Automatically Automatic Now

When do I automatically become adjusted to everything being automatic?

The first time I ever saw an automatic faucet was at a Luby’s. I’d gone in to wash up before digging in to my LuAnn Platter when I noticed the sink had no handles.

I looked around to see if Alan Funt had his Candid Camera hidden somewhere, but didn’t see him or a camera.

As I pondered how to get the soap off my hands with no water, a fellow came up and waved his hand under the tap and the water came on. Not wanting to appear stupid, I pretended to be lathering up my hands with soap and waited until he left.

I moved my hand in front of it.


I waved again.


I frantically waved both hands so hard that the water came out with enough force that I slung it and the soap all over the mirror, the walls, the floor and me.

About that time, another fella walked in to witness the mayhem I’d created.

I turned to the paper towel dispenser and couldn’t find the handle.

By the time I figured out that the paper towels were also automatic and I cleaned up the mess I’d made, both guys had finished their meals and were halfway through dessert.

Since then, it seems that the people who come up with this kind of technology are completely convinced that we can no longer do anything for ourselves. Everything, it seems, is becoming hands-free.

I guess it all really started with automatic doors. As a kid, I always liked going to the stores where doors automatically opened when you stepped on the rubber mat. This technology makes sense, especially at a grocery store, where you normally have your arms full or are pushing a buggy and dragging children behind you.

But automatic hand dryers? Voice-activated cell phones? Is all of this really necessary?

Lately, I’ve noticed that the lights all stay off in the frozen food aisle at the grocery store until you walk by the end of the row, and then all of the lights come on.

I don’t know about you, but I find it creepy that a bag of frozen wings knows I’m around the corner.

Cars no longer need keys. You can now get into your car and push a button to start it without ever putting a key into the ignition. The first car we got with this feature allowed me to continuously forget I’d left the key on the nightstand, and after 10 minutes of reading the manual, remembered that the key had to be in my pocket for the car to start.

Hey, I’m a simple guy. I don’t need fancy, but it looks as though it’s not going away and I’m stuck with it. According to the life expectancy statistics, I’ve got a couple more decades, so I guess I’d better get used to it.

I am working on being more patient with these things. Lord knows that plenty of people have been patient with me. And I appreciate those folks.

Like the people at Luby’s. My ban from there is over in two more weeks.

©2015 John Moore

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