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Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Post # 77 - Chicago Faucets Don't Stay On Long Enough - 9/16/09

Dear Chicago Faucets,

Imagine your seventh birthday party. All of your family and friends are gathered around. There are presents and streamers everywhere, and a lovely cake in front of you with seven flickering candles. They all begin to sing. Ha…. pee…. Bir….. thday…. tooo…. you…

My five-year-old son O’Brien has been taught to wash their hands for the duration of that song. By my definition, that song lasted almost a minute when Marilyn Monroe sang it to John-Boy. Now imagine O’Brien in the public restroom, having to push the button on your water-saver faucet—once per breathy syllable.

Based on the standard operating procedures, your faucet button has to be the filthiest item in the restroom, with the possible exceptions being the flusher lever or the jon lock thing. I realize automatic shut-off saves water, and allows “Mr. Clean Hands” to walk away and contaminate his hands on the towel cranker. But that button doesn’t work. My son, in trying to wash his dirty hands, presses your dirty button, rinses for a second, presses the dirty button, rinses for a second, all the way through the song. All he is accomplishing is replacing the bacteria and viruses on his hands, with new bacteria and viruses from your overly zealous faucet button. It’s like a line change in hockey—the new bacteria and viruses are probably “fresh”.

My question is, how are O’Brien’s hands not just as filthy, if not filthier than when he started? With all of this Swine Flu business, wouldn’t it make sense to recall your existing faucets from all public restrooms, and replace them with hygienic faucets that flow for a longer duration? I’m thinking, you could even upgrade and have the song play for the kids as they wash.

You need to be REALLY careful. Hand sanitizer and bottled water are becoming more and more popular. More of those products leads to less faucets and drinking fountains and whatever else you people make (I didn’t read your brochure).

Is it all about saving water and saving money? All that water won’t help any of us if we’re all dead. I used to cringe when I’d see people—sometimes prominent people walk straight from urinal to door. Maybe they’re geniuses. Maybe that’s the key to living well into the rest home years, with all the tepid tapioca and crossword puzzles. I would appreciate knowing your thoughts.


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