For years, Donald Trump’s bathroom fixation captivated the disenfranchised masses, long-suffering from moderate showerhead water pressure, whose dumps deserve to travel down a mighty whirlpool with the force of the Niagara Falls, but, bewilderingly, just float in the bowl. Where the silent majority was too meek to advocate for themselves, this nation’s former leader was bold enough to tell the truth.
The president’s devotion to the issue inspired a memorable 2019 toilet oratory, delivered before a press corps, hopefully, to take its place as his Gettysburg Address:
They take a shower and water comes dripping out, just dripping out, very quietly dripping out. People are flushing toilets 10 times, 15 times, as opposed to once. They end up using more water. So [the Environmental Protection Agency] is looking at that very strongly at my suggestion. You go into a new building, or a new house, or a new home, and they have standards on where you don’t get water, you can’t wash your hands practically there’s so little water that comes out of the faucet. And the end result is you leave the faucet on and it takes you much longer to wash your hands, you end up using the same amount of water.
Yes, 15 flushes, so much time squandered staring helplessly at our own shit while praying that our Lord and Savior makes it go down the hole. In 2020, from the South Lawn, Trump added a more personal touch to his message, mentioning that this is a hair crisis.
“You just stand there longer or you take a shower longer?” he asked. “Because my hair — I don’t know about you — but it has to be perfect.”
Washington Post reporter video editor JM Rieger has assembled clips of his various public stances on bathroom water flow from 2019-2020.
You’ll remember of course that Trump championed this issue in the midst of a pandemic and a hurricane-related power crisis, calling on the Department of Energy to amend a 1992 rule that restricts showerhead output to 2.5 gallons per minute. In 2013, the Obama Administration further clarified that 2.5 gallons per minute applied even to a multi-showerhead showerhead, meaning that a showerhead with like (3, 4?) showerheads would, together, produce a weak stream. Trump put a stop to our universal woe in the twilight of his term, when the Department of Energy finalized a rule described as a “quality-of-life” improvement, delivering “access to showerheads that can provide enough water for quality showers.” Basically, each showerhead on a multi-showerhead nozzle would provide 2.5 gallons of water each.
But the dream was to be short-lived (a line from the upcoming Ken Burns documentary on the history of the bathroom situation). The AP reports that Biden’s Department of Energy is expected to begin the process of repealing the Trump-era Department of Energy’s amendment as soon as next week. The outlet quotes Kelly Speakes-Backman, acting assistant secretary for the department’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, pointing out that many parts of America are suffering from extreme droughts. The U.S. Drought Monitor currently shows that much of the West is experiencing extreme drought, the worst in four years, at a time when droughts regularly reach historic intensity and a potential future of permanent drought. Newly-released NASA satellite imagery of California shows shriveled reservoirs and desiccated lakes.
The AP notes that most manufacturers still comply with the 2013 rule, anyway, so Trump’s hair may never have realized its full potential.