Sunday, October 18, 2009

Smart Toilets--Technologic Wonder or "Oh Crap?"

The other day at Wal-Mart I experienced the disharmonic convergence of two great ideas.

The first great idea is automatic flush toilets. How cool is this idea? The toilet uses “Smart Object Infrared Technology” to flush itself—eliminating “cross-contamination”. “Cross-contamination” is a fancy phrase meaning; “getting poo on your hands.” If you wonder why this is necessary, think to yourself; "do the highly paid and motivated janitorial staff at Wal-Mart (or anywhere) sanitize toilet handles?" Not likely.

I go to great lengths to avoid touching handles--touching a public toilet handle is as repugnant to me as washing my hands in the bowl itself. Being a tall person comes in handy as I can flush most toilets and even urinals with my feet—although as I get older the handles seem to be getting higher on the wall. Since I know I’m not the only “foot-flusher,” handles are not only cross-contaminated with poo, but also with chewed gum and other stuff from the bottom of shoes.

The second great invention is the “low-flow” toilet. Low-flow toilets are environmentally friendly because they use less water for each flush. Low-flow toilets use computer-modeled hydrodynamics to increase disposal velocity. In other words; they compensate for using less water by flushing with extreme force.

You would think that combining a self-flushing toilet with a low-flow toilet would result in a new "miracle" toilet; it didn't. Instead, it resulted in a dirty, cold-water bidet. As you know, a bidet is supposed to be a low sink intended for washing the “lower regions” with warm, clean water. The toilet at Wal-Mart scrubs your lower regions with cold poopy water.

Let me explain by using a hypothetical example. Let’s say, for example, that you’re sitting on this new fangled self-flushing, low-flow wonder and you tilt to the side just a little bit to “take care of business”. The “Smart Object Infrared Technology” senses you have left the stall and flushes the toilet with the force of a fire hose. The problem is, you’ve not left, nor have you removed your now soaking wet naked butt from the seat. You’re also now afraid to move in case the damn sensor shoots another blast of water into the bowl.

With as little movement as possible you now carefully use the single-ply waxed toilet paper provided to clean up the mess and then leap from your seat to the end of the stall to avoid another shower. You warily eye the sensor and then run from the restroom, (washing your hands first of course) afraid that everyone will see from your damp clothes that you’ve been engaged in warfare with a “smart” toilet.

Next time nature requires I visit one of these technologic wonders I’m arming myself with a rain poncho and bit of old-fashioned duct tape to cover the sensor—after all toilets still have handles.


  1. Disgusting...but so true! Holy cow...I had to pause for the tears of laughter to clear so I could finish reading!