Satire: The Return of the Hand Dryer: Boys’ Bathroom Receives Welcome Surprise
Nolan Martin and Ben Wiener
October 9, 2012
BREAKING NEWS 10/8/12: The right hand dryer in the Boys’ D-Wing restroom has miraculously sparked to life for the first time since its installation in 1967, when Vietnam veterans returning to high school complained that Menlo-Atherton’s bathrooms simply did not compare to what they had seen overseas.
To celebrate the miracle, Menlo-Atherton announced a rally to cheer on the hand dryer as it continued its working streak. The rally featured performances from the school cheer and dance teams, which observed and complied with dress code. Amongst the crowds, we found a lively Matthew Zito, Menlo-Atherton’s principal, sharing the students’ enthusiasm.
“We’ve always enjoyed the polished staff restrooms, but I’d be lying if I said the students were anything but remarkable for dealing with the facilities we offer them. You’ll notice the door says ‘Boys,’ but nothing about a restroom, a title we have been forced to remove for legal reasons. If I were to say those student restrooms were anything near satisfactory, I’d probably lose my job. I have no doubts that this hand dryer miracle is the pinnacle of my tenure as a school administrator.”
American Dryer Inc., which manufactured the models in all but the newest of M-A’s restrooms, was bewildered. A spokesperson claimed, “We have no memory of ever producing such a model. More importantly, we’ve never heard of a hand dryer sparking to life after decades of inactivity. In fact, we’re a little skeptical; it sounds like a lot of hot air to us.”
When news reached the Alumni Association, a 45th anniversary picnic was created to celebrate the return of the hand dryer, 45 years after it went offline. The event, this Saturday, October 13th, will draw hordes of M-A alums jumping at the chance to use the very hand dryer that eluded them during their time as students.
The Boys’ D-Wing restroom was filled with enthusiasm among other things Monday morning with students who were passing through astonished at the hand dryer’s recovery. In high spirits, a number of students took to turning the lights on and off repeatedly, much to the amusement of their peers. As we arrived on the scene, a passing female student commented that it was time for the maintenance staff to throw the Girls’ restrooms a bone.
Jim Thomas, an M-A maintenance team member, expressed his concerns about the potential consequences of allowing students to use the second dryer. “I just worry sometimes,” said Thomas, “what if all that air goes to the kids’ heads? Next thing you know they’ll want us to fix the sink and put partitions between the urinals. I’m just worried that the dryer will make them unreasonable.”
Aside from the worry of psychological changes, infrastructure was on Thomas’ mind as well. “You’ve got a 60 year old school here. In 1952, electricians still thought electricity was magic. I’m not convinced that they were wrong. Regardless, I have no idea about what might happen with this new hand dryer coming online all of a sudden; I’m just not sure whether the school wiring can handle it or not.”
No word yet on the rightmost sink in the Boys’ D-Wing bathroom, which succumbed to plumbing problems at the end of the 2011-2012 school year. Perhaps another 45 years will pass before a principal with priorities in order like Zito will take the time to fix it.