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The curse of Aftabeh
The challenges of Tu Allet Farangy ...

December 14, 2004

If I were to give it a name to describe both its shape and its function, I would call it an Anal Carafe with a pipe extension - It also looks like one of those designer creamers, larger in size and shaped like a taller Ketri (kettle).

If I were to describe just its function it would be something like:

- A Butt Washer

- A Proctologic Spout

- A Rectum Cleaner

- An Asshole Rinser

- A Handful (vs hands-free) bide'

- An Ass Washing Can

- A Butt Douche

Yes, I am talking about our good ole Aftabeh, and as some of you may have also noticed it, "the curse".

Aftabeh [Ewer] comes from AbTabeh - A water container! I wonder since Tabeh is a bigger, wider pan (e.g. think Mahi Tabeh) the old traditional AbTabeh was a pail of water that you just sat in to wash yourself like a Lagan.

Regardless, once you use an Aftabeh you will never settle with toilet paper again ... It may be that rinsing, cleansing sensation. It may also be that multifaceted attribute of an Aftabeh which wakes you up quicker than a cup of double espresso when the water is cold, or soothes you better than any relaxant if the water is lukewarm. It may very well be that you actually enjoy touching down there everyday and rubbing your fingers on your own ass and rinsing with Aftabeh is simply an excuse.

What ever the reason, it is more than just a rinse and you are hooked. Even though it is so disgusting to get peef [poop] on your fingers when wiping with toilet paper, you would not hesitate to dig in when an Aftabeh is in site, initiating your daily rectal inspection of every wrinkle on your butt hole, sometimes wondering how a particular food particle got there - didn't I chew it?!! ... It remains a mystery to me why that ass has to be so clean!

Aftabeh, aside from availability of efficient models in a variety of materials, is obviously not an issue or a topic of conversation in Iran - The whole Aftabeh concept basically lends itself to the Persian style "Mostarah" where all you have to do is to tilt and rinse. More accurately:

1. You pull your pants or underwear down only to your Knees so that you can reach from underneath to wash yourself. In that position, your pants or even underwear work like yoga straps around your knees, keeping you in place, helping you with great control in that squatted hemorrhoid promoting position.

2. After filling Aftabeh with water, which you generally accomplish while peefing, yon simply tilt it to wash your butt - You pull it forward, tilt it, you rinse, and you push it back in place - Aftabeh is hardly ever lifted. [please wash your hands afterwards]

It is different with "Tu Allet Farangy". The first problem you encounter is "Getting water to fill the Aftabeh". Typical (non-custom) western homes are not designed to have a "Sheer e Ab" [faucet] conveniently next to where the Aftabeh is parked in the guest bathroom. You'll have to get the water either from any of the bath tub spout, the actual shower head itself, or from a near by DastShouEe [sink]. In our case, which is not particularly unique to us, the sink and the toilet+bathroom are separated by a wall.

Because wiping your ass is the most eminent thing that you are going to do, most people naturally remember the need for toilet paper, and in our case the need for water, half way through taking a dump.

Sometimes, you get lucky and there is barely enough water left in the Aftabeh to get away, particularly if you only peed - to rinse your genital, you just need a few drops ...

Otherwise, to get water, you either need to reach over, slide open the bathtub glass door, and fill the Aftabeh from the tub spout or walk outside to get it from the sink. You cannot exactly easily get up and walk around because your pants are down (e.g. Although women pull up their skirts, they still need to pull down their panty hose, so they are at a greater disadvantage than men since one hand is already occupied holding up their skirt or their dress) . You won't just pull up your pants/panty in your attempt to get water because you'll be spreading peef all over your butt cheeks and yon may even get some on your underwear/panty, which defeats the whole purpose of rinsing with Aftabeh,

Too many of us are also too lazy to wipe with toilet paper, pull up our pants or skirts, step over or worse, come out of the bathroom, fill the Aftabeh, and go back in to wash our butts. Even if you did wipe, no one would believe you did and particularly I would think you walked to get water without wiping.

So, with your pants down you reach, you stretch, sort of arching, sort of kneeling, sort of bending, sort of acrobat-ting, and sort of contortion-ing, and looking completely silly, you get that water. Well ... in that susceptible position, accidents are bound to happen.

For instance, we have had a couple of instances where the water was set to come from the shower head instead of the bathtub spout and our guest came out of the bathroom with a wet shirt and their head sprayed - I am sure their butt was wiped perfectly clean, and dried!

This problem is grossly compounded if you don't have a tub spout and the shower head is one of these adjustable high pressure rotary ones. You are guaranteed to get wet!

