I really hate hand dryers. This is no common or garden hatred. This is seething, seeing red, want-to-rip-my-hair-out-at-the-sheer-audacity-to -even-exist hatred. If I walk into a bathroom and see one on the wall it makes me wish I had a nice weighty flat-head shovel so I could lever the fucking thing right off like I was ripping a rusty old nail out of a rotten piece of wood. Conversely, if I see one of those big roller-wipe-your-hands-dry things I dance a jig of joy right there on the spot like Michael Flatley in the middle of a chronic bout of haemorrhoids he happened to contract while walking bare foot over hot coals.
“Why?” I hear you all docilely moan like a low-mooing herd of dazed and confused oxen woken from your slumber by a gang of teenage cow-tippers. I’ll tell you why. Say you have to use a public toilet. Let’s imagine a motorway services, since those places are often the worst despite all the “this utility was last cleaned 21 minutes ago” signs. 21 minutes ago, when? In 1986?
This, in itself, is a pretty bad circumstance to find yourself in. You’re going to have to go into a dank, reeking, dripping, piss-stained, shit-smeared box with a sole purpose of providing holes for people to spray their poorly-aimed toxic, stinking waste all over.
So, you enter the cubicle. Obviously the toilet won’t flush. Why would it? That would be too easy. The bowl is so heavily skid marked it looks like a motorcross track crafted out of turd remnants. The seat is liberally sprinkled with fluorescent urine, making actual contact unthinkable. Then, two more issues of immediate concern smack you in the face:
1) There is no lock on the door. You thought there was but you had just shifted the latch. The latch house was never actually there and now the door is ajar and an elderly priest is trying to cop a look at your dong and admiring your power squat above the toilet seat. This means you have to expertly keep the door closed with your foot while balancing your arse millimetres from piss-impact. Tough but somehow doable.
2) There is no loo roll. Always, always, always check this. The outcomes of a “code-no-loo-roll” are too grim to describe.
Once you have survived the living hell that is the public toilet cubicle and emerged into the piss-drenched purgatory that is the wash area, you are going to want to get out as soon as possible. You have just dropped a bomb that only adds to the general reek and it really is time to get out.
But before that, you have to wash your hands. You really do. There is no excuse after twos. It just has to be done. You get the water going and if you are lucky there will be some soap knocking around. All lathered up and rinsed there is one tiny last step: the hand dry.
And herein lies the point of maximal annoyance. You have been in the shit-hole of a shitter far too long already. All you want is to get out of there and spend £8.89 on a limp BLT and a packet of out-of-date Salt & Shake and yet here you are at the final level facing the big boss all ready to break free. Except the big boss ain’t Bowzer or that weird robotic professor guy from Sonic. He’s usually called Initial or Saniflow and he is white and square and blows moderately clammy air out of a chipped chrome nosel while you wait and wait and wait for your hands to dry so you can run.
Except they don’t. In fact, all that’s happening is the water has become little droplets that are now racing around the skin on your hands in circles like retarded puppies chasing their tales. The hand dryer is actually a cruel trickster that animates the water. You just want it gone and the evil dryer does nothing but make it stay longer.
Bastard machine! I just want to go home!
The dryer is not only a complete waste of waaaay too much of your precious time but also an example of atrocious human engineering. We can see pictures of possible frozen lakes on Mars but we can’t create
a machine that will dry our hands in under two minutes of vigorous rubbing under a poor stream of tumbling vapour.
I mean, come on. A few hand dryers I have used have been so poor at actually drying my hands (they do know that is what they are there for, right?) that I think blowing would have done a better job. Or just getting back in the shit-covered cubicle of death and farting my hands dry.
Add to this, you have to get the thing going by pressing a button that hundreds, thousands, possibly millions of people have whacked with their poo-covered, piss-saturated, unwashed digits and you have the most pathetic, unhygienic waste of two minutes of your life ever. Please, let’s make a petition or something. Death to the hand dryer. We wanna crap and get out with clean hands in seconds. Not stand around inhaling our own methane for minutes. Why are we blowing millions of volts of electricity through a shitty machine that doesn’t even do its job? Long live the rolly-towel machine!