Let’s think about this gadget thing for a minute. Gadgets are there to make life easier for us all, right? Certainly. But shouldn’t we draw the line when gadgets actually don’t make life easier, and yes, even infringe upon the rights of others? Take the following (hypothetical) events:
You go out for lunch to Senor Jose’s Muy Caliente Budget Burrito Barn. Predictably, on arriving back at your place of work, you feel some imminent intestinal discomfort taking shape. So you casually (well, as casually as you can possibly manage under these circumstances) walk down the hall and around the corner to the restroom. You take a peek inside to make sure you have some privacy for the devastation about to ensue. Good, it’s all clear. You take a seat in the big stall at the end and go about your business. Suddenly, and without warning, the automatic flusher decides it’s time. You do a little half hop, half squat thing to avoid the horrid back-splash from the industrial, 10-gallon per flush toilet. Just as you’ve recovered your composure, you hear the door open. You hear footsteps pass the four empty stalls and come to a stop at the stall right next to yours. The door opens, you hear unbuckling/unzipping sounds, and the guy sits down with a grunt. “Great,” you think, “but maybe I can wait him out.” That’s when you hear it. That annoying, cell-phone walkie talkie sound. Drrrrdrrrt! Drrrdrrrt! “NO! Anything, but that! Maybe he’ll just not answer it?!” No such luck. “Yeah, man. I’m here at work.” Drrrrdrrrt! “Still havin’ those colon problems?” Drrrdrrt! “Yep. You wouldn’t believe the…” Just then your toilet cheerfully chugs through another flush cycle. You probably say a few curse words this time while doing your little squat-hop thing. Drrrdrrrt! “Hehe, this guy next to me…hehe…his toilet just flushed when he didn’t want it to…hehe…looked like he was doin’ some kind of squat-hop thing to keep from getting wet!”
Any way, you get the point. Let’s explore this travesty in further detail. Automatic flushers. I mean, are we really that lazy? Are we really that un-inventive? Now everyone knows why we have automatic flushers, right? It’s to keep from getting filth on our hands by pulling the handle. An honorable achievement. But here’s the problem: I never remember being caught off-guard and splashed because my hand inadvertently pulled the handle on an older toilet. To be perfectly honest, I’m pretty sure I’d prefer the dirty hands. Preferring to clean my hands at the sink as opposed to wiping all that filth off my posterior, using up a precious few sheets of the usually scarce industrial sand-paperish toilet paper in the process. So, how do we avoid dirty hands and surprise toilet dunkings? We invent some kind of foot flusher. I actually saw this mentioned in an article on Slate one time. Can’t we have control over flushing the toilet and avoid getting our hands dirty at the same time? This is the question the gadget savvy should ask themselves. Let’s take back control of the toilets!
And now for those darn walkie talkie cell phones. I’m sure these things are handy. Heck, I like a two-way radio in some cases, such as long road trips when you have multiple vehicles. I think people should be allowed to own these things, but shouldn’t they be considerate of the rights of others around them? Shouldn’t a person be able to have an intestinal episode in peace? I have been aggravated by these things ever since they came out. As if normal cell phones weren’t bad enough, when we were mercifully subjected to only one-side of private conversations, now we have to hear both sides, each phrase of which is preceded by that annoying drrrdrrrt sound (that’s not quite how you spell the sound I don’t think, but it’s close). It’s even worse when the participants insist on sounding important and official, tossing in terms like “10-4” or “affirmative” or “Code red, bravo alpha charlie, on the 10, negative” (I actually heard something like that while standing in line at the bank last week, I think the guy’s wife wanted him to pick up some milk on the way home). What I’m saying here is that I’m not sure the population as a whole is mature enough to possess this kind of technology. We should teach technology etiquette as a required course before just handing these things out to the general public. Let’s put a stop to it before we all descend into irrecoverable madness! May be too late for me,