I may tend toward the ‘lazy’ at times, and I will go out of my way to avoid manual work anytime an automated machine is available. Yes if an appliance or fancy invention is available to do the job better, in a smaller space, and save me time too – who can beat that? Some of my faith in technology comes from my keen interest in machine design and practical problem solving, but mostly my techno-love is because I was raised in the presence of robots.
No my parents were not literally robots, but compared to the generations before me, most of my time has been spent with technology helpers at every turn. I never had to wear overalls and use a washboard to wash clothes or crank a car engine by hand to get it to start. I have grown up with soft leather loafers, electronic calculators, word processors, microwaves, and everyone’s favorite in 49 states - indoor plumbing.
Now that I’m older, sadly it seems that I am destined to have difficulties in the bathroom. You see I had to replace the toilet in the master bathroom and I tried to get the wife to let me put in one of those automated Japanese toilets with the heated seat and automatic bidet, but she said ‘no’. I think she is either afraid of having a toilet that is harder to drive than our car, or concerned that my over-use of the thing would cost extra electricity and affect our ‘bottom dollar’ utility rates.
Quality time anywhere is hard to come-by, but these days it’s particularly difficult in these tiny but ultra-automated public restrooms. The dance goes something like this: I address the auto-soap spigot open-handed and my shoulder triggers the automatic towel dispenser to spit out a towel tongue for my pleasure. As I shift in response to a bevy of whirring gears in my ears, my hands activate the automatic water spigot. I quickly try to move my hands to get wet, but sensing the delay, the water turns off and the automatic soap makes a mess in the sink. Exasperated and off-balanced, I stand taller and somehow my backside lights up the automatic toilet valve, which releases the sound equivalent of Niagra Falls. As I whirl to dodge the overspray my shoulder catches the automatic towel dispenser, rolling off yet another foot or so of compacted dead trees.
This little circus chorus of circular mayhem goes on unimpeded until I either have exhausted all of the bathroom supplies, or am left whimpering, lonely and defeated, in a sticky corner of the ‘latrine’. I did not know there is so much exhaustive potty-training involved to join the ranks of the few, the brave, and the automated “Toileteer” these days. I’m glad my wife crushed my dream of a Japanese automated tidy bowl – because this is one piece of ‘white hot’ electric technology that always seems to make me ‘BLUE’!