Saturday, December 3, 2011

Those Damn Automatic Flushing Things

Before the fall of the Roman Empire, no doubt one of the prevailing signs of decay and utter decadence was the surrender of the average person to flushing their own waste.  As we know from Pompeii, the Romans had plumbing, but before they did, they also had lots of slaves.  While the barbarians were at the gate, no doubt Lazius Maximus was busy having his slave wipe his bottom for him.

In America, we have finally reached that level of decadence.  Go to any diner, truck stop, rest stop or big box retailer, and you will find the "automatic" flushing toilets and sinks.  You know how it goes--you sit down on the Great White and do your business as quickly as possible.  Lord knows if you have to even be here, you aren't happy about it--this was naturally an emergency.  Hoping to make a clean getaway without being detected, you wipe and expect the toilet to automatically flush--wrong.  It never flushes.  The damn sensor won't work for anything.  You can beg, you can pray, you can wave your hand in front of it, but it doesn't matter one bit--it's never going to flush.  Yes, we can send a man to the moon.  We can design phones that have attitude and talk like people, but we can't make a toilet that flushes for shit, or flushes shit, rather.  Someone else walks in the bathroom.  Now you are caught, someone knows your in there, and they see your feet through the bottom of the stall door.  The smell indicates what happened, and you aren't flushing.  They are judging you, "Dirty bastard", they must be thinking.  You look for the button to press to manually flush the toilet.  No go.  This is an iToilet, meaning in the name of simplicity of design it doesn't have one.

You are forced to make the walk of shame to the sink without flushing.  Once again, you find yourself defeated--it's one of those automatic faucets.  You move your hand across the sensor.  Of course it doesn't work.  After you pull your hand away, the water turns on, but not long enough for you to reach it and get your hands wet.  Waving your hands up, down, side to side, it doesn't matter.  You aren't going to be getting your hand clean.  And even if you did, forget about properly drying them.  They have one of those damn air drying hand dryers.  You know, the kind that take four hours to dry your hands and don't actually remove the filth?  The kind that are installed because the establishment is too cheap to buy hand towels or too lazy to change the trash when they are discarded?  The end result of all of this technological progress is millions of toilets cluttered with shit, millions of unwashed hands, and lots of dryer towels being saved.

At least the trees are happy.

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