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High-Tech Toilet Trauma

High-Tech Toilet Trauma


Everything’s going high-tech these days. Do you remember the first time you went to wash your hands and looked all over the counter (and under it) to find a way to turn on the water? Determined not to look foolish, I stood there checking my hair and makeup in the mirror until someone else came out of a bathroom stall. I followed her lead and shoved my hands under the faucet, astonished that water automatically came out.

I was lost in amazement too long, because the other lady dried her hands and departed, leaving me staring at the paper towel dispenser with dripping hands. Hmm. No knobs here either. Maybe you just shove your hands under it like the hot air dryers. Nothing. Oh look, there’s a little hand by the red light. Maybe you just push there. Nothing. When it finally did dispense a towel, I don’t think I really knew what I did to make it happen . . . at least not on my first visit.

Maybe it’s just me, but the powder room seems a bit too friendly now that you have to wave at the paper towel dispenser. I half-expect it to say “goodbye” on my way out the door. If it ever did, I’d have the sudden urge to go again.

Potty training is much more traumatic these days. I feel sorry for the little tikes. While we were shopping one day, my nephew announced that he had to go. So off we went, trying to prevent an accident.

I lifted the little guy onto the toilet seat and he leaned forward to keep from falling in. When he leaned forward, the toilet automatically flushed. His eyes got big, but he was brave and just held on. I held on too, fearing the little fellow would get sucked in by the powerful vortex. How would I explain that to my sister?

On a recent road trip, I had driven through the night and slept for a few hours in my car at a rest stop. Afterwards, I went into the restroom to change my clothes and freshen up a bit. I closed the stall door and hung my bag on the hook. I bent over to take off my shoes and –whoosh—the toilet automatically flushed.

I bent over to pull off one pant leg. Whoosh.

I bent over to pull off the other pant leg. Whoosh.

I bent over to pull off my underpants. Whoosh.

By this time, the toilet was not the only one flushing. I found it disturbing that the toilet was watching my every move. Of all the times I’ve changed clothes in bathroom stalls, this was the most stressful. Hurriedly, I dug in my bag for clean clothes.

I bent over to pull on clean underpants. Whoosh.

I bent over to pull on one pant leg. Whoosh.

I bent over to pull on the other pant leg. Whoosh.

I bent over to put on my shoes. Whoosh.

I tried turning sideways to avoid the sensor, but it was no use. The more it flushed, the faster I moved and the faster I moved, the faster it flushed. It was a bit exasperating and at one point the toilet seemed frustrated, too. It went into a continuous flush and began to gurgle and hiss at me. Staring at the toilet in disbelief, I burst out laughing.

With fresh clothes but frazzled nerves, I walked out of the stall, trying to recover some sense of dignity. As I thrust my hands under the automatic faucet, I burst out laughing again. I’m grateful they have not invented automatic toilet paper dispensers or I would have come out wrapped like a mummy.


Wave Goodbye to the Towel Dispenser


Toilet Paper Amuses Everyone