One of the luxuries of living in a developed country is that our water is sanitary, all of our water. In the United States, we pay about 1 cent per gallon for clean running water in everything from our sinks and toilets to our yards. But at some point over the last decade we collectively said, "Fuck that. We want to pay 5 cents an ounce and we want it to come in bottle with some goddamn mountains on the front."
Anyone who drinks bottled water will tell you that it's cleaner and tastes better than water from the tap. They use words like "crisp" and "pure" when describing it because those words invoke snowmelt trickling over a slab of stone and also because they are idiots. Bottled water is actually held to less rigorous standards than tap water, and sometimes no standards at all. In fact, bottled water that doesn't cross state lines (about 70 percent of it) isn't subject to FDA regulations. Plus, most of it's not coming from that mountain on the front of the bottle because that's an illustration. Instead, it comes from local sources such as the lakes, springs and reservoirs from which we get tap water.
Oh, also the bottles are toxic. Not only do carcinogens from the plastic leak into the water, but the plastic is porous which makes it a more hospitable environment for bacteria. So countless companies have built empires on packaging an inferior product to one you already get for free, in millions of plastic bottles that will never go away.
Paper Toilet Seat Covers
Hands down, the most ubiquitous of all useless items, the toilet seat cover preys on the fears and shame of Americans in public restrooms across America. Granted, they're generally free for defecators but gas stations, shopping malls, office buildings and even strip clubs are shelling out money for a product that has no business existing. The fact is, it's nearly impossible to catch a disease or a parasite from a toilet seat unless you have severe open wounds on the backs of your legs or your butt cheeks. Assuming that's the case, then go home. What are you doing at a bar in the first place? It would also require the germs to be present on the seat to begin with, and as it turns out, toilet seats are about 50 times cleaner than phone receivers. If you're thinking, Yeah, but I so rarely touch my phone and my ass at the same time then consider that a toilet seat is also significantly cleaner than a keyboard or a mouse. Take a minute to scroll through your browser history to get a good idea how much more genital attention your computer gets than a toilet seat.
Note: Nothing is filthier than a laptop.
The covers also fail to protect you from contact with urine since tissue paper notoriously dissolves into paste when exposed to the slightest drop of liquid. Urine soaks right through the covers, which is entirely logical when you consider that thousands of these get flushed down toilets every day.
Despite all of this, no one ever questions the sanitary qualifications of the toilet seat cover and consequently, companies with names like Rest Assured and Health Gard continue to pump out a tree pulp that serves no purpose other than to protect peace of mind. I look forward to the day when these are finally pulled from restrooms, the day we collectively realize how we've blindly accepted such an absurd product, the day humanity declares it would rather see actual human feces on a toilet seat before this bullshit.
Ooh, was that ... did I go too far?