Pour le choix (1)

It’s been a while since I launched into a sea of rant.  Today’s the day.  Bon voyage, et bon visage.  Comprendre-vous! While I believe human freewill is an important facet of spiritual reality, this is not about something that heavy and controversial.  This is about the basic right to choose … in public restrooms.

Item One

Automatic-shutoff faucets in public restrooms have one redeeming quality, as far as I can see:

  1. To keep from wasting water when hooligans go into the restroom in order to roll off all the toilet paper, plug up the toilets, and leave all the water running

(And when was the last time you knew of a hooligan’s doing something like that?  Today’s hooligans have knives and guns, don’t they?)

Au contraire, automatic-shutoff and/or low-flow faucets (were these spawned by automatic hand blow-dryers that keep employees from having to restock the more sanitary paper towels?) in public restrooms have at least four annoying qualities:

  1. To make people guess at how long the water is going to run before you have to turn it on again
  2. To inhibit oral hygiene (it’s more difficult to brush your teeth when the water trickles and keeps shutting off … and a related matter is the inability to choose cold water … why must I brush my teeth in hot water? … plus, my inflamed hands are soothed by cold water, so I prefer cold, at least to finish a basic hand wash)
  3. To embarrass unsuspecting washers when they go into backward places without auto-shutoff faucets (having become somewhat accustomed to faucets that shut off for me, I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve almost thoughtlessly walked out of a restroom with a non-automatic faucet still running)

… and probably the worst—or at least the most offensive to GreenNazis …

4.  To make sure the water keeps running for a set amount of time, no matter how little water the faucet user actually needed

Tomorrow:  automatic hand-dryers and auto-flush toilets


8 thoughts on “Pour le choix (1)

  1. Rachel 07/25/2011 / 7:20 am

    You left out the part where some of the faucets don’t actually turn on when one waves one’s hand in front of them. This may be because that one isn’t working, or because it just doesn’t feel like turning on with that particular motion. I would predict that this causes fewer people to wash their hands… I don’t know how many times I’ve seen people going from faucet to faucet to see if they can get ANY of them to work!

    And…I have to laugh at the fact that automatic faucets are listed under “Biblical (or abiblical) doctrine!


    • Brian Casey 07/26/2011 / 7:50 am

      You’re so right about the hand-waving dance. Believe it or not, this post for several weeks in the making, and there are still more issues that could be inserted.

      The sinks installed by many Wal-marts are prime offenders, too: it was so hard to get your hands in a position that inspired the sensors without touching the sink bottom. They figured that out, believe it or not, and the even-newer sinks are deeper.

      OK, OK, it’s not exactly “doctrine.” 🙂 That was a mistake, of course, and it’s correct on this one and the one that followed this morning.


    • Brian Casey 07/26/2011 / 8:34 am

      Ha! Had forgotten about that one. It must have come out “in the moment,” whereas these two (yesterday and today) have been in my “backlog,” going through several reads and re-reads and “finishing touches,” for a few weeks. Still, they both had errors, and I think I’ve fixed them now….


  2. Bob Bell 07/26/2011 / 7:30 pm

    I can relate! Let me tell you about the natural corollary of the automatic faucet…it’s the automatic soap dispenser! I work in a new building (opened in 2007). While we had the automatic faucets from day one, the automatic soap dispenser debut was a bit later, oh how I miss having to press the soap dispenser! Just imagine a device that dispenses soap only at the wrong time. When you want to wash, it is next to impossible to get the soap to come out. Of course when you want to rinse, the soap squirts like Mt. St. Helens! It doesn’t stop with one squirt; no the whole time you are trying to rinse it keeps squirting soap. Of course someone with an MBA figured out that automatic soap dispensers would save a lot of money on soap because everyone knows people press the soap dispenser twice when once is enough! The irony is sublime…


    • Brian Casey 07/26/2011 / 8:50 pm

      Love this addition, Bob! Wanna write a guest blog? 🙂


  3. Bob Bell 07/28/2011 / 5:58 pm

    I can also relate to reason #3. Our office building has had auto-flush toilets from the beginning. Becoming accustomed to them was a slow process. Thankfully, they also have button for manual flushing for the “slow” learners like me. After a while though I stopped using the little button because the auto-flush always fired off when needed. It sort of reminded me of Pavlov’s dogs and the whole classical conditioning routine. The problem is once you are full accumstomed to auto-flush, using a conventional commode (especially at a friend’s house) can cause embarrassing moments. Imagine not flushing at your best friend’s house because you just know the auto-flush will take care of things! Yikes! These things give the phrase “toilet training” a whole new meaning!


    • Brian Casey 07/29/2011 / 9:46 am

      I get visions of all your friends checking up on you after you visit the little boys’ room. Do they come out after inspection and query, “Bob, don’t be embarrassed, but did you forget to flush again?”

      My dad hung a sign above the urinal in a school men’s room once to remind people to flush. I think that was before the advent of automatic flushing….


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