I have an all-powerful and all-knowing enemy.
It is cold, uncaring.
And it is cunning.
Thwarting me at every turn.
You've seen them.
They're becoming more common in places like airports and libraries.
The flushing occurs not with your hand on stainless steel.
The eye ball detects your departure from the plastic seat.
Signaling the auto flush.
That's how it's supposed to work.
But my cyborg nemesis seeks to humiliate me.
Here's the frightening story.
A beautiful shrine in downtown Cleveland has become a peaceful retreat for me three or four times each month.
About a year ago, these modern toilets were installed.
I guess the theory behind them goes something like this.
The 'lectro flush takes the Shakespearean question "to flush or not to flush" out of your hands, so to speak.
This device will flush one time when it decides you have finished doing your duty.
No more wasting water by holding a flush-a-thon in the john.
And for the forgetful?
The eye sees all and will take care of that last task that usually punctuates your encounter with American Standard.
I sort of miss that final handshake.
No time to say "au revoir".
I remember how mom and dad used to stand next to the training potty, allowing me to beam with pride, basking in the glory of my creation.
Anyway, getting back to my story, the problem is that this potty from outer space won't flush.
I mean it won't flush for me.
I waive my hands in front of the all-knowing eye.
Then I put my foot up there: maybe it detects dense body parts only.
I try blocking what I presume is the infrared beam at various distances.
Now what do I do?
I don't want someone to come in after me and wonder what jerk left this distasteful surprise.
Maybe I should try to reason with it.
But I know better.
It enjoys torturing me like this.
I finally leave, checking to see who might be waiting outside to use the facility.
I am defeated.
Members of the public, hear me.
I am a caring person.
Curse me not.
I am no inconsiderate slob.
I am a victim of this cold beast who will not do me the courtesy of blinking away the fruit of my bowels.
I will prevail in the end.
I have ordered a universal remote control device that will restore my power over plumbing.
And when that day comes, I shall leave the door open for my successors to the throne.
Never to be accused again of the most vile act of thoughtlessness.
And until that day comes, my friends, I bid you adieu.
Or do I mean doo-doo?