Are you one of those people who needs a little assistance in the restroom these days?

No, no – it’s a serious question that I’m determined to get to the bottom of because I can’t help but notice that the restroom-going experience, if you will, has been rapidly changing through the years and as I’m not personally having any problems – at least none that modern day medicine is currently able to detect – then I can only assume that somebody else out there must be finding themselves gravely challenged with regards to their public restroom needs, otherwise … what gives?!

It all started with sink faucets – one day we walk into a public bathroom and find regular, twisty-style faucets just like we’ve come to know and adore in our own homes, and then suddenly we’re cutback to a single slurp of water at a time, offered up by the sink gods only after a precisely-positioned wave of the hand. After ridiculous amounts of practice, several of us have managed to at least work out a system for washing one hand by beckoning the water with our left while dampening our right, but that still leaves most men and women one hand short and even then, have you ever tried to apply soap with a single hand to itself?!

It was complicated, it was messy, and a fraction of our population hasn’t washed their hands since, but apparently for some that still wasn’t enough, and soon we found not only our sink faucets, but also our soap dispensers and even our paper towel dispensers devoid of any input for physical human interaction – only those very same weird sensor-thingies that had taken our water supply hostage not too long ago. Somewhere, somebody made the decision that all-things restroom-related were only to be dispensed in single, not-nearly-enough-to-even-be-remotely-usable portions, and even then, said portions should be more difficult to retrieve than that “secondary roll” of toilet paper whose only real purpose is to make it nearly impossible to get paper off of the primary roll of toilet paper in the dispenser.

And speaking of toilet paper, I actually think that it was the last straw for me when I found myself face-to-face with the ultimate in automated disasters inside the actual restroom stall itself – a motion-activated toilet paper dispenser. Now fortunately I did take note of this horrendous abomination in time enough to adjust my itinerary that afternoon, if you will, but I can only imagine the cries of woe as countless other less astute restroom patrons failed to realize the limitations of those one-sheet at a time bandits until it was just too late – it was then that I knew that somebody had to stand up for the restroom of yesterday and banish these sinister robots back to our classrooms and car assembly lines where they belong!

These robots are taking over every aspect of our restroom-oriented lives, striving to control when we wipe, when we flush, how we wash our hands afterwards, and even on the way out the door, there’s often times a little one right up there near the ceiling that spritzes out a cinnamon-fresh scent to cover up behind you and welcome its next guest. I predict that it can’t be long before these robots eventually break out beyond those restroom doors and spread their minimal interaction agendas to other areas of restaurants and malls across the country as well, and soon we won’t actually be able to touch anything anymore – just wave your hand in front of it like a mad person and hope that it’s watching…

I don’t know about you, but that doesn’t sound like the kind of world that I want to live in, where all of existence is controlled by a complex system of infrared eyes that always somehow seem to be blinking whenever we find ourselves in need of things that were previously only the twist of a handle or the push of a button away. So having said all of this, if you are one of these people who initiated this movement to automate our restroom-oriented duties (hehehe…pun intended!), let me be known that those of us who prefer control in the bathroom are going to be keeping an eye on you, and you can bet those three droplets of antibacterial in your hand that took you a minute and a half to coax out of the dispenser that you won’t have to wave frantically in front of our eyes to catch our attention!

Band up together, my steadfast friends, for the days of the automated restroom are numbered. We will stand tall, we will build our forces and ultimately take down this wretched, robotic beast, but most of all, we will all be sure to wash our hands at home before we leave to fight this battle of a lifetime…