Simply all the outrage

These things I know are true: you cannot convince someone who doesn’t like Steely Dan to like Steely Dan; there’s no point in buying expensive coffee beans if you have a crappy coffee maker; and motion-sensor faucets should be vandalized with impunity or, even better, with heavy mallets.

Let me back up. For a while now, I’ve felt I must be missing the outrage gene. At very least, I suffer from indignation deficiency. This isn’t the same as intolerance. Things certainly annoy me. Why, just the other day, I pulled the flimsy plastic cheese-slice wrapper out of the recycling bin, and to be clear, it’s the wrappers that are plastic, not the cheese slice, although I can understand your confusion.

I flaunted the wrappers in the air and said to my wife, “You can’t recycle these!”

“And why not?” she asked defiantly.

“They’re too thin,” I replied. I was cool about it, reasonable, because in truth I have no idea what you can recycle, and no one really does.

But I wasn’t outraged. I’m not about to take to take to the streets or, more rashly, to Twitter to vent about how cheese flaps are not recyclable and, for that matter, why aren’t they, dagnabbit? We must all recycle vigilantly or the vaccination-deniers win! Or some such logic. It’s hard to think straight when you’re so filled with bile and processed dairy product.

When I see how people get so upset about things, I start to feel not quite normal. Why do I step so tentatively off the handle where others fly? What made all those NPR listeners, for example, get their tote bags in such a twist simply because the program “Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me” – a game show! – had Kim Kardashian as a guest?

I happened to catch that show when it aired, and all I could think was that I don’t recall ever hearing KK speak before, which means I live a sheltered and, it turns out, blessed life. But I never considered complaining to NPR that I would never donate again, mainly because I’ve never donated in the first place.

Is it that I can’t be bothered? Or is it that we don’t actually live in the Age of Outrage that I think we do? Maybe it’s only a small number of cranks who get in a froth about, say, dried parsley, but this outrage is then amplified via social media, which turns into the sense that everybody is really upset about grass-flavoured garnish.

Maybe I’m the only guy who wants to rip motion-sensor faucets off the commode. If so, I’m happy to see this blown out of proportion.

Looks like a pump; not a pump. image:

Looks like a pump; not a pump.

Here’s why: I’m standing at some knob-less sink, the faucet arched over the basin so you can’t see where the nearly invisible sensor wafer is nestled. I wave my hands underneath. I wave them again. I vogue them like a hand model. I abracadabra and jazz-hand. Finally, the water splashes on. Oops, it’s off again. I cup my hands and nudge them like I’m coaxing a lady up a ladder. AAAAH! Why won’t you come on!

It’s my thin wrists, isn’t it? Motion-sensor faucets discriminate against the slight-wristed. Wait, make that the slight-but-still-undeniably-manly-in-a-sinewy-way-wristed.

And then I have to repeat the same interpretive hand dance with the paper towel dispenser. I feel like a ghost, invisible, and not just socially!

I understand that this is a technology that is supposed to make our lives better by eliminating the transfer of germs to the taps. But germs and bacteria are everywhere. So we eliminate taps. People are still touching door handles and salt shakers and grocery carts and each other and themselves, which is a whole other gross problem. Hasn’t anyone seen War of the Worlds? Bacteria and Tom Cruise will always win!

Plus, because of these fussy faucets, how many people simply won’t bother to wash their hands? Let me correct that: how many more people won’t bother, because the number of non-washers in public bathrooms is already disgustingly high. It’s an outrage!

And the water from these taps is so tepid. What if I want to get a drink of water for my dog? Must the dog drink warm water? Shouldn’t the pet fanatics share my outrage as only pet fanatics can?

Death to motion-sensor faucets!

So it turns out I do have outrage.

I feel so normal now.


About rossmurray1

I'm Canadian so I pronounce it "Aboot." No, I don't! I don't know any Canadian who says "aboot." Damnable lies! But I do know this Canadian is all about humour (with a U) and satire. Come by. I don't bite, or as we Canadians say, "beet."
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70 Responses to Simply all the outrage

  1. hollie says:

    I rarely get outraged. Wait, wait, don’t tell me certainly wouldn’t outrage me. When I am angry though, I do it up big. My ex husband says my head spins like Linda Blair in The Exorcist…but he’s not really a reliable source of information. 🙂

  2. Paul says:

    Bwahaha! Motion sensor faucets are peculiar indeed. I once walked by a bank of sinks in a public washroom and every tap in all ten sinks turned on. When I went to wash my hands I couldn’t get the faucet to turn on no matter how much I waved my hands. ha! I walked into a single person washroom in a service station and there were no hooks to hang my coat on, so I tossed my coat in the sink – naturally the faucet turned on and soaked my coat. I’m a slow learner, so some time later I did the same thing with a shopping bag and the faucet proceeded to fill the bag with water.

    I feel your righteous indignation brother Ross. I say we form a special interest group and lobby the politicians. 😀

    • rossmurray1 says:

      A character I created for my novel was originally going to run for office based on this as his campaign promise.

      • Paul says:

        We’ll have to be careful of the conservatives – their new attack ads on Trudeau and marijuana – “Is that really our biggest problem?” Little do they know that automatic faucets are fast becoming a nationwide threat. We cannot bend under their mud-slinging. We act in the best interests of all Canadians. Whoooo Ha! (the marine chant)

  3. pinklightsabre says:

    The KK line about not hearing her talk, plus the scene with the interpretive hand movements registered a full-guffaw on my Richter scale here, or my Rorschach. I’m glad you defended Steely Dan, thanks for that. I think there’s something cool and digital in their sound, very dated, that trigger that gag reflex in some — but you can’t blame that on SD I don’t think. Blame it on the bad hair and all the coke maybe.

