Friday, October 15, 2004

An open letter to the automatic soap dispenser in my office building’s 10th floor men’s restroom.

Dear Soapmatic,

You are something beyond my comprehension.

When I place my hands beneath the chromed swan’s neck that is your whole visible form, a sound similar to a Polaroid camera being used is heard, and a tiny globule of pink soap lands on my eager, confused palms.

You, my automatic enigma, operate beyond my clumsy fumbling.

Yet, flanking you on either side are sinks that are manually turned on and off. The technology exists; I’ve seen it. How can it be that automatic soap dispenser and clumsy steel-age sink exist in such close proximity?

You, Soapmatic, are far beyond logic.

If the standard procedure is followed: I approach the sink with my hands covered in unspeakable filth or ketchup. I turn the hot water handle, to better kill filth/condiment. I wet my hands, scrub vigorously for some preemption, and then THEN I apply the soap. I rinse it away. Then I turn the hot water handle to the off position.

Those who are terminally afraid of germs and mustard understand what I mean by this.

Whatever was on my fiiiiiiiiilthy hands was transferred to the hot water handle and then reapplied by turning it off. Only an automated sink could have prevented this. The automated soap dispenser is only so much brass polish on the Titanic.

You, wonder of our age, are beyond futility.

So, why you and not the sinks? Did some prostate-addled CEO put his foot down and demand taps that could be left running? Was there just enough in the building budget for you and nothing else? Did it come down to either automated soap dispensers or death? I know you can’t answer me; all you offer is a small pictogram showing outstretched hands and a tiny, perfect teardrop of soap hurtling downwards.

You, coy little soap-squirter, must feel like you’re beyond the smartest kid in class.

But no one gets you, Soapmatic. We all secretly hate you.

Joshua G.


Blogger qkslvrwolf said...

You know, I like pink soap. The fluffy pink soap that smells like bubble gum. Its the sort of soap we have in my building.

But then, theres the other part of using the restroom and washing my hands that I'm not a big fan of. Actually washing my hands. I kind of take a George Carlin take on that...I only like to wash my hands if I've gotten something on them. Which happens tops tops two, three times a week.

But, as it happens, I have to wash my hands because I have to be a good example to the troops. Sigh.

8:24 PM  
Blogger Alcarwen said...

you know what i have a love/hate relationship with? automatic flushing toilets. now. you being a guy might not get this. automatic flushing toilets that flush too early are a bad bad bad thing. (think of the inappropriateness of being, well say, splashed.) automatic flushing toilets that don't flush when they're supposed to leads to the paranoia of abandoning an unflushed toilet.... in an ideal world, toilets would be hygenically sound... but then again, when has a public toilet *ever* been hygenic? thank goodness for strong thigh/leg muscles....

and what about the bathroom door, huh? you wash and soap the hands and then have to go and grab the nasty-as-all-hell handle of the door that the countless un-sanitary have touched. EWIE!

8:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You know, for the supposedly smartest kid in class, you seem to have missed the obvious solution. Why don't you just use a paper towel to turn off the faucet?

Or is this one of those Midvale School for the Gifted idiot savant moments?

- the *actual* smartest kid in the class. or just the one posessing greater feminine intuition. or logic. whatever.

1:05 PM  
Blogger Josh said...

I didn't mean to imply that the dispenser was beyond me, the smartest kid in class. It just feels that it's beyond some hypothetical smartest kid in class. For the record, I was the quiet one in class who made bracelets out of elmer's glue and his pencil box.

1:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

One day I'll cave and actually get some kind of account so I can make all my snarky comments public. For now, though, I merely remind you of the slowly rotting mole poblano sitting in your bedroom. most carnivores have an instinctual desire to cache their kills, usually by burying them or dragging them into tree-crooks. You, however, stash them in styrofoam at the foot of your bed.

Surely this puts you on the intellectual level of a badger or a weasel at least. Perhaps a mongoose?

1:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said... is very creative and fun.

10:44 AM  

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