Monday, 5 August 2013

Nameless fears.






Here I live a simple life, with hardly an app in sight - and then I come across this, and my humble upstairs loo seems such a blessing, such a source of relief and relaxation.

Imagine, if I'd been about to upgrade, at the cost of just under four thousand pounds, to a lavatory that I could control from my smartphone (if and when I buy it).
It's such a temptation, isn't it? A lavatory that you can control while sitting on it..........to make it play music, or puff warm air and warm water, or flush itself and spray deodorant (sorry, I mean activate fragrance release). I could have been so motivated, because as one ages it's a nuisance to have to reach for the flush handle, and a bit of music and fragrance is always nice.

I have a rack of books on the back of this door, but you have to lean slightly forwards to get them. I have short stories, poetry, a book of Beryl Cook's painting and several Viz annuals (which I have to remove before younger visitors arrive) among other treasures for short-term reading, so this small room is not without resources. Admittedly, I would have been hesitating over the music bit of the app, because I actually prefer Radio 4, or Chopin or Bach, and I would need to ensure that these are available while enthroned.

So, anyway, thank goodness I hadn't indulged in the smartphone, the app, or the luxury loo because I know what would have happened. The several smartphoned visitors to this house would have increased my water bills and caused me considerable discomfort and concern as the music, bidet and fragrance release functions were activated with  potentially amusing consequences. Family weekends would have become hilarious for some, expensive for others.
How we might all have laughed and cursed.

There might have been others, not even visitors, but casual by-passers, activating apps as they stroll past, on the off-chance that they will catch some luxury loo owner in situ. This is an affluent neighbourhood, with a very high-tech establishment just down the road. The news report describes this as a 'security hole' which is a fearful prospect.
In olden days there used to be fears of rats coming round the U-bend, but now it is cyber-criminals attacking our most basic functions. The thought that my lavatory could be a security hole is worse than a rat-attack.

Thank goodness, as it is I can relax with my simple wooden seat and enjoy the Beryl Cook artwork.

14 comments:

marigold jam said...

Whatever will they think of next? Lab grown burgers perhaps?!! Why or why don't these clever people put their skills to something really useful. Thanks for the amusing post though it made me smile.

Relatively Retiring said...

Marigold: the thought of the security hole is scary, isn't it? Instead of rats coming round the U bend it will be viruses heading for the lap-top!

Zhoen said...

Anyway, there's always the bucket of water over the door...

Frances said...

I love the Beryl Cook.
As for the loo: (Prof.?) Margaret Donaldson says that the distinctive characteristic of humans is their capacity for "forming novel kinds of purpose." She illustrates this by writing of a man in the U.S. who managed to put 100 rattlesnakes into a bag in 28 seconds. The loo seems to me to be on a related level of the bizarre.

Elephant's Child said...

I adore Beryl Cook and a very dear friend sent me this link.
That loo looks scary to me - even without the potential for being hijacked I suspect that quite a lot could go wrong. In expensive ways.

Relatively Retiring said...

Zhoen, Frances and E.C.: thank you for your comments. I appreciate the rattlesnakes in the bag, and am reminded of a theory that the dinosaurs died out because of over-elaboration of the species. 'Novel kinds of purpose' sums up a great deal of technology. In my quest for the simple life I actually wanted a car without electric windows.
Glad to see some more Beryl Cook fans.

Jee said...

After husband and I had laughed over this, he pointed out that as one or other of us frequently has to traipse upstairs to flush M-in-laws loo it would actually be very useful here! (We would, of course, never give in to the urge to misuse the app :-))

Peregrina said...

Oh! Maybe that explains something that happened recently. I was at an airport and availed myself of the facilities. They had those smart loos that flush of their own accord after you stand up, only this one flushed while I was sitting on it. A bidet-douche experience was not what I wanted! No bottom-drying warm air supplied, either. I had to make do with paper.

By the way, some lavatories in Japanese public places have a little button which you can push to turn on music that (supposedly) covers the sound of your bladder being emptied into the pan, so if you're thinking of installing music, choose it carefully. Perhaps something like "La Mer", or even "Le Parapluie" (George Brassens), might be appropriate. Or if you really want Bach, what about Cantata 165, "O heilges Geist und Wasserbad"?

Relatively Retiring said...

Jee: oh, I'm sure the app could be amazingly useful in your situation!

Peregrina: Handel's Water Music? Some hymn relating to the streams of living water? I could go on, but will restrain myself.
Now is the time for you to start your blogs on Loos of the World.

Leslee said...

Maybe I should recommend this item to my pharma client (oh wait, it's not a pill) as I've spent the last few weeks working on a urinary incontinence writing project - which has been necessitating extra trips to the loo, perhaps the power of suggestion. I found one Japanese urologic site for neurogenic bladder (lack of bladder sensation) featuring a running waterfall gif. So maybe instead of music for those folks they could play the sound of a waterfall...

Relatively Retiring said...

Leslee: isn't it wonderful that this app may actually have some sensible purpose? I'm sure you could develop it, build in a video function for waterfalls and waves on the shore.
Your new job sounds really fascinating!

mm said...

Tee hee! And I'm glad I'm not the only one leading a relatively app-free existence. Whether I will be able to hold out against their eventual encroachment I don't know.

And thank you for the pictorial reminder of Beryl Cook - she is wonderful - particularly as the hairdresser will be calling in the next couple of weeks ..

Relatively Retiring said...

mm: I think they have those leopard print playsuits in Matalan, but I need to check.

Joy said...

Enjoyed this. Had a chuckle.