gall and gumption

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Item #138.1

Now I'm back at the Big Swanky Science Institution and getting used to the toilets again. They do not have handles for flushing. They have some sort of electric "eye" which it took me almost half the length of my assignment here last year to get used to and now I have to start all over again. You get up, you see, in that dreamy absentminded state that settles over one in such places and as you are reassembling yourself you hear behind you -- rather low behind you -- a noise that sounds like a cross between a slow camera shutter and a really pissed-off small rodent. Then there's a moment of silence in which you feel like a complete idiot for starting in alarm, and the toilet flushes itself. As I leave, I tell myself to remember that noise the next time. But somehow I don't. It's like a toilet that jeers at you.

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