I Hate Auto-Flushing Toilets

I don’t think I’d ever used a public toilet at Wal-Mart until today. Generally, I avoid using public restrooms anywhere, but sometimes, you just have to go.

So, I parked my cart and went into the ladies’ room at my local Wal-Mart. Imagine my surprise when I discovered the new bidet! I’ve never used a bidet before, but I’ve heard they are something that rich people sometimes have installed in their home bathrooms. They are toilets that spray water on your butt, for an extra-clean bottom, right?

You’re probably thinking Wal-Mart is an unlikely place for a bidet toilet. So was I!

Guess what — it wasn’t a bidet! It was just a stupid toilet with an auto-flush feature.

auto flush toilet
Beware of the auto-flush!

I suppose auto-flush toilets are meant to keep people’s hands clean, by eliminating the need to press a flush lever manually. I presume the intended function of the auto-flush toilet would be something like this:

1. When the sensor indicates a person is seated, the toilet would not flush.
2. When the sensor detects the person has vacated the seat, it executes the hands-free flush.

However, that is not what happened to me today.

First of all, I don’t like to sit down on unfamliar toilets. The paper toilet seat cover dispenser was empty, so I fashioned my own by layering strips of toilet paper over the seat, and assumed the oh-so-graceful hover-squat. Most women who share my fear of foreign toilets are familiar with this position. Done improperly, it can result in a seat-sprinkling spray, so it requires mental concentration, a keen sense of balance, and strong thigh muscles.

What you DON’T want to happen when you’re trying to hover-squat over a dirty Wal-Mart toilet? AUTO-FLUSH.

So there I was, mid-squat, when the toilet started to rumble. Then, the water beneath me started to swirl. Uh-oh.

As the vortex of the rogue flush reached full pressure and velocity, I could feel my backside being sprayed and showered with cold, wet droplets, and a disgusting mist from the bowl. Toilet water and the leftover microscopic nasty bits of who knows how many strangers’ deposits, now clinging to my bare skin. Oh. My.

What would you have done? Of course, I started to stand up and wipe myself off. But you know what happens when you stand up from an auto-flushing toilet? It FLUSHES AGAIN.

Seriously?!

So I decided it might be safer to sit down again, because that’s how you’re supposed to tell the toilet that it shouldn’t flush yet, right? So I dried off the seat, which had also been fairly thoroughly spritzed by the flushing, laid down another layer of clean paper, and tried sitting down.

Too late! During the seat-preparation phase of my toilet transaction, the toilet must have thought I was seated, and when I turned around to actually sit, it went into geyser mode again.

Fountain Geyser in Yellowstone National Park
Fountain Geyser in Yellowstone National Park (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Dammit! By that time, I was so frustrated and disgusted, I gave up.

I dried myself off, pulled up my pants, and went out to wash up. As soon as I got home, I threw all of my clothes into the laundry and took a shower. I hope I don’t catch death from the triple toilet unintended bidet-spray. Be careful out there, people!

Briefly: Life is all about poop (if you’re a mom)

It may come as a shock for new mothers, the way life starts to revolve around poop. From Day One, a baby’s health is measured in part by the poops he produces. And it doesn’t stop when you bring the baby home…

No, that’s just the beginning. Some hospitals send mothers home with log sheets, to make it easier for parents to keep track of all the diaper action. Not only do the diapers have to be changed and bottoms wiped, but the frequency and consistency of the poop needs to be observed and acknowledged.

Of course, this is a good thing to do. Baby bottoms need to be kept clean. Parents need to bond with their babies and build relationships of trust. Babies depend on their parents to tend them with love and concern. Poop needs to be monitored, because certain characteristics can indicate illness or other trouble.

So if you’re about to become a mom, don’t worry. After the baby comes, you’ll probably think and talk about diapers more than current events, movies, or anything else. Just remember that this is normal. Motherhood is not for wimps. And it’s totally worth it!