The Washroom Revolution

I am going to assume that this trend is also taking place in the women’s washroom, but right now, there is a revolution taking place in the men’s washroom…and while it certainly has merit, I just can’t get on board with it.

People are finally getting the idea that our planet can’t sustain the way we have been treating it, so we have seen all kinds of “new” thinking and technological innovation that is letting us destroy our planet at a slower and possibly more complex rate than ever before. Environmentalism and innovation has finally hit the washroom.

Let me first state that I hate the Dyson Airblade hand dryers that are currently taking over washrooms across Toronto. For those of you who haven’t seen one of these machines, essentially they are wall mounted dryers, but instead of placing your hands underneath the nozzle, you put your hands flat with fingertips facing down into the dryer and it blows the bejesus out of them. I believe their website says that it blows air at something like 400 mph. That’s crazy.

I shouldn’t hate the Airblades, because they actually save energy. They use 80% less energy than a typical dryer because they don’t generate any heat…as I mentioned, they just blow the bejesus out of your hands. They also transmit less bacteria as they dry your hands in under 10 seconds. Sounds like there is a lot to love here, right? Well, the problem I find is that the place to put your hands is somewhat small, so when the force of the air comes out, I have to make a special effort to ensure that they don’t touch the edge of the dryer, because once my hand touches that edge, it is back to the sink to scrub up again. I mean, they have these things in Union Station and really, if you touch ANYTHING at Union Station, you had better scrub like a surgeon and then disinfect after that too.

The thing I also hate about the Airblade really isn’t any fault of their own, but the fault of the people who installed them at Union Station. Why the hell did they install these things so low? You put your hands in there and then you have to do this mini-squat like you are getting in a conga line 10 drinks in at your buddies’ wedding. It’s all very awkward.

The other advance in the washroom is the ever present low flow faucets that are taking over Toronto. Again, they are good because we end up using less water and less energy, but I just don’t like the feeling. When I was my hands, I want hot water coming out of a faucet like I just tapped into Niagara Falls. What I end up getting with these new low-flow faucets is the equivalent of having ten toddlers pee on my hands in unison. There’s not enough pressure to make it feel good at all. I always feel like the faucet is broken and keep pushing the handle up asking myself aloud, “What is wrong with this thing?” Yes, it appears I am the guy who talks to himself in the washroom.

Speaking of talking (nice) in the washroom, there are a few things that some guys have to learn about washroom etiquette. First, I don’t care how long it has been since I last saw you, we could have been buddies from back in Nam (if we were even born then…but you get what I mean) who haven’t seen each other since then, but I sure as hell am not shaking your hand in the washroom. That should be a no-brainer.

Next up, if there are three urinals and nobody is using any, you are obligated to choose either the right or the left urinal, not the one in the middle. If you choose the one in the middle, then I am forced to go beside you. At least give me the choice.

If there are only two urinals that are side by side, there is no conversation while business is being taken care of. It’s just not right. There is nothing so important that you have to tell me while we are both peeing. I mean, I don’t care if you are going to say, “Jay, I have dynamite strapped to my body,”, just wait until we are done and tell me while we are washing our hands at the faucets that feel like your hands are being peed on.

As the bathroom attendant said in Rob Schneider’s 2002 masterpiece The Hot Chick, “Just remember, you shake it more than twice you’re playing with it.”

Okay, this totally went off the rails. I’m going to bed.

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