April 18th, 2007

International Kittens of Mystery

Exploding Toilets

After a spate of exploding lavatories, something having hit the cooling fan, all 180,000 high-tech Japanese Washlet toilets have had to be recalled. Apparently they had a tendency to burst into flame - something not covered in the manual.

For those unfamiliar with the Washlet experience, the ultra high-tech unit has an electronically warmed seat and a function that washes and then blow dries the user's nether parts. The addition of an unexpected flame and char grill cycle has, not unsurprisingly, caused panic in Japan.

The design flaw - or unforeseen feature as it's inventor has tried to pass it off as - has been blamed on shoddy Chinese workmanship. The poorly insulated communist wire can degrade with use, short-circuit and play havoc with the heater that warms the bidet water. The plastic toilet seat then melts and ignites. Although no physical injuries have been reported as yet, many traumatized customers have come forward to describe the shock of having their toilet catch fire beneath them. Several are in therapy and said to be suffering from PTSD (Post Toilet Stress Syndrome) and constipation.

Following the recall, shares in Wallace and Grommit have soared. The plucky inventor and his dog are planning to launch their Loominator - a giant and even more high-tech mechanical toilet (with large robotic arms and a specially trained ferret) - in Japan next year.