what’s wrong with this picture?
January 9, 2009
When I took Drivers Education in high school, they showed us some pretty ridiculous little movies. I don’t remember ever seeing “Blood On the Highway” but I’m pretty sure we saw several copycats.
I also remember a few more “instructional” movies. And in one of these little gems, I remember (I have no idea how this stuff gets stuck in my head. I have a theory that the inside of my head, or my brain, or something, is jagged, or pointy, or rougher somehow, and so stuff gets stuck to the weird surface area, and every now and then, something gets jarred loose. Like today.) a particular sequence when a guy is driving a delivery truck, and he’s smoking a cigarette, and the ashes from his cigarette grow too long to stick to end of his cigarette and fall into his lap and somehow burn his lap, so he looks down and kind of jumps around in his seat, and rear ends the car in front of him. Which, of course, is all portrayed as sort of a bad thing.
But that’s not the sequence I want to focus on. That sequence fell out of a loose corner of my brain because I started thinking about this OTHER sequence from that drivers ed movie. In this sequence, the narrator is showing a series of driving mistakes by random drivers, and saying “can you figure out the mistake?” to things like running a red light, or crossing 8 lanes of freeway traffic without looking or signaling, or packing 18 sorority girls in a Volkswagen bug.
And suddenly the mood shifts, and we see a normal car pull up to a stop sign on a slightly uphill corner, pause (which is another word for stop, isn’t it?), and turn right. And the announcer says “Can you spot the mistake? This is a tricky one.” But it wasn’t just tricky, it was ridiculous and retarded. The mistake was that the driver used the ACCELLERATOR to stay in position at the uphill corner, instead of using the BRAKE! The sin? Wasting gas.
Well, of course, that reminds me of toilets.
I’m going to present a series of toilets, and then, for the last one, I want you to see the mistake. Ready?
Here’s the toilet from the Black Diamond Equipment retail store:
And here’s the toilet from my bathroom here at work:
This is the toilet from the Jiffy Lube near where I work:
Of course, this is the Magic Toilet, in my bedroom:
And finally, this is the toilet in the mens room at the Salt Lake City Bicycle Company, the bike shop where I hang out:
Can you see it? CAN YOU? I know it’s subtle, but its effects are not, I assure you, subtle.
That’s right. The flush lever in all those other toilets is properly positioned on the “sitter’s right.” But on the SLC Bike Company toilet, the lever is on “sitter’s left.” Like in the drivers ed movie, the mistake is subtle. But UNLIKE in the drivers ed movie, the effects? Not so subtle.
When, out of years of habit, you reach out to flush on the “stander’s left” side of the tank, or the “sitter’s right” side of the tank, but instead you don’t encounter a lever at all, but rather, just the side of a clammy toilet tank, your reaction will be the same as if you reached into a bucket expecting to pull out, say, a baseball, but instead you pull out a live Salmon. It’s that upsetting.
If you’re sitting, proper bathroom etiquette requires you to reach back and flush after the initial drop, and then to repeat the flush for every 3 wads of toilet paper deposited (to avoid the clog). You don’t look, you just reach back to the right and flush.
Unless you’ve been tricked by a rogue (sitter’s) lefty. Then you reach back and grab a live Salmon.
I am not amused.