Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Look Ma, No Hands!

Brain cancer anyone?
Over the past several years, there has been a fascination of sorts with hands free, for lack of a better words, things.  It started with those cyborg looking BlueTooth devices that you stick in your ear, then is progress to your car being a hands free phone system.  For the most part this is safer and much easier for people.

Now there are hands free electronics.  X Box came out with the Kinnect, where you don't need a controller to play video games anymore.  Growing up in the '80s, I can tell you that you lost me on that one Sony, I gave into the wireless controllers and even the Wiimotes but Sony drew a line and fucking stepped right over it.  I have even seen a commercial for a TV where a remote control is not required, all you do is wave your hand like you're a Jedi and you control the TV, but we don't have flying cars yet?

Yeah...shoulda bought a bigger TV stand...
For years I have adapted to this hands free age and have learned to live in it, much like an animal who needs to adjust to their new environment but now the hands free people have gone too far. Picture it, a family shopping at a local Target...

"Dad, I need to go to the bathroom", Minion #2 informs me.

"OK, let's go", I tell him and then realize if he has to go, that means #1 and #3 need to relieve themselves, "Do you guys have to go too."



"Ok, let's go guys.", and I parade the three Minions into the mens room.

#1 can take care of things on his own, without supervision, #2 needs some guidance and #3, well, he still shits his pants.  We enter the bathroom and I start barking out orders of the well practiced plan.

"#1, go to that urinal there, #2 you go to that urinal that is lower and I'll take #3 into the big stall over here.  When you are done, you flush, go wash your hands and wait right here for me until I am done with #3.  Got it?"
The handicapped stall is the luxury box.
"Got it!", is said by both in unison and we take our places.  I proceed into the handicapped stall or "big stall" because let's face it, there is more room and it is easier to maneuver around in.  #3 can't go to the bathroom without removing all the clothes on his lower extremities, so I remove his shoes, socks, pants and underwear and place him on the toilet.  As many of you know, #3 is gassy, REALLY gassy, so even if he is just peeing he farts, but this time after the fart I heard the distinct splashing sound of a stink rocket landing.

"Did you go poop?"

"Sure did!"

I lean him forward and start wiping when all of a sudden, WHOOSH! The toilet flushes on it's own while #3 is still sitting on it.  Not only does it scare the living hell out of him but I'm afraid he's going to get sucked down into it.  Now #3 is freaking out because "the potty growled" at him.  We leave the big stall and I see both #1 and #2 looking at the urinals.

"Um, guys, what are you doing?"

"There's no flusher on these."

"Oh, you need to move away from the urinal to let them flush, they are motion detectors."

They both back away from the urinals and they don't flush.  Whoever designed these urinals obviously didn't have an eight and five year old in mind because the sensors are above their heads, so I walk over and wave my hand in front of them to flush them.

I should stop right here actually and fill you in on something, some of you are probably thinking "Who cares if it flushes, it's a public bathroom."  Well I care, it's one of my quirks, like the cotton balls.  I had a public bathroom incident once where all the toilets were unflushed and it splashed on me, that's why I flush every toilet.
Anyway, back to the story, I flush the urinals and turn to head to the sink.  Both Minions 1 and 2 are pondering the soap's hands free.  I explain to them that, like the urinal, it has a sensor in it and can tell when there is a hand under it.  They get it figured out and then they are baffled by the sink, again hands free.  They both get the hang of it after I show them to keep their hands there to wash.  It was then that I realized I have three Minions.  I had put #3 down to teach #1 and #2 and told him to stay right there, which he did, but I kept hearing a zzzz sound.  I looked over and #3 has figured out how to operate the soap dispenser and there is foam  They put motion sensors six inches above a kids head at the urinal but make it perfectly possible for a two year old to dispense soap?  Go figure.

I clean #3 up (letting the soap on the floor stay there, I feel an employee cleans the shitter every hour anyway) and we turn our adventure to the hand dryers.  Now, the hand dryers are something that all three Minions are used to, but this one is's made by Dyson.  Dyson is who made my vacuum.  At this point I am bewildered to the orange and white contraption bolted to the wall and I now have to read the directions. Have you ever been caught reading the directions of something that 99.9% of people know how to use?  You feel like an idiot.  Come to find out that you place your hands fingers down into this V shaped mouth and the air (which is like the high pressure driers at an automatic car wash) "push" the water off of your hands.  What they neglect to tell you is that the force from the air also pushes all of your skin to the other side of your hand.
Ahhhhh!  My skin is peeling off!
As we are drying our hands, I think to myself how far we have come attempting to keep everything sanitary and to avoid spreading germs.  It's remarkable actually, maybe they could put some warning labels on these things, but for the most part you don't have to touch anything someone else has touched to go to the bathroom....and then I turned to open the door...

Epic Fail hands free bathroom architects, Epic Fail.


  1. Exactly right! Ellen DeGeneres did a bit on this a while back and you'd think the commode PTB would've figured it out. But nooooo! What we need are Star Trek doors that swoosh open.

    1. Well seeing I don't watch Ellen, I guess I'm off the hook for stealing material.

      I have to give props to the new Lowes stores, they don't have doors, just a winding hallway.

  2. Great Story! I definitely like the idea of the hands free public bathroom equipment! I am working on a posting about my dad, and after what has happened, everything should be hands free IMO. :/

    1. Ummmm, I can only imagine the story about your dad...did he gets his hands chopped off by the Dyson air knife?