by barbara miller
I drove to my favorite coffee shop this afternoon for a caffeine infusion. While I was waiting for it to be assembled, I headed for the loo.
Standing in the dark, I waited for the light to go on. I finally realized I had to flip the switch myself. Then, to flush or not to flush became the question. No lever. Automatic flusher. Peered under the sink faucet for a motion sensor. Then I noticed the knobs. A do-it-yourselfer.
I approached the hand towel dispenser with no small amount of trepidation. High tech. Waved my hands around, trying to trick the little red all-seeing eye. Suddenly had a yard of hand towel, and no matter how many times I told it "no," it kept spitting out more. It was very stressful.
Matter of fact, this is a stressful country. Our rules are not uniform. It's hard to know what to expect, one place to the next.
I raise this issue because in this era of greed and corruption, war and violence, impending plague, a Supreme Court run amok, lies, bigotry and extremism we must not lose sight of the basics.
Frankly, I wonder why the Bush administration has not seized control of our public bathrooms. In their ongoing quest to govern every aspect of our personal lives, I cannot fathom how this has gone under the radar. Surely the American people cannot be trusted to know what to do behind locked restroom doors.
And then, epiphany! All those little blinking lights in restroom stalls, at towel dispensers, in the "room fresheners" mounted in the corner? Thank heaven for the ever-vigilant NSA! Safe at last.