Japan has long been renowned as a hi-tech country, boasting such inventions as the karaoke machine, Tamagochi and the talking toilet. But it is in the amazing development of the latter that the Japanese have truly reached the pinnacle of human achievement.
Almost every home in Japan now has a robot toilet. Not only that but the average Japanese loo now has a higher IQ than the average American human.
The most popular model is called Mr Turdy. As well as providing all the usual toiletary functions he will also sing and clean you up. Mr Turdy is available as a female model - the Lady Turdington - which has extra "women's functions".
I visited Tokyo to try out one of these for myself. The Mr Turdy appeared like a normal toilet but with two arms, one on either side, and he welcomed me with a soothing voice. As I sat down to do my business, he began to whistling Colonel Bogey nonchalantly, which I found helped to calm the otherwise awkward atmosphere.
On completion, I pushed the flush button, while Mr Turdy made whale noises to drown out the sounds of the water. I then pushed the "wipe" button, slightly nervously. Mr Turdy's arms grabbed some toilet paper and he barked "Prepare rectum!"
Having never received such a command before I was a little unsure what to do, so I decided to lean forward and splay my buttocks. Mr Turdy did a splendid job of cleaning my sphincter, and although he made perhaps a little too much contact with my testes, I wasn't complaining.
I then pushed the button marked with a symbol which could only mean "get dressed". Mr Turdy dutifully pulled up my trousers and carefully did my zip. Altogether, I was very impressed with the toilet. I could certainly get used to such treatment.
The Japanese are very accustomed to it, perhaps too much. A common sight in Tokyo these days is Japanese businessmen walking down the street with their trousers round their ankles. Some people have become so used to having their toilet dress them that they have forgotten how do to it themselves.
Some locals take their lavatorial enjoyment too far. One Tokyo man had a relationship with his toilet earlier this year. He wrote affectionate poetry to his loo, describing the feelings he had when he met his toilet and felt the first flushes of true love. He was sadly found dead, trapped in the U-bend of his toilet one day, having attempted an unusual act with his porcelain lover.
There are now toilets rights groups demanding right for toilets to vote, and even marry. They have released a song to promote the issues - "Cisterns are doing it for themselves".
Some loos have led successful careers on television, particularly in the field of stand-up comedy, where they are known for their low-brow "toilet" humour. One of the most popular is called Mr Funcrap, who describes himself as a modern day WC Fields.
There can be no denying that lives have been changed as a result of these ubiquitous poo-swallowing automatons. Whatever happens, it is clear that Japan's toilet-based society shows us a vision of the future which we can all look forward to, as long as the human race doesn't go down the pan.