Thursday, January 8, 2009


Being the germaphobic I can be at times, I love the whole automatic movement. Motion-sensor faucets, paper towels, and toilets keep my public bathroom visits low-stress. So when I discovered a clean, automatic bathroom in the restaurant my husband and I had enjoyed dinner at the other night, I was appreciative. "I won't be long," I told Gary as I handed him my scarf and coat. I went inside, picked the tidiest stall, and did my deed. Well, not before I had put down 3 seat liners of course. Reaching for the toilet paper I shifted my weight ever so slightly and WHOOOOOSH! Oh yes, it did. THAT OVER-ZEALOUS PIECE OF PORCELAIN DID. I hadn't even had time to grab any paper before that toilet sucked away any evidence of a need for paper and in doing so sent cool air swirling beneath me and water spray all over my rear. Did I mention that I loathe the sensation of a toilet flushing while I'm still mounted on it? So I cleaned myself up and dried my bowl-watered bottom. The task at hand was almost complete when I shifted again and WHOOOOOSH! Holy guacamole, YOU'VE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME! Once is bad enough, but TWICE in one sitting! I decided that this automatic bowl and I were no longer friends. Clean-up resumed very carefully so as not to alert the ever watchful motion police. When I was finally dry enough to pull up my pants without them sticking to my tush, I leaped off the seat thinking I was escaping another water spraying flush, but was only met with silence. Ok so let me get this straight john. The slightest shift of weight sends you into a flushing frenzy, but the amount of movement required to throw my body away does nothing for you?! I proceeded to brush the seat liners into the water to join the now soggy toilet paper hoping the sensor would pick up my movement and take the paper away. Nothing. I waved my hands in front of the black box with the red light. Nothing. I squatted, hovering just above the seat, then stood back up a moment later. Nothing. This was no automatic toilet, this was a taunting, selective toilet who was having a good laugh at my expense. I really wanted to abandon the stall, but I couldn't bring myself to join the ranks of ill-mannered public bathroom users, so I . . . um . . . pushed the manual flush button on the supposedly automatic toilet. And then the toilet laughed an evil laugh and demanded he* be named the victor.

Demoralized at having been beat by a toilet, I stepped up to the large sink which had a long, tall faucet in the shape of a candy cane extending out to the middle of the sink. Since this was also automatic, I stuck my hands under the faucet and waited for the water. Nothing. I tried again. Nothing. I moved my hands closer to the sensor at the base of the faucet. Water shot out, but when I moved my hands back towards the stream it immediately shut off again leaving my hands just as dry as when I started. Ooooook. I'll just have to be quicker. And boy was I, but not quick enough. Hands forward. Water on. Hands back. Water off. Hands forward. Water on. Hands back super fast. Water still off. Yeah, this sink and I argued for a good minute. Thank goodness the public restroom wasn't very public during my stay. Pretty soon I'm waving one hand in front of the sensor and wetting the other and I have to switch off like this for the remainder of the hand washing. Hands dripping wet and a little frazzled, I eyed the automatic paper towel dispenser. NOT WORTH IT. So I wiped my hands on my jeans and walked out.

GARY: What took you so long?

ME: I don't want to talk about it.

*Yes the toilet is a he because, while that may sound inappropriate following the thought that we expose ourselves to toilets everyday, I prefer to think of a man swallowing all our crap rather than a woman.


The Heizzys said...

Brit, you seriously are the most amazing writer ever! I always get a good laugh out of your posts. Good luck next time with the ever changing technology in our public bathrooms.

The land of Vegas said...

I was at the movies once and a kid stuck their popcorn under one of the hand air blowers. It had so much force it looked like the popcorn was popping. They lost half of their popcorn due to the force. By kids think all these things are magic.

ARB said...

Hahaha, love the analogy of the toilet being a man...that's great! Love your writing skills.