Worst Inventions Ever
In my nine-to-five life, I’m an engineer. My training as an engineer qualifies me to judge the effectiveness of products and to judge product fails. But don’t be fooled, I am not impartial. My personal experiences out in the world color my opinions. This segment will be a regular aside for my blog. With that said, let me introduce the first worst invention ever.
The toilet seat cover.
You’ve seen them in public restrooms everywhere. They’re usually in a box mounted on the wall over the toilet. The idea is that public toilets cater to hundreds if not thousands of fannies every week, stranger’s fannies of unknown pedigree. The last person in could have been a neat freak surgeon, or a homeless dude who hasn’t bathed in months and who looks on toilet paper as a government conspiracy. You just don’t know. And it is based on this fear that the toilet seat cover was invented, to fill a need. To keep us all safe from kooties.
Now the reality. The toilet seat cover’s downfall is the very customer it was intended for – the germ-a-phobe. These delicate creatures must somehow live with the knowledge that certain death waits for them on every doorknob. For them, no salad bar sneeze guard provides enough protection (I mean really, does anyone actually sneeze at the salad bar?). They buy Purell by the gross and barrel. The specter of a public toilet seat must be tantamount to suicide, the product of a plan gone horribly wrong or a betrayal of the body. But trapped at the workplace for nine hours, they may not have a choice. Thank God for the toilet seat cover, that sanitized layer of protection, a sterile nest above the filth. How did we ever survive the previous millennia without them?
And now the problem. After use, the toilet seat cover is contaminated with user’s butt germs on one side, and germs from the countless, unwashed hoard on the other. And we, those who follow them, are relying on the germ-a-phobe to clean up after themselves, to take up the sword, face their fears and dispose of the used seat cover. They won’t do it. The reason they use the toilet seat cover is the very reason they won’t touch it afterward. And because of it, their problem then becomes your problem, and my problem. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve walked into a stall to see a germ-a-phobe’s abandoned nest sitting there for me to clean up. It is for this reason I christen the toilet seat cover as one of the WORST INVENTIONS EVER.
Any thoughts or nominations?