In December, I wrote a snapshot complaining about the hypersensitivity of UFV’s automatic toilet flushers. I talked about how one visit to a bathroom stall could lead to three or four flushes, and how it was a waste of water that made stall-neighbours think my diet must consist of handfuls of beans and Shreddies with prune juice instead of milk. This past weekend, however, I encountered the even more guilt-inducing alternative: the under-sensitive flusher. It was on my way down to Tacoma for a quick weekend visit with my girlfriend who lives there. I stopped in at the McDonald’s in Lynden for a milkshake, and popped into the bathroom to prepare myself for the long road ahead.
After attending to my business, I stood up, but the auto-flusher didn’t trigger. I sighed, reached out to push the manual flush, and froze. There wasn’t one. There was no way to set it off other than the sensor, and I think it could sense my lack of American patriotism and chose to ignore me. I searched all over it for a button, tried sitting down and standing back up multiple times, waved my hand frantically in front of it, but nothing worked. What do I do now? There was only one stall and I didn’t want to be in it too long, especially if someone else came in and was waiting for me. So for the first time in my life, I left a toilet unflushed. I ran. I fled the city before anyone knew.
So while UFV’s toilets may be a bit wasteful, I have to rescind some of my previous criticisms. I’d much prefer their over-enthusiasm to the kind of shame that will keep me out of that McDonald’s forever.