Pour le choix (2)

While I believe human freewill is an important facet of spiritual reality, this “pour le choix” stuff is not about something that heavy and controversial.  This is about the basic right to choose … in public restrooms. Yesterday, we decried automatic-shutoff faucets.

Item Two

Automatic hand-dryers, we are told, “are more sanitary and help to protect the environment.”  This text—from the Green Bible, chapter two—is probably more memorable than John 3:16 or Psalm 23.  But I don’t believe the language on the hand dryers for an instant.

  1. When’s the last time you saw plastic paper towels that won’t degrade quickly in a landfill?
  2. Why should I be forced to touch a grimy metal object when I could opt for a sanitary paper towel?
  3. I rarely want to take the time to stand in front of a hand dryer (so I keep a roll of paper towels in my office, but don’t tell anyone).
  4. Most hand dryers blow germs all around the restroom.  That’s sanitary?  Really?
  5. To make matters more germy, the air is almost always hot … which of course dries faster and is welcome in the winter.  But I’m fairly hot-natured and don’t like the hot air in the summer.
  6. Has anyone ever added up the environmental costs associated with producing, installing, running, and maintaining an electric hand-dryer?  Is it really better for the environment than recycled-paper towels?

Give me back my paper towels, please.  And don’t forget to put a trash can near the exit door.  I will use my paper towel to grab the door handle on my way out, thank you very much.

Item Three

Auto-flush toilets seem rarely to be set correctly.  I’m forever cleaning off and covering the seat only to have my methodical, slightly neurotic work scuttled by a premature, jet-engine flush that leaves the cover and the seat wet.  So I start drying and cleaning again, hoping to outsmart the apparently misdirected electric eye that decided incorrectly when it should activate the Herculean flush.

Resolution:  Choice is an inalienable right

  • ITEM:  To be able to choose when the water shuts off is a right all citizens should enjoy.
  • ITEM:  To be able to choose between paper- and air-drying is a mark of a higher level of civilization.
  • ITEM:  To be able to choose when the toilet flushes allows for retention of personal dignity—you know, not going out in public with freshly flushed water sprinkles all over yourself helps to keep up appearances.

On the other hand, I do generally appreciate automatic doors at stores.  They keep me from having to touch as many handles.  One mentionable to those who install them and the accompanying signage, though:  if I heeded the “Keep Moving” advice, more often than not, I would bang into the doors before they opened.  I think the automatic openers are set for those who walk more slowly than I.


2 thoughts on “Pour le choix (2)

  1. Sarah 07/27/2011 / 12:06 am

    Toilets: not only do they flush when you do not want them to, but they also refuse to flush when you want them to!

    Sinks: as discovered in a rather frightening high school experience, “hooligans” can occasionally somehow re position the faucets to shoot upward, and since the darn things cannot be stopped, water soaks the floor, people slip, etc. etc.

    Hand dryers: I was once amused by the fact that when H1N1 was circulating the little hand washing guides posted in the restrooms recommended at college suggested turning off the faucets and opening the door with a paper towel… I always wondered where to find one…

    Soap dispensers: why on earth do the ones that are permanently attached to those lovely automatic sinks never work, thus making everyone press not one but two germy pieces of metal to get soap to wash their hands?

    And don’t even get me started on ketchup containers, soda syrup containers for fountain drink machines, napkin holders, etc. etc. Sometimes I think I should have gone into mechanical engineering instead… I could have been good at that!


    • Brian Casey 07/27/2011 / 9:16 am

      My goodness. Why did *I* write that blog? There are so many good complaints out there! You have a thorough “handle” on this, and you should have written the whole thing!

      Sorry you didn’t escape high school hooligans, and your mention of ketchup and napkin holders omits salad-bar utensils … but maybe that’s going too far…. 🙂


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