Eat some jello? Wave a hello? Cue the cello? Portobello?
If you were not lucky enough to have learned this glorious rhyme as a child, let me enlighten you:
If it’s yellow, let it mellow.
If it’s brown, flush it down.
Or, as my poetic brains thought up around the time of my sister’s wedding (because lord knows, drunk people pee a lot):
If it’s pee, let it be.
If it’s poo, you know what to do.
Not being raised on the “let it mellow” philosophy, it’s taken me a few years to fully embrace the joys of not flushing the toilet every time I use it. At first, I was worried about offending people. I mean, pee can get kind of reeky if it’s left for too long. Also, some people are just not used to seeing anything in the toilet when they haven’t put it there themselves. As I said to a friend recently, we see our own waste ALL THE TIME, but when we see someone else’s? It’s like the grossest thing that’s ever happened to us.
I wonder if this mentality (that our waste is gross, awful, shameful, and must NOT BE SEEN by any others) doesn’t contribute to our trigger-happy flushing. Toilets use something crazy like 30% of our clean water supply. When you think about how many people don’t have clean water to drink, and we’re literally FLUSHING OURS DOWN THE TOILET, it kind of makes you think. Maybe somebody seeing our pee, or god forbid MIXING THEIR PEE WITH OURS, is not such a terrible thing.
There are lots of other ways to cut down your water consumption (taking shorter showers, washing your clothes less or using front-loading washers, installing low-flow toilets if you have the opportunity, stopping the faucet when you brush your teeth, showering en masse) but “letting it mellow” might be one of the simplest and easiest ways.
Just don’t let your poop mellow too long, mmmkay? There’s a rhyme for a reason.