[Photo credit: Patrick Egan]
There ought to be a law…
What I am about to say might be familiar to some of my readers. These thoughts and descriptions appeared, in a slightly different form, in my book In The Middle of Somewhere. It was in the chapter that dealt with public bathrooms on a cross-country road trip in 2013.
But, recent experiences during my very recent stay in New York City has prompted me to take to the keys and renew my war with a certain hand dryer…The Xlerator.
It’s my opinion that this device (which I’m seeing in more and more restrooms) should be monitored by the FDA, OSHA and quite possibly NASA. In the name of “environmental awareness” i.e., “saving trees”, we are being subjected to a hand dryer that MUST exceed the regulations of decibels emitted by a small device. The dB’s are easily equal to that of a Boeing 747 as it prepares for takeoff…or a Who concert.
It’s a know fact that the police can give a citation to anyone violating the dB’s in a particular area with a “boom box” or an unmuffled car (or motorcycle). So, where is the EPA in the men’s room?
While in NYC last week, I happened to use the men’s room in the “Cellar”. This used to be a space for kitchen supplies and Godiva chocolates. Now it’s Mens Wear. More specifically, the underwear section of Mens Wear. When I left the bar in Rowland’s Restaurant to use the facility, I could hear the roar from as far away as Tommy Hilfiger. By the time I got to Calvin Klein, it was oppressive. When I took a left at Jockey, it was deafening. And I wasn’t even in the men’s room yet!
So, without getting too specific, I emptied my bladder and, feeling the germs of public surfaces (I held onto the escalator to the lower level), I washed my hands. The only dryer available was the dreaded Xlerator. I hit the ON button.
The roar and pitch was so great, I forgot my recent nightmares and concentrated on keeping my ears from bleeding. If that happened, it would present a whole new set of problems. I would need to go into a stall and get some toilet tissue to stem the blood flow from getting to the collar of my new shirt. (Besides, that would likely lead to minor hearing loss with damage to the stereocillia in my middle ear. I would then miss the subtle notes in a Metallica song).
Not to mention the explaining I would have to do to onlookers.
If you happen to come face to face with the Xlerator, I suggest cotton for the ears and finish drying your hands on your Guess jeans. Good luck if you’re wearing a family heirloom ring. God help you if you’re wearing a prosthetic finger. The force of the blast of hot air could launch a small dirigible, peel your finger nail polish past the nail itself and strip the paint off a ’57 Chevy.
If you’re wearing a wedding ring, take it off before taking a whiz…but don’t forget to put it back on when you get back to the bar. Otherwise, your motives will be suspect.
I only want clean hands, not an experience that might well leave me hairless on the backs of my skinless hands.
Beware Product Development is out there and working on a better and more powerful hand dryer.
God bless you, and good luck.