Blowers, Towels, and Rude People
We recently traveled for several days through several different states. As you can guess we had to take potty breaks, fill up with gas breaks, and late-afternoon ice cream breaks. At each stop we would get out and stretch, gather our trash and hit the bathrooms. I soon learned that each bathroom had its own eccentricities.
Some were shiny clean with fans blowing across the floor. Some had yellowed, unused, shower stalls. Some were one unit jobs with cracked tile and dripping faucets. Most were somewhere in between. No matter the style of bathroom we happened upon, the goal was to get in, finish our business, and get out as quickly as possible to get back on the road. We had a schedule to keep.
I found this a challenge as each facility had been modernized in its own unique way. We ran across the old crank style paper towel dispensers, the “pull from the bottom” towel dispenser, and the “wave your hands frantically” paper towel dispenser. The blowers were just as various. Some had grills pointed up, some pointed down, and some were completely without a grill so you could blow dry your hair if necessary.
The kids love the blowers that sound like small airplanes ramping up for takeoff. Once going, they blow your skin up and down your arm like a creepy movie scene where the skin melts off. They like to duck their heads and watch their cheeks ripple up into their scalps while trying to scream into the flow of air. Once they have chapped cheeks, they scream and yell as they watch their skin rippling up to their elbows and back down. It can be difficult to stay on schedule with this type of blower.
I like the newest type of blower attached to the wall about waist height and you run your hands up and down through rounded slits. It still blows your skin off but takes away the face option, thus saving some time.
I won’t go into a deep discussion of toilets except to say that it is EXTREMELY frustrating to be settling in on an automatic flusher. One little scoot backwards – Flush. A necessary shift and it flushes, spraying cold water all over places cold water should not be. Reach for the paper – FLush. Hand paper to a child in the stall next to you – Flush and Spray. Schooching your skirt up a little to keep the hem out of the water – FLUSSSShhh. It can be a challenge staying on the expected travel schedule when one is trying to sit still as a statue and direct the kids from a distance.
On this particular trip we did not have the kids with us so the bathroom breaks were truly wonders in efficiency. On the way back home, I rushed in a bathroom, finished my business, and trotted over to the sink. I waved my hands and the water came on. The towel dispenser was eyeball height and I waved my hands. Nothing. Waved again. Nothing. I waved and waved. No towels. I waved a complete dance number. Nada. A small child was staring at me from the next sink and slowly reached up and pushed the little bar under the dispenser three times and her paper towels cranked out. I smiled, pushed the bar and dried my hands. Oh…Well…All bathrooms are not created equal are they?
I found that most restroom owners are trying to comply with germ regulations by installing funky combinations of technology with their still functional old-school equipment. My biggest complaint about travel and public restrooms are the RUDE folks who go in and wrap soggy paper towels over the faucets and door handles so that THEY don’t get a germ. It forces the next person to touch their ick or stay trapped in the bathroom.
I think anyone who can’t throw away their own towels should be strapped to an automatic flusher for at least an hour!