Thursday, February 7, 2008

Just Keep Waving

Automatic-Made so that certain parts act in a desired manner at the proper time.
Webster’s Dictionary

I think Webster’s has made a mistake. I am surrounded by automation these days, and none of it operates like it’s supposed to when I want it to. I am especially challenged when it comes to making the automated equipment in public restrooms work. I can’t get out of the bathroom without a wave, a stomp, two twists and a thumbs up. I liked it much better when I was responsible for my own flushing, washing and drying. I’m glad all that automation is there to help the disabled and handicapped, but if they have as much trouble operating it as I do, it’s not helping them much.

There is the dispenser that shoots paper towels at you when you wave your hands in front of the sensor. Only, the paper never comes out for me. I wave like the Queen of England in front of that little light but nothing happens. I wave close up, then waaaay back and along the sides, hoping for one little piece of paper towel. Yet, I get nothing. During a full moon on the second Sunday of a month starting with the letter “Q” in a leap year it starts to come out but then jams up, revealing about an inch of paper. Just enough to grasp and yank out more paper….in pieces about the size of a quarter, all of which have to be wadded together in order to form a bundle barely large enough to dry my thumbs. The air dryers aren’t much better. The ones I come in contact with usually don’t work when you push the big silver button. You have to give it a Sugar Ray Leanord whack in order to jumpstart the dadgum thing. By the time you’ve finished drying your hands, your movie has already started.

I have the same problem with the motion sensor faucets. Once again, I wave like Miss America but get….nothing. After trying several sinks I usually yield enough water to wet one hand but not the other. They’re certainly a fine water conservation tool. I’ll give ‘em that.

My latest nemesis is the automatic soap dispenser. Suddenly, they are everywhere I go, and I can’t get the knack of them. They give me soap all right. I just can’t catch it. I pull my hand back too fast, leaving a wad of foamy soap on the bathroom counter. Every…single…time. It takes me two, sometimes three tries to catch the soap. This my friends, is why I don’t play basketball. Can you say lack of hand-eye coordination?

My ineptness reached an all time high this week when I was attending a fundraiser for the local hospital. Sissy and I went to the bathroom and came out laughing hysterically because, well, that’s what we do when we’re together. No, actually it was because I couldn’t get the toilet to flush. It flushed when I stepped into the stall but wouldn’t flush when I was finished. I waved. I moved. I looked for a button. There was none. I stepped back from the commode. I stepped toward it. Nothing. Nada. Zip. I thought perhaps the motion sensor was waiting for some kind of movement from my lower half, so I waved my backside at it. Nothing. I waved a little more vigorously, and then realized what I was doing and got tickled. Out of control tickled. I KNOW my fanny is big enough to catch that tiny beam of light. I opened the door to explain the problem to Sissy, and as we were standing there debating my next move, the darn toilet flushed on its own. Hubby doesn’t understand why it takes me so long in a public restroom. It’s because I have a college degree but can’t figure out how to flush a toilet. I hope they don’t get a wild idea to install automatic toilet paper dispensers any time soon. I'll never get out of there.


Mama Mia said...

poor girl! If I waved my hiney every can in the joint would flush!!!

janjanmom said...

Oh my goodness...roadtrip to see Mia. Apparently she's in the joint again. Haha-I kill me.

oreneta said...

My Youngest has the opposite problem, which also makes her always flushes at least twice while she is still sitting there...spraying her nether regions, billowing coldd air around and, when she was younger, scaring her witless with the sudden roaring noise coming from under her....


hulagirlatheart said...

You people are hiliarious today! Mia, I snorted Diet Coke all over my keyboard when I read this. I had to clean it up. And I'd gladly come visit you in the joint. Janjanmom-You gave me funny visions of a road trip to the pokey and Oreneta-we have a super flushing toilet at work that will give you a bath if you're not careful. It would probably swallow up a small child.

swampy said...

I'm waving at you. Is it working? Maybe not? OK, I'm shaking my bootie at you. Is that working?