Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Naughty Nursery Rhyme?

Like many parents, when my son was just a baby, I would read him nursery rhymes. We had a book full of them that we would choose from. There was one in there that I had never heard before. It is called, "I Love Little Pussy." Have you heard of this? I had to look it up and found that it dated from the 1830's. It is in fact a legitimate nursery rhyme. Who came up with this? If you have read it, you know that it sounds dirty. If you haven't, here it is.

I love little pussy,
Her coat is so warm,

And if I don't hurt her,
She'll do me no harm.
So I'll not pull her tail,
nor drive her away,
But pussy and I,
Very gently will play.

I'll sit by the fire
and give her some food
and Pussy will love me
because I am good.

Obviously this is from an older generation. Talking about pussy's warm coat. Of course they didn't have modern grooming techniques (Brazilian wax jobs) back then. So pussy was a little furry. I think the moral of this nursery rhyme is to treat your pussy nice. Don't abuse it, be gentle, and you will enjoy your pussy's company for many years.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

The Modern Public Restroom

     Back in the day, science fiction books, movies, and TV shows would provide visions of the future. They predicted wonderful things such as flying cars, teleportation, and time travel. They were wrong. They didn’t show the one area of life that has become a futuristic, automated wonder. They missed the restroom. Look at the modern public restroom. Everything is automatic. Auto-flush toilets, automatic faucets, and even automatic dryers for your hands. If the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey was to be accurate, HAL should have been a computer bathroom attendant. "What are you doing Dave? Leaving without washing your hands? This is highly irregular." "Open the bathroom door HAL!"
     The problem with the modern public restroom is that these fantastic devices don't always work as intended. Take the auto-flush toilet. They seem to want to flush while you are still sitting on them. Of course, they can't be a normal toilet; they have to have a nitro-methane, jet assist flushing mechanism. So when they do trigger while you are still making a deposit, you feel like you are going to be sucked into the municipal sewer system. Luckily, you are sitting where it doesn't matter that the volume of the flush would have made you soil your pants.
     The automatic faucet is another modern restroom "convenience," that can cause momentary bits of rage. In theory, they provide a steady stream of water while your hands are underneath them. In practice, they are designed to test the sanity of even the most stable person. You step to the sink, wave your hands under the faucet, and whoosh, the water starts. You soap up and rinse. Whoosh, the water is still going. You turn to dry your hands. Whoosh, the water is still going. You walk out of the restroom. Whoosh, the water is still going. Who can't feel guilty about wasting this precious resource? This can make one regret washing one's hands. At the other end of the spectrum is the miserly faucet. These are even more evil than their brethren. You wave your hands under the faucet and are rewarded with what can only be described as a spritz of water. It isn't even long enough to get a finger wet. So you have to keep waving your hands under the faucet, getting them wet one drop at a time. Occasionally, these faucets go one step further in their quest to destroy mankind, through psychological warfare.
     There are a certain number of faucets that like to play a game of cat and mouse. You wave your hands under them and nothing happens. A second, maybe two, later the spritz of water shoots out. Now here is where the game gets potentially deadly. The spritz only lasts long enough for you to get your hands close to the faucet. As soon as your hands cross the plane of the water's stream, the faucet cuts off. And so it starts. You wave, spritz, Damn! Just for giggles, the faucet will occasionally not do anything when you swipe your hands through its detection beam. You now have to find the "sweet spot," of the faucet. Now this "sweet spot," is the proverbial needle in a haystack. You are standing there, waving your hands violently around the faucet, looking like a fool to those who enter the restroom. This is the goal of the evil faucet. Public humiliation.
     Now that you have given up on washing your hands, you need to dry the 3 drops of water that mistakenly found their way to your hands. You step to one of two drying implements. The automatic air dryer or the automatic towel dispenser. We will deal with the air dryer first. The automatic hand air dryer works on a simple premise. It uses forced, sometimes heated air, to blow-dry your hands. They create less waste than paper towels and don't rely on the cold blooded murder of innocent, peace loving, tax-paying trees. Air dryers fall into one of two categories, the emphysemic variety and what I like to call the Katrina models. The emphysemic dryers provide a gentle breeze to lovingly whisk the dew away from your precious hands. THEY DON'T WORK! You would get them dry faster if you blew on them yourself or just waved your arms around in a circle. On the other end of the spectrum is the model made from recycled engines from the Concorde. These dryers produce a gale of such velocity that they will rip the skin right off of your hands along with the water. These dryers work too well. As a side-effect, they are so loud that they will make you deaf within 4 seconds of use. I recommend ear protection.

     The other option for drying your hands is the automatic paper towel dispenser. Here you will encounter some of the same problem as other automatic restroom implements. Like the evil faucets, automatic towel dispensers, can have the dreaded "sweet spot." You have to wave your hands under them several times to get a towel. Sometimes, the manufacturer has programmed a delay into the sensor so that you have to wait a few seconds before it will dispense another towel. This allows you to look like a buffoon while waving your hands around the dispenser. When it finally decides to give you a towel, you will be overjoyed to receive a total of 3 square millimeters of paper towel. Once you have dried one of your fingernails, you will require another towel. And so begins again the wild waving of hands, as the delay timer has not yet reached zero.

     Even though automatic features are very prevalent in today's society, you will occasionally come upon a restroom that doesn't have some or any of the modern automatic features we have been talking about. You will, however, not realize this until it is too late. The makers of these devices have styled some non-automatic products to look very much like the automatic counterparts. This is especially true of the paper towel dispensers. Many a fool has been made by wildly waving his or her hands around an innocent, unintelligent, old school paper towel dispenser. You know the kind, where you have to pull the paper out. There is no tell tale lever or other mechanism to let you know that you are dealing with a, gasp, manual unit. So you find yourself waving at this thing like a maniac for several seconds. Just long enough for someone else to enter. The damage has been done. You can tell by the looks that you get, that they are wondering where your guardian might be.
     One can only speculate at what the future holds for the public restroom. There is only so much more that can be automated. Might we have auto-wiping toilets? How will they know when you are done? Will they wipe at inappropriate times like the auto-flush? How will they know if you are male or female? And is there a medical hazard from all of these lasers being aimed at our genitals? Will there be auto-shaking urinals? How will they work, a robot hand? Will the robot hand be warmed? Will it compensate for “size?” What if it malfunctions? Will it rip the member right off? Will the future be populated by a number of “restroom eunuchs?” No one knows what the future will bring, but we can only hope that these machines will never become self-aware and consciously plot our destruction. Now if HAL would only open the damn door…