Monday, May 11, 2009

Space age bathroom

Last week I was in the CBD. It was a Wednesday and you know what that means? That's right it's my day off work with no pay where I run round like a chook with it's head cut off seeing doctor's, getting injections etc etc etc. I have a standard 9:30am appointment with my GP for the Methotrexate injection which is good because it forces me to get up and get moving while the day is young. It's also bad because it forces me to get up and get moving when I'd rather stay in bed.

Since I'd recently been stimulated by K-Rudd* I decided to splurge on a box of Haigh's Chocolates. As usual the CBD was packed and busy. I eventually found a park a million miles from where I wanted to go. Of course the moment I parked the car I realised I had to go to the toilet. LIKE RIGHT NOW. There was one of those space age, fully automatic, self cleaning restrooms (yes I said self cleaning - They actually exist, go figure. Although a home version doesn't as yet). But whatever, a bathroom is a bathroom so in I went.


As soon as the door closed and locked behind me, I threw my bag and coat up on the hook on the wall and raced over to the loo, dropping my pants as I did so. Sat on the loo I breathed a huge sigh of relief. That was a close call. It was then that I became aware of a soothing male voice which was coming through a speaker in the wall.

"Welcome" The voice said. "You have 10 minutes to use this facility. After this time the door will open and the self cleaning process will begin" Huh.... wait... what? Did you say 10 minutes? That's a lot of pressure for a Crohnie, I'm not sure I can meet those expectations. All of a sudden I felt quite uneasy. The door opened out facing the road at a set of traffic lights.

I was quite sure that in 9 minutes some poor unsuspecting driver is going to get an eyeful of me, on the throne, pants around my ankles, panic-stricken look on my face. I was also quite sure that said driver would have a camera phone handy and would have more than enough time to pull it out. I could see the youtube video as clearly in my mind.

Well, just as you can't hurry love, you can't hurry this particular activity either. I looked around for the toilet paper and at first I couldn't see it anywhere. I always carry some in my bag so I wasn't to concerned. It was about this time that I noticed the signs that were all over the bathroom.


Too bad if you don't speak English. I hit the button for the TP and it "Come on you stupid thing." I urged, "Don't you know I'm on a time limit." When it did finally come out, I realised with dismay that it wasn't nearly enough and I'd have to do it again. For the rest of the time I was in there I had one eye on the light, waiting for it to start flashing. When I was done I went over to the magic sink and sure enough as soon as I placed my hands under it, the toilet flushed. the soap and water came out. Again not enough, I had to do it twice more.

As I pushed the button to open the door, the same male voice thanked me, and wished me a good day. I found myself actually saying out loud "Thanks, you too." Luckily no-one was around to hear me talking to an automated toilet.

A few days later I was relaying this story to a friend who far from being amused actually looked like she was in pain. When I asked her if she was ok, she informed me that she too had used one of these new toilets, but she had not made it out in time.

Apparently her mobile had rung as she went in. She chatted away for 5 or so minutes, completely unaware that time was ticking. She hung up used the facility and as she was washing her hands became aware of a beeping noise but dismissed it. The door opened and she fluffed about in the mirror, fixing her hair etc when suddenly the door closed and water spewed forth from every direction. She frantically pushed the button to open the door but it remained firmly shut. Shortly after the water stopped and where before there had been water, now there was air. She likened it to being inside a giant hair dryer. The door eventually opened and she emerged, soaking wet, hair a frizzy mess, vowing never to set foot inside one of those ever again.



*Our Prime Minister Kevin Rudd decided to give everybody $900 to spend to help stimulate the economy. Being the responsible citizen that I am, I did my civic duty and spent mine on a KitchenAid Stand Mixer in Cobalt Blue, Haigh's Chocolates, three books from Borders and various DVD's from JB Hifi :-)

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