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A column from the inside

Adam Fairholm | Friday, October 7, 2005

I realized a while ago that I work for The Observer, and that gives me the opportunity to write a column on the inside. This is the inside column where you get the inside story on things you are on the outside of, right? OK.

What I’m going to say is that if you haven’t already gone totally berserk over the infrared paper towel dispensers in the North Dining Hall bathrooms, there is probably something wrong with you.

Man has always been contemplating, saying, “What if we didn’t have to touch things to get dry hands?” For about six million years the best thing anyone could come up with was a guy who sits in the bathroom and hands you towels. Psh, lame. Absolutely lame-o. Thanks history, thanks a lot. If history were here right now, I’d say, “Thanks a lot.” I’d say it in a way that history would know that I am being sarcastic.

Worst of all is the big blast of air things. If I wanted a blast of air to dry my hands, I’d go to an alternate universe where everyone loves to dry their hands with a blast of air, but unfortunately in this alternate universe, everyone eats nothing but garlic bread and is boring. That’s the point I’m trying to make. If you like the blast of air, you are boring.

This is off-topic, but if you are reading this in the dining hall and you are one of those people who likes to walk really slowly in front of me when I’m trying to get around, one day I’m going to pour milk down your back.

Our forefathers probably thought advanced robots would give us paper towels in the bathroom, but they could never imagine such a simple and beautiful machine like the infrared dispensers. With one wave of the hand, it not only sends you a piece of paper towel, you have also inadvertently flicked a moderate amount of water off your hands, essentially pre-drying your hands for paper towels. If you have noticed this before, I bet you are a happier person for it.

So get happy about these dispensers. When you come out of the bathroom, tell the card swipers how nice it was in there. Especially tell the nice one who looks at your card and says your name. That makes me feel good. If you are reading this, lady who goes the extra mile and says everyone’s name, that’s cool. If not, it would be nice if someone could bring this column to her attention.