Unless you are at an old traditional rest room in the middle of no where on your way to Sheeraz where you need to get an Aftabeh to take with you to the toilet, no one, in this day and age of available amenities, plans in advance for where to fill the Afatbeh with water, also particularly because most folks "Run" to the bathroom and there is simply no tome to plan it!

How many times have you run out of toilet paper at your own home, and forgot to put a new roll out for the next time and you remembered it too late, again? It is like that.

The other problem is handling and maneuvering the Aftabeh itself. Unlike hole in the ground Persian toilets, with "Tu Allet Farangy" you need to lift the Aftabeh and carefully maneuver it between your legs. You always lift with the same hand because unlike joggling, washing your ass is not joggle-able. Have you ever tried wiping with toilet paper with your other hand? You will be spreading, not wiping it! Washing with Aftabeh is not any different. Although weight is not an issue in Iran, it plays a significant role for Aftabeh in "Tu Allet Farangy" and needs to be very light.

The design itself is also very important. The watering cans that most folks use instead of an Aftabeh, have a decorative and practical design for the purpose they are intended and not organic ass washing design. Worse yet, because they are generally smaller, most people tend to fill them to the top and the moment they tilt it, they get a big spill on their mass or doodooles.

Furthermore, you have to pull your pants/panties down to your ankles, not just to your knees, otherwise you won't be able to spread your legs wide enough to stick the pipe of the ewer together with one of your hands in that little space to reach your buttocks to wipe! Pants to your ankles also means that you are definitely going to get a second spill of water, on your pants/panties. We can always tell which of our guests fully undressed when they were taking a dump in our bathroom: They are the ones with dry pants! [this definitely sounds like that Seinfeld episode where George always fully undressed in the toilet]

... Washing from the back is not as blissful, so don't bother.

I remember when I was little, we had the typical Persian style "floor toilet" and my greatest fear, always, was what if I fall in it, or, what if something came out from down there and took me ( I am making a movie based on Monster's inc called Mostarah Inc) When I was much younger, my mom would call my name every 10 seconds, which gave me the security and the comfort that my mom was nearby and will come to the rescue if anything happened. "Bahram ... Bahram ... . " and sometimes when she got too busy and stopped calling me, I had to cut it short and run out crying why she didn't call my name.

When I grew a little older, 5-6 years old, to entertain myself and to get my thoughts off that horrible hole, I used to fill the Aftabeh to the top, and blow bubbles in it through its pipe - The bubbles would keep me busy and I didn't think much about falling in. Yes, I did put my 5-6 year old lips on that pipe and blew bubbles (shut up). When I grew a little older, 6-7, I was still afraid but I wasn't sure that the pipe was too clean or sanitary. I would make a fist at the top around the pipe, holding it, and still blew in the pipe, but it was now through my very own hand!

All my fears came to an end when we moved to our new house that had a "Tu Allet Farangy". Not only the bottomless pit was no longer there, I entertained myself watching what my younger daughter used to call Peefy Fishees. Putty training her with toilet paper was much easier than if I ever had to teach her how to handle Aftabeh ...

The P in MetroSexual ...
A few weeks ago, one of my dad's friends and his wife came over for dinner. They were coming from Iran and their son Akbar drove them all the way from LA to visit with us in the Bay Area. They are the older, highly educated, highly accomplished, highly considerate, highly conservative, and highly typical Iranians, like those I remember from 20-30 years ago when I was growing up in Iran.

Akbar, their son, is 30+ years old and had lived in the U.S. since he was 15, insisting that he looked like Ryan Seacrest, the host of American Idol, persevering that he too was with the MetroSexual phenomenon - which makes him what, a PMS, Persian MetroSexual?

I did catch him several times checking himself out in every reflection in our house, from the console mirror at the entrance, to the china cabinet mirror during the dinner, to the wine bottle, as he was pretending that he was checking the estate and the vintage! If you have been to any of the trendy dance clubs in LA, you must have already observed that being a Persian Male and MetroSexuality are practically synonymous, with a twist, or two.

You see, around 94 when CK underwear ads for men were posted on every billboard and every magazine and every street corner, the British satirist Mark Simpson coined the term "Metrosexual" to describe the models in these ads, referring to a young urban straight male who embraces the homosexual lifestyle, concerned with self-image, self-indulgence and money. He has a strong aesthetic sense and spends a great deal of time and money on his appearance and lifestyle. He also has refined tastes and uses excessive designer hygiene products, 2-3 different products just to style his hair, and unlike my dad, he loves clothes or even the process of shopping for them. Hmmm ... that to me, so far, is a PMS.

More over, a metrosexual man is in touch with his emotions, reads a lot, memorizes poems, and even quotes famous writers. He is even romantic. In other words, unless you didn't know, judging by American stereotypes, you would have considered him gay, but he is not, though on the brink of homosexuality. Although some PMS may qualify, others are totally confused with superficial aspects of metrosexuality and are truly more NoeNor than romantic. But you see, Metrosexuality is deeper than that.

