DEAR MISS MANNERS: I recently remodeled my home and plan on entertaining more extensively. However, I have a septic system rather than city sewage, and I'm worried about guests flushing something down the toilet and ruining my septic system. Almost anything could cause big repair bills.
How can I delicately inform guests that nothing but white, single-ply toilet paper can be put in the toilet? I'm particularly concerned about tampons and tissue.
GENTLE READER: Delicately? It strikes Miss Manners that what we have here is a choice of indelicacies, of which the most delicate would be the most disastrous. That would be saying nothing and letting them (and you) take the consequences.
It is indelicate to have to give guests instructions, and it is indelicate to post signs in one's home. But faced with a possible emergency, Miss Manners would concede that you should quietly do both -- not as a command, but as an apology that your system is on the primitive side.