Ah, the humble toilet. What a marvel of intelligent design. A simple mechanical system for dealing with human waste in a hygienic, efficient and reliable manner. It’s quite an honour that no-one has been able to better Thomas Crapper‘s invention, save for a few aesthetic tweaks.
But after a couple of encounters with this toilet (on the seventeenth floor of the Minneapolis Hilton… that was a strange experience, especially as I’d just swung into the entrance of the hotel in a swanky car and asked the valet to park it) I began to be suspicious about what might be inside the cistern. The sound of the flush was reminiscent of that in an aeroplane toilet – a rapid high powered flush that started and ended very suddenly, with very little noise before or after. Have these sophisticated Americans managed to better Thomas Crapper’s simple device?
Er, yes. Or rather, instead of bettering it, they’ve found a way to make it more complicated and dependent on electricity.
“Made with pride in the U.S.A,” it’s the Sloan Flushmate. How? Who knows. Why? Who cares. This is America, baby, where there’s an expensive, complicated and energy consuming solution for everything.