I Believe in Flushing Toilets

February 13, 2008
By Madeline MacDonald, Bothell, WA

I believe in toilets that require an actual human being to flush it. In accordance it is fair to say that I do not believe in those high tech, automatic, flush-on-their-own type of toilets. I don’t write this with the intent of being a “potty mouth” or bringing up topics we only talk about in health class. I do not write to express my opinion on this robot of a generation. In fact, I am very much in favor of those nifty clap on lights and even those voice automated alarm clocks. But when it comes to toilets, I would much rather flush them myself.

Has there ever been a time when you are going to sit on the toilet but right before you do, it flushes? You hear that clutter of a million water molecules smashing together to face the swirling tunnel ahead. They leave you there wondering what to do about the unexpected flush. Do you sit down and hope it flushes again when your done? Is there some kind of button to press if it makes a mistake? Is there a certain amount of time before it flushes again? The real problem with these toilets is that they are in desperate need of an owners manual. This would have been nice for fifty-one year old, Maureen Shotton, who on a nice vacation in Whitley Bay was sucked into one of these “top-of-the-line” toilets. In the April 2001 issue of Readers Digest, they explain that after two hours she was liberated by a fire brigade. That’s right, they had to tear open the toilet just to get her out of there. Imagine being captured by a toilet that was supposed to make your restroom experience better but instead sucked you in like a hurling tornado.

With an incident such as Maureen’s, I believe that there should be a last and final line in the Bill of Rights; the right to flush your own toilet. As Americans, we can say almost anything we want, believe in whatever icon we like or even own a gun but with new technology, Americans have lost their right to flush their own toilets. In the days before hand controlled video games and hover scooters, I was a spunky three year old with black ringlets thicker than my belligerent attitude. Amazingly enough, I learned to use the restroom all by myself. My mother came up with quite the technique. I had my green dinosaur potty that fit contently on the big potty. The first thing that I learned in Potty Training 101 was that you “always flush the dino when your done“. You can understand the surprise that came about me when they didn’t give me that option anymore. I looked far and wide the panels of the shiny white fixture for something that I could press, push, kick or anything else for that matter. All I found was a flashing red dot. How do they expect me to believe that this red dot knows when I am finished? Who gave it the right to make that decision for me? I always felt comfort in knowing that whatever I did in my life, I could flush it down when I wanted. In the future, when my children sit on a dino potty of their own, I do not want to tell them, “Here is the red dot, all you have to do is go through the motions, it will take care of the rest for you”. No, I would rather tell them, “Here is the handle, never let anybody flush it for you”.

I am not aware of how the future generation feels about these extraordinary outbursts of technology. Maybe America likes the fact that they don’t have to get rid of their own baggage but that something or somebody can get rid of it for them. Before this phenomenon, toilet flushing was quite common and everybody had their own technique. There were the germ-a-phobes who resorted to the foot-push approach. However the foot push was too strenuous for many which resulted in the elbow-or-other-body-part push. Finally, for the young and fearless we had the simple hand push. Now, we just have one type of person, “The Drone”. This is the person who stares blankly at the red dot until it hears a flush, or even worse, the person who doesn’t wait for the flush but just trusts wholeheartedly that it will be taken care of for them. Some might say that I am taking this too far, that they are only toilets. But take away the toilets and what comes next? Once we realize the power we bestow on the automatic flushing toilet, we will never want to do anything ourselves. Welcome to the world of lazy day America, where lifting a finger is much too hard when something else could do it for us. All because humans apparently weren’t capable enough to flush their own toilet.

When I use the restroom, I like to know that this is my toilet time. That I may start and stop anytime that I please. I am in control of this toilet. When I flush it, it symbolizes to the toilet that I thank it for its time but I have many more things to do and it may now continue on its regular course. I refuse to go to a restroom where I must compete for “Head of the Stall” or be controlled by a flashing circle. I believe that everybody has the right to flush all the toilets in their life when they please. Nobody needs to decide when things are over but the person whose life it will effect. And for me, I will continue to flush the dino when I’m done.

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