My aunt Betty, who was British, used to say to her little dog: “would you like to spend some pennies?” The dog would then wag his tail and get very excited. This was not a dog who liked to go shopping, this was a dog who needed to visit the back yard and…wee. Spending your pennies is a very old British term about going to the bathroom, I think it’s origin comes from the first public toilets that cost a penny to use.

In this country, there is a little controversy about saving some pennies while you spend your pennies. To put it in a nutshell, it is all about peeing in the shower.

In the province of Drenthe, an official on the council for the municipality of Aa en Hunze, has announced that people should pee while showering. There is a project this year to increase sustainability and save water, so this official, Bert Wassink, thought he was being helpful to his community and even his country.

Mr. Wassink (you gotta love this name) said that peeing in the shower “saves lots of clean water and is good for the environment. If you combine showers and peeing, you save a lot of water and money, so why not?”

To put this in perspective, an average Dutch person uses 39 litres a day on showers and 36 litres of water flushing the toilet. The Dutch know all about water and there is a good argument for doing as Mr. Wassink suggests. But many people do not want to be told by a politician when and how they should urinate. The Dutch are independent people in any situation, and this just rubbed (without a sponge) them the wrong way. On the other hand, some people think that this is a great idea and they have been doing it for years. It is compelling argument that you can do two things at once, but others find this act simply disgusting.

I have written before on this blog about how men urinate in public here. Because there are so many canals and sloots, men can just stand outside and relieve themselves. In most cities there are also these sidewalk urinals that are just for men and not only do they not have a door but they are free. The Dutch have done everything possible to make it easier for men, especially, to find relief. Now we are discussing peeing while showering. Mr. Wassink is not saying to use the shower INSTEAD of the toilet, but if you are already under a waterfall…why not?

Mr. Wassink did admit that he practices what he preaches. I know many people who do this, and even I have taken a “double shower” on occasion. On those times, I have to admit that I enjoyed it and liked the fact that I could do two things at once. I wish my Aunt Betty was still around, as I would love to tell her that I am spending pennies while washing my hair.

Recommended viewing:  BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD. All the buzz about this film are warranted and deserved.

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  • Kim Perry  On February 14, 2013 at 2:22 pm

    I am fascinated by any and all toilet-related topics because people can get quite passionate about what goes on behind closed doors such as the toilet paper placement, leaving the lid up and now peeing in the shower. I never heard of the phrase “spend some pennies” so thanks for teaching me a new phrase related to bathroom habits. Also, this reminds me of the Seinfeld episode where George gets caught peeing in the shower at his gym. He shouts to Elaine, “It’s all pipes!”

    Here’s a link to the clip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dOlGMPE68Bo

  • Jean Langley  On February 15, 2013 at 5:37 am

    Hmmmm. This just has never come up in conversation….

  • Leslie  On February 16, 2013 at 2:45 am

    My friend Liz, who is a Brit, loved this…..

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