Take Behrooz, my Persian/German buddy. Because of his mixed blood, he has a pretty light complexion and even if you plucked his entire eyebrows, it is not that noticeable.

Pluck just a couple of strands of hair from just the midsection of Akbar's Pacheh Boze uni-brows, and man, those dark black eyebrows looked 10 times darker and 20 times more prominent - Plucking the hair above his eyelids made him look like one of those exaggerated cross dressers in Pink Panther movies with nearly shaved eyebrow - but he still had plenty left.

There is more ...
Although he is a pretty good looking guy and had a great looking paisley Tommy shirt on, which looked great on David Bowie in the newspaper ads, the cluster of dark thick black chest hair sticking out of Akbar's shirt, up to his neck, somehow was not working as it did on David! Didn't metrosexual men trimmed/shaved more than their face?

It looked like a baby's head or the fake hair on Mike Myers' chest in Austin Powers movies. Akbar had Pache' Boze for eyebrows, and Kalleh Boze sticking out of his shirt for chest hair. Worse yet, the shirt was a size or two larger to cover his gut - What happened to the chiseled metrosexual tight body?

And more ...
Stretching the end of each word and excessive use of "like" in every single sentence, is like what my like teenage like daughter like does like a lot, ok?! Akbar is a 32 yo man.

Somehow when we talk about romance and being in touch with yourself and hey, while we are at it, even to be in touch with your feminine side, I would like to think it means the more subdued and less aggressive and much less chauvinistic behavior.

First of all, I think Akbar may have confused being in touch mentally, with touching himself physically, as he did adjust whatever was there, time after time in oblivion and with comfort. More over, this guy would not let anyone talk, and you know how much I like to talk. He had a half opinion about everything in the universe, also insisting that he was right.

While we were made references to this book and that article or this research and that report, he would resort to the subjective phrase "Migan ... ." [they say - hearsay], a clear indication that he does not read. Aside from supporting and voting for the epitome of ignorance, namely the illiterate George W <Sorry Mr. Ashcroft, I didn't know you read!>, he also wished U.S. had attacked Iran to liberate Iranians so that he could return to his homeland! I don't think he remembers what they do to boys who look, or talk like him in Iran, starting upon arrival!

Akbar was the epitome of Metrosexual wanna be and I gave him the credit for trying until after dinner when he went to the bathroom to quickly return, asking for an Aftabeh!

Apparently Akbar khan, our PMS, has taken his metrosexuality hygiene to the next level and still washes, not wipes, his ass - It the curse of Aftabeh reaching beyond Homo and Hetero, now onto Metro!

We had recently disposed of our old Aftabeh and had not yet had a chance to get a new one from Target. Taban suggested giving him some Baby Wipes, which we used to have for our guest bathroom. We no longer use them because folks tend to use more than one of those at a time, more like 5, to wipe themselves and unfortunately these wipes don't easily disintegrate and quickly clog the pipes. I mistakenly, honestly, handed him a box of perfumed Moist Towelettes, thinking that he wants his ass clean, and being a PMS, he probably also wants it smelling good. He reluctantly took the box.

Did you know alcohol and your rectal tissues don't mix well and it burns like hell instantly because it is immediately absorbed and there is nothing you can do to get rid of the burning sensation while it lasts? They do. If you don't believe me, spray a little aftershave there and you'll know.

The towelettes are drenched in alcohol and while Akbar joon was running around the house, probably not fully wiped with a literally burning ass (Koonesh Mi Sookht], his dad clarified how "VassVaSee" Akbar joon was and how he has to ALWAYS taharat with water. He said they went to friend's house a few weeks ago, and Akbar joon had climbed up their sink to wash his precious ass in their sink and the sink did not tolerate his weight and broke underneath him [ It sounds like a scene from one of Woody Allen's movies "Everything you wanted to know about sex but you were afraid to ask" where the guest husband puts on host's wife's clothes and falls out the window, etc.]

What a nightmare!

So next time, if nothing else, settle with moistening some toilet paper and using them instead ... It is gross, but it is only digested food after all!

We use Seat Covers in public bathrooms, even in our own small little offices, to avoid SOMETHING, yet, we have not crumbs about coming in contact with our peef when using an Aftabeh. I think someone should invent a disposable easily degradable Taaharat gloves.

p.s. If you use an Aftabeh, never take your laptop with you to the bathroom when you are writing a story. Water and laptop keyboard don't mix well either.

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Book of the day

Napoleon and Persia
Franco-Persian Relations Under the First Empire
by Iradj Amini


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