culture's hygiene (or lack of it) practice let me say: Not in my book blog, it's not!

In the Philippines where I grew up we had a tabo in every toilet and bathroom. A tabo, in my opinion, is a hygiene-conscious genius's creation.
  1. Tabo. All-powerful, ever-useful, hygienically-triumphant device to scoop water out of a bucket _ and help the true Pinoy answer nature's call. Helps maintain our famously stringent toilet habits. From Asianjoke.com

Even the public restrooms had at least one. Being a third world country (read: very poor) most homes don't have those sprinkler-tinkler things built into the loos. (Aren't those things just a dream?) There is a joke about the Filipino who travels. Most seasoned travelers have clothes, shoes, perfume, books and things to bring to their loved ones abroad. The humble Filipino will bring dried fish, dried fruit and a dozen tabo for their families abroad.

I noticed that the tabo is not sold in stores here in North America nor is there anything which serves the same purpose (which makes the theory of dry-wiping as the accepted practice in these parts even more Ew-able.) So what are we immigrant tabo-users to do? Need is the mother of invention or in our case, the lowly tabo needs to be re-invented. Enter hybrid tabo a.k.a milk pitchers sold for a dollar or so in almost all supermarkets.

The blue pitcher not the glass, silly!

Though there is a tendency to drip water onto the floor as it is not ergonomically designed for hygienic purposes. The closest alternative are those synthetic watering cans from IKEA that have long spouts the length of my arm which, on second thought, may injure the user. So scratch that.

So the question remains: Are you to Tabo or not tabo?

All I can say is, thank goodness my husband's family belongs to the first group! I will not stand for skid marks in my laundry.

Ew. Ew. Ew. Ew. Ew.



Bowds said...

Well, australia is a dry-wipe country, and we do pretty well. No terrible diseases are passed via the toilet-paper disposal.

I don't see the problem because I grew up with it, Aus is a very drought stricken country, water is used when needed and no other.

Hope you still talk to me :P

iKat said...

B ~ Bro, makes me wuv ya even more, silly. :-) Just don't expect me to do your laundry! You make me laugh, funnyboy. Always, BigSis K. P.S. Which reminds me, those kids parents are Aussies. Aha! And ya better be taking yer baths more than twice a week, young man! Hey, I'm still talking. LOL

Bowds said...

Lol Bigsis, again on the water issue, we're more of a shower country.

Ya get in, turn on the water and the water runs away like this "SWOOOOSSHHHH" and I have one every day, cause I'm a good boy.

Its better then a bath cause all the dirt and germs go away with the water and fresh stuff comes in.

Interesting side note, a 5 minute shower takes less water then the average bath :D