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:

black diamond toilet

And here’s the toilet from my bathroom here at work:

work toilet

This is the toilet from the Jiffy Lube near where I work:

jiffy lube toilet

Of course, this is the Magic Toilet, in my bedroom:

plunger book bidet

And finally, this is the toilet in the mens room at the Salt Lake City Bicycle Company, the bike shop where I hang out:

slc bikes toilet

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.

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21 Responses to “what’s wrong with this picture?”

  1. sonya r Says:

    here in australia we usually have buttons on top (full flush/half flush
    none of that lever business 🙂

  2. Jenn Says:

    Well, it’s up, the bet has been paid:) Just thought I’d let ya know!

  3. Jeff Says:

    Wait – What?

    There’s salmon in the toilet?

  4. bikemike Says:

    i’m easily amused.

  5. MOCougFan Says:

    Seriously?!!!! I knew you had issues with toilets, but do you really have a “Magic Toilet, in [your] bedroom”?

    Huh… I’d say most people have them in the bathrooms, but I guess I could see you having one in the bedroom.

    Is it in the master bedroom or in a special Throne Room?

  6. dug Says:

    mocougfan, maybe i misspoke. it’s not actually IN the bedroom, but is in the master bedroom’s bathroom. some call it the master bath, i guess. but yes, i have a toto jasmine washlet toilet in my master bathroom.

    awesome.

  7. anon Says:

    So, when you reach back and flush after the initial drop (or thereafter), do you perform the left arm crossover, or do you prefer the awkward right arm twist around?

  8. dug Says:

    anon, definitely the right arm twist around. more of an up and under.

  9. fremont mike Says:

    Just wrong… You really do have issues.
    😉

  10. Rick S. Says:

    dug- what’s the longest you’ve gone without,um, having a movement? THAT is my question.

  11. BurkeInTheOzarks Says:

    “If you’re sitting, proper bathroom etiquette requires you to reach back and flush after the initial drop, …” Ahh, yes, the ‘courtesy flush’ – I wish more people knew proper etiquette and implemented this technique.

    Dug, only YOU could (or would) segue between an ancient Driver’s Ed video and a left-handled toilet. That’s what makes me look forward to your every post!

  12. Grant Says:

    I’ve got to say, I don’t like American toilets… Way too much water in there, puts the business way too close to your person.

    However, after seeing them in action a few years ago, the whole “flush head down toilet” thing from tv made sense. In Australia, it’d be pointless – the person being flushed would just have their head in air, and maybe get their hair wet during the flush.

  13. KanyonKris Says:

    I didn’t spot the lefty flusher. I’m ashamed.

    This post brought up a number of questions about personal procedure and etiquette, and Rick is already headed that way, but I’m not sure I want to follow.

    Suffice it to say that I’m a pretty regular AM BM guy so I rarely have to deal with strange toilets (thankfully!). Dug, I’m sorry this is not true for you. You’d have a lot less angst.

  14. dug Says:

    forgingahead, please explain. what’s “eww”? the fact that i’m talking about toilets, talking about flushing, or the travesty that is the “lefty” toilet?

  15. jruss Says:

    18 sorority girls in a Volkswagen bug? I only managed to get 16 of them into my ’74 super beetle before the rear seat arced the battery terminals and lit the high dollar naugahyde on fire.

  16. fish Says:

    I on the other hand am amused.

  17. Joel Says:

    I’m just trying to understand why you use so many public toilets. If I had that magic toilet in my house, I’d plan things (you do plan these things, don’t you?) so I never had to drop the kids off at any other pool. Actually, I don’t have a magic toilet and I still do that…

  18. Simón Says:

    FYI – This is something right up your alley:
    “Man accidentally shoots toilet, injured by shrapnel”
    http://deseretnews.com/article/1,5143,705277512,00.html

  19. Steve Says:

    When I visited OZ while in the US Navy, I was very impressed with the vigor of the Aussie flushing action. There are no American toilets that compare. I had forgotten the button thing, however.

    And Japanese toilets. White, ceramic, generally clean and professionally maintained. But they are a subgrade slanted trough set into the floor tiles.

    I really think, Dug, that you are the only person on earth qualified to do an international toilet review.

  20. Rachel Says:

    The expert flusher uses his/her elbow while seated anyhow, thus eliminating germ infestation (not that I don’t wash).


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