Lots of things are automated these days. We have ATMs. We can check out our own books at the library. We can run our car through the car wash without a person in sight. At the doctor's office you can fill a prescription without a pharmacist. All of this is for the sake of convenience. And believe me, I am all about efficiency and convenience.
But here is where I draw the line. Automated toilets. If you are a parent of a young child you know that the automatic flushers can literally scare the crap out of the kids. Well, what better place to be you say, than on a toilet. Right. My own offspring was scared to death of these things when she was four. These toilets are incredibly loud, have a gust of wind involved and are just plain scary. I had to do a lot of convincing on a trip that we had taken to Maine. We had just gotten off the plane and into the bathroom we went. She sat down to do what she needed to do and at the end of her business she was so traumatized that it took the purchase of candy and a stuffed animal to bring her back. From there on out she would have me enter the bathrooms and push the stall doors open and announce to her whether these toilets were "safe" or not. I felt like a cop doing a search for a criminal in the stalls. Instead, I was on the hunt for the big bad automatic flushers.
On this same trip to Maine we were shopping at one of my favorite stores in one of my favorite towns. Anyway, we were shopping and I needed to use the restroom. I inquired. The clerk, a very handsome young college student, suggested that I use their new facilities. State of the art toilet. The most ergonomically, efficient toilet on the planet. I'm game, I said. In I went. Indeed I was comfortable. I did what I needed to do. I was no more than a centimeter off the seat and the toilet flushed. Efficient beyond words. The g-force of this flushing was something I would have never imagined. And it's something I don't want to experience again. Ever. Suffice it to say that one doesn't even need toilet paper! I gathered my wits about me, washed my hands and exited the restroom. Scott was waiting to use the facilities. I told him he had better not consider sitting down because he will forever be a changed man. With a really high voice. The clerk happened to overhear our conversation and was convulsing with fits of laughter. He thanked us for making his day.
So after many giggles at the expense of my girl's fear of the auto flushers (of course we never laughed in front of her), I could now relate. We have adapted to this modern marvel. We have faced our fear and can enter a restroom without breaking into a cold sweat. Efficiency is good. Convenience is even better. All for it. Auto flushers? Jury is still out on that one.
©2011 Ann M. De Broux