The worst is when you sit on a warm public toilet seat. Or any warm toilet seat. Maybe in your house you have a tricky Japanese toilet with a heated seat that offers a comfy good morning free from any questions about how long the previous patron's stay was, but you probably don't. At least in your house you can be reasonably sure of who that patron might have been.
While in the Chicago airport over the holidays I noticed an
My first reaction was disgust. I imagined all the germy bum-sloughage cradled in each crinkle of the plastic, nesting in wait for the next unwitting visitor. Did someone fail to unwrap the new toilet seat? What was this unholy texture? Sick.
On my second encounter, I inspected the seat a bit more. I noticed all the fine print and the conspicuous green arrow directing me to wave my hand at a sensor. I waved. Then this happened (not a video of me. I'm not that much of a germophobe that I feel the need to use my shoe to activate a no-touch sensor):
And then I realized that this wasn't as gross an "innovation" as I thought, though the seat cover change wasn't as automatic as I would have liked. It didn't have the reliability of most auto-flush toilets, for example. There's also no way to tell if the seat cover is truly fresh when you walk in the stall. Now it seems more wasteful than cool, especially as "the toilet seat is not a common vehicle for transmitting infections to humans" (webmd.com). Maybe they could use the same concept to wrap airport hoagies, though.
To the champion of public restroom phobia, my dear friend Stephanie, would you use a toilet armed with such a device? Would you sit happily on such virginal plastic? To the rest of you beloved readers, what is your public restroom protocol? Are you a hoverer? An open-the-door-with-a-paper-towel-er? Teach me your ways.