Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Technology is in the Crapper

I like technology.
I'm an online shopper.
I am TiVo-dependent.
I text (therefore, I am).

I've heard tell that technology is good for business.
I would argue that some business is best left behind,
and spared the upgrade of technological advancement.
Case in point: the automatic flushing toilet.

I have to believe that I am not alone in my distaste
for such an atrocity.
I take my bodily functions rather seriously.
I do not wish to eat before I'm hungry, nor do I wish
to wake before I am well rested.
Similarly, I do not wish to have a toilet dictate
appropriate time or conditions for personal waste removal.

Recently, I found myself held hostage in a
workplace bathroom stall.
So perplexed by proper use of "Rest Assured" paper toilet seat covers (as there are no visible instructions), I was flummoxed into a race against the clock between a prematurely flushing toilet
and yours truly.
Each attempt to secure the paper cover to the seat, with the (poorly perforated) flap safely detached and hanging from its center (a step you shouldn't omit unless you are curious to
know what it would feel like to piddle naked while sitting on
a paper plate), resulted in untimely flushing and unwarranted theft and disposal of said seat cover before my fanny
ever hit the seat.

This sequence of events was repeated until the white metal box was void of seat covers, and only after I noticed a sign that reads: "Please do not dispose of sanitary napkins or excessive amounts of paper in toilet."
My understanding is that these newfangled flushers sense motion and thus respond accordingly.
Apparently, flipping the bird does not create enough motion to trigger waste removal.

And so, I resorted to my tried and true method of papering the seat with two minimalist torn sheets of toilet tissue, with one modification--I had to fool the toilet into believing its victim was safely seated in order to suspend flushing.
Attempting to outwit a toilet seat is no easy task when my new wool trousers are dangling dangerously close to the bathroom floor. Keeping them suspended requires a spread-eagle-tippy-toe technique that might be a boon to calf muscles but hurts like a bitch after any length of time.
I considered papering the seat after sitting, but that would have been counterproductive and hardly sanitary.
After one failed attempt, I developed the 'hover-to-cover' method of toilet seat paper protection.
By squatting over the toilet seat as though I was about to sit, I was able to paper its surface with no unnecessary flushing. The only drawback to this method, is that you are essentially papering the seat backwards which lends itself to haphazard placement of toilet tissue.
At that point, if I wasn't already so exhausted, I might have tried squatting over the seat facing the toilet, properly placing the paper, and then attempting a split-second-hopscotch-half-turn and landing seated, properly facing the door.
I can only aspire to such calisthenics.

By the time I was safely seated, the urge to pee had passed,
but I wasn't about to give up what had now become
'the safest seat in the house.'
As I waited, I pondered whether or not the men's room was privy to the same folly in regards to flushing and papering.
When I finally returned to my post (relieved and exhausted),
I discreetly asked a male colleague about men's room amenities.
As it turns out, their facility is standing room only, save for one traditional commode equipped with an automatic flusher. However, there are no "Rest Assured" receptacles to speak of.
In fact, he had no knowledge such a product exists; which begs the question, are we the sole recipients of such complex toiletries simply because we are the smarter sex?
Perhaps that is fodder for another post, but I would argue that
intelligence is hardly the issue where restroom amenities are concerned.
The bigger question to ask ourselves is this:
Have we really become a culture too lazy, or too preoccupied to flush our own toilets?
I dare suggest we have.

And if that's the case, rest assured,
I'll have the calf muscles to prove it.

This is my truth;


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