We can come up with five hundred modifications to headphones, but we can’t revise the modern-day toilet. Really?
This is a subject I’ve been wanting to address for a while because I LOVE inventions.
When I was a little girl I had a book full of really awful and unnecessary inventions with equally awful illustrations. I would draw these bad drawings of bad inventions like I was freaking Leonard da Vinci designing a helicopter, all hunched over my wide-ruled notebook, pushing up my glasses habitually.
(This was the weirdest part about getting contacts; I would constantly push up my glasses, only to find that I wasn’t wearing any and was only poking my nose repeatedly.)
But I was not designing a helicopter. I was most likely drawing a “safety safety break,” which was essentially a set of rubber sticks that hit the ground behind a golf cart when the driver pulled a lever. I’m not that much better of an inventor now: I more recently came up with an idea for an online dating website that sets up NHL hockey players with girls with good personalities. (Really not good at inventing. Really.)
But I love inventions. I believe in inventions. I believe in invention–that moment when you think of an idea that’s completely new. It’s a moment of creation. And since I’ve been listening to a lot of the “Magic Lessons” podcast by Liz Gilbert (thank you, Jill), believe me when I say I know a thing or two about Making Things.
All of this finally brings me to my point. Inventions are awesome. I have nothing against the five hundred different types of headphones and new earbuds and Bluetooth technology designed specifically so that people like me have to buy five hundred pairs because I will repeatedly lose them. No problem with that at all. But if we have the time to develop these cutting-edge personal sound systems, why in the world are we neglecting our poopers?
Seriously. Are toilets now that much different from when they were first invented? They put the handle on the back. Whoop-de-do. The most innovative toilet I’ve seen is at an airport in Chicago. The seat cover spins in a circle, passing through some flashing device at the back and supposedly sliding a new seat cover on the ring. Which idiot is falling for that? You’re not going to convince me that some sanitization occurred in the beeping matchbox. I’m not buying it. Literally.
So, to recap, I can buy a pair of headphones that would allow me to sleep through a nuclear blast, but the most modern restroom I’ve ever been in was at the O’Hare airport.
Maybe you’re someone who’s seen the whole “squat toilet” (do not Google) thing, and think that’s great and modern and natural. If I wanted to poop in a hole or pretend to poop in a hole, I would go did a hole.
Maybe you’re someone who thinks toilets are being tweaked and improved right now. To you, I say look at this Kickstarter fund. This is an industry crying for help.
Maybe you’re someone who thinks this is all coming from some sort of deep hurt in my heart. You would be partially correct. Yes, I have broken a fair number of toilet seats in my day. Yes, I did get a large gash from a cracked toilet seat. Yes, I hate public restrooms and have anxiety about the whole (daily) experience. Yes, I once feared that I learned to use the toilet the wrong way (long story). BUT this is about more than just me! This is about progressing as a society by elevating the most basic parts of ourselves.
Now, maybe you’re thinking, Hilary, you seem fired up about this; what are you going to do to be a part of the change?
Nothing. Yes, nothing. I’m not going on a toilet campaign. I’m sorry. I will share my story, but I cannot take up the toilet torch. I just can’t.
Plus, did you read my idea for an online dating website? My toilet inventions would be the worst. (So far they involve a lot of weird suction, which seems dangerous.) I just want the actual inventors out there to work on this, so can we take a few headphones designers off of their task for a bit while they sort this out?
This is what it boils down to: I do not get how we’ve cut a hole in a chair, put some water in it, stuck it in the corner of our house, and said, yeah, that’s good enough.
I say we can do better…
Coming this fall: Johns by Dr. Dre.