  4. … dunno, “dagnabbit” is bordering outrageous… 🙂
    Vis-s-vis public washrooms – for me, the faucet foobar pales against the unflushed commode. What, dagnabbit, is up with that?

  5. Carrie Rubin says:

    We’re all different as to what sets us off, but when the little things get people outraged (like the Kim K example), I think you’re right in that it’s a minority who are voicing their outrage. The rest of us have long since moved on. To sink faucets…

  6. goldfish says:

    1. Steely Dan are like musical black licorice.
    2. Motion sensor faucets are the devil.
    3. I err on the side of recycling. If there’s only a 3% chance that something could be recycled, into the green bin it goes.
    4. I didn’t even hear about the outrage over KK on Wait, Wait Don’t Tell Me. I guess I live an even more sheltered, blessed life than you.
    5. burp.

  7. You shouldn’t eat those pieces of “cheese”, they came from over here and we don’t know how to make real food. Except pizza.

    I too hate sensor faucets and whatnot. I think it’s because I’m so small – they’re biased against the really small, short people too, which equates to slender wrists which aren’t actually particularly slender but proportionately small. I usually do okay-ish with sensor paper towel disposals. But the real one, the real problem you don’t seem to notice, are the automatic toilets. I get how they are a good idea because the only thing worse than a public toilet is one that someone has neglected to flush. But again, those things hate the short and small and they always – always – think that I have gotten up and left well before I have.

  8. Ned's Blog says:

    I’m pretty sure motion-activated faucets, towel dispensers and urinals are the first to turn against us in the new Terminator movie.

  9. Plastic-coated “cheese”? How do you know that it wasn’t the cheese that’s recyclable? I know – a recipe for outrage-free living: eat the plastic, buy a non-automatic faucet and avoid NPR. See, problem solved. 🙂

  10. ksbeth says:

    i am not an outrager by nature, but occasionally, a random thing will almost bring me to it and then, somehow i am at the last second taken from the brink. my old boss said it took him so long in the bathroom because the automatic flush toilet could not detect his man parts and therefore refused to flush. you can imagine the onslaught of response this brought on from our entire office.

  11. Jill's Scene says:

    The day I realised I live a sheltered life was the day I found myself on my own in a bathroom that had a very smart marble bench. This particular bench had the slightest of indentations – clever and convenient, designed by a woman for women, I thought.

    You can, no doubt, guess what happened as I placed my handbag on that bench, and looked about for the handbasin. Luckily my bag was zipped closed and only the exterior got a drenching. At the time I felt foolish. But telling you my little story, now, Ross, I feel outraged. Could it be catchy? Via blogposts?

    Postscript: On the matter of catchy things – I want you to know I did and always do wash my hands!

  12. markbialczak says:

    On the golf course today, Ross, the foursome behind us almost konked us in the head with a shot two holes a row. The second time I turned around and yelled “Hey, wait until we move our carts away from the green!” at them. My three friends let me do it myself. I guess I’m that guy. Sigh.

    I like Steely Dan, too. I wonder if Fagan and Becker got konked on the head by a golf ball?

  13. javaj240 says:

    Even worse are the automatic toilets. Don’t even get me started on those…

  14. Dina Honour says:

    Funny you should bring up taps….Perhaps you need to be a woman in throes of pre-menopause to enjoy the random outrage that is hormonal imbalance–but I digress. One of my favorite descriptions of the irrational and blind rage that some women or a…er….certain age feel, was by a friend who informed me that she would fly into a fit of madness when the water from the tap came out the wrong way. The thing was, I totally understood where she was coming from ;-). Less outrage is better for your heart anyway. ;-).

  15. This is a very Canadian trait, is it not? This ability to simmer without actually boiling over?

    Man, f those NPR douche bags. I’m no fan of KK, but you’ll find these standard-bearers of liberal thought and tolerance to be some of the LEAST tolerant people around. Again, not a fan, but Condi Rice was scheduled to speak at a University commencement until the idea was shouted down and censored by the same liberal douche bags who listen to NPR. Respectful and tolerant of all viewpoints except the ones that don’t toe the line.

  16. Trent Lewin says:

    Ross, I think perhaps you are a little too civilized and advanced. An endpoint product of evolution, maybe? Outrage is a base instinct that is really fun to chew on, especially after a few brews. Hell, I got mad at a cornfield not long ago, for being so upright man. I also seem to have an aversion to Republicans. What’s up with that?

    Your faucet issue shows that you are essentially human, though I still have my doubts. In reality, I think this is a racial issue. I think if you delved into the matter, you would find that sensor-based faucets are much more functional when then user is non-white. I occasionally hang around the bathroom to make such observations, so trust me. That’s all I ask.

  17. mollytopia says:

    I’m totally angry now because your post reminds me of how much I HATE motion-sensor faucets also! They completely suck, and rarely acknowledge by sinewy wrists either. I admit I’ve walked away pissed off with unwashed hands because I refused to waste one more precious second of my life flailing in front of a public sink like an idiot. They should all be destroyed. Don’t even get me started on the commercial auto-flushing toilets. Outrage.


    Great post!

  18. peachyteachy says:

    Steely Dan is like the cilantro of pop music. Also, I took a video of myself attempting to activate a motion sensor faucet at a restroom in the Adirondacks. Rather than outrage, I experienced wonder and awe at my ability to cease to exist within this woodsy Bermuda triangle of handwashing mystery. It’s probably harder if you’re Canadian.

  19. Pingback: One brief shining toilet | Drinking Tips for Teens

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