TAP Guest Commentary from Jules Varwig

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The Slippery Menace
by Jules Varwig

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Wednesday, April 5, 2000

How many more must die in the cold porcelain of the household bathtub before we come to our collective senses? This all too common appliance is a proven killer. Unregulated bathtubs cause over 200,00 injuries every year. There are over 100 drownings and 70 people cooked to death in scalding bathwater each and every year. Add the suicides, falls, and deliberate murders that take place in tubs, and the death toll mounts. Sadly, children comprise 75% of the fatalities.

Many European nations have long recognized the risk inherent in bathtubs and have reduced the use of them. Yet in the United States, the bathing culture is rampant, and leads to death and suffering on a gigantic scale. There are those who claim that bath tub use is justified under certain circumstances. Some claim that bathtubs are necessary for cleanliness. Is personal vanity more important to you than a child’s safety?

Recreation is often espoused as a legitimate use of the bathtub but can be disregarded out of hand. No brief thrill is worth the cost of maintaining one of these deadly instruments of destruction in your home. Research shows that the chances of drowning or being boiled in your bathtub are greater than the chances of inducing a supermodel of the opposite sex to share it with you.

Steps should be taken at once to register tubs. Our government at present don’t even know for sure how many of these killer devices exist! Simply incorporating a few questions into the upcoming census would help authorities to determine the size of regulatory agency needed to enforce license requirements.

Many bathtubs hold up to 18 inches of water. The variety known as the "spa" or "hot tub" may hold even more, and has been implicated in cases of date rape. Some of these assault tubs can have as much as 24 inches of water and various automatic jets, whirlpools, and heaters which make them attractive to the criminal bather. Our legislature should take steps to limit all new bathtubs to holding 3 inches of water. This should reduce the chances of mass drowning significantly.

Of course, children make up the overwhelming number of bathtub victims. Even if you don’t own a bathtub, your child’s friends may have parents who are irresponsible bathers. The common sense solution is for people to use faucet locks. Faucet locks can be easily mandated by government, enforced by a new agency set up specifically with tub safety in mind, and subject to in-home inspections at households with registered bathtubs.

Regardless of any "right" claimed by the pro-bathing crowd, (a right which is never mentioned in the Constitution) precedents have already been established for bathroom fixture regulation. The Supreme Court has so far refused to hear any cases involving environmentally friendly commodes, thereby pointing out the foolishness of those who say that the government requirement of a toilet that doesn’t work is some kind of tyranny. We should continue to educate these malcontents and inform their children of the stubborn and selfish ways of their parents.

How can you get involved in insuring your children’s safety? The most important thing you can do is to eliminate your bathtub immediately. Your tub is not "necessary" to your family’s well being, and in fact is more likely to kill or injure a member of your family or a friend, than it is to drown a burglar. The benefits of eliminating your tub will be immediate and noticeable. There will be a certain air about you that says, " I did away with my bathtub and I’m safer for it." Lobby your legislators to immediately invoke new laws to insure your safety from tubs. Give them money if you have to. Write nasty letters, stage protests, and organize anti-bathing individuals to stand around in legislative chambers. You WILL be noticed. Finally, join Bathtub Sanity, the only organization dedicated to your safety from this menace. At B.S. we are constantly involved in political action, research, and public education. We even maintain a facility containing various models of assault tubs, which our staff researches and tests at considerable personal danger.

Your children deserve to be safe, no matter the inconvenience or hardship. They cry out for your protection. Would you deny them?

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