Monday, December 21, 2009

Will Miss #95 - flushing sound machines

In most public toilets, you'll find either a little box on the wall which will play a fake flushing sound when you press the button or controls on the toilet seat's washlet panel that does the same thing. The presence of these mechanisms is a reflection of a certain cultural shyness about making toilet-use-related noises. These devices were created and installed to stop women from wasting water by constantly flushing the toilet to cover up the splash of urine hitting the bowl or water. These devices always strike me as both quaint and ingenuous.

I'll miss seeing these devices in public toilets and thinking about the sort of shyness they represent.