Stan's World - Sometimes it's the little things

Stanley F. Ehrlich |

A friend recently told me he was thinking about purchasing a new car. He said the six-year-old car he drives is fine, but he wants another car. He wants a new car. His words: “I’m 76, how many more new cars will I get a chance to buy?”

Piggybacking on his thoughts, and amid a bathroom remodel, I asked a variation of the same question: “How many more new toilets will I get a chance to buy?” 

After extensive research at the Library of Congress (more accurately, a simple question to the salesperson at the plumbing supply store), I was directed to a Kohler Intelligent Toilet. After all, who wouldn’t want to own the Maserati of flushing?

Only plumbers with doctorates can install an Intelligent Toilet, so I found a professorial type who I believed could handle the phone-book thick installation manual. After days of attentiveness to detail, the toilet was installed, connected, and ready for use.

When I was handed the control box (yes, there’s actually a control box), I was tentative in my handling. What if I press the wrong button, setting off a delayed reaction that might injure me hours later? Worse, what if I were to cause permanent damage to the Westfield public works system?

I slept at my desk for three days while l read the owner’s manual. Finally, I stood up and confidently walked towards my bathroom. With trepidation, but a modicum of confidence, I selected one button and pressed it. Moments later, the toilet…flushed!

There’s a sense that those of us of a certain age (and we know who we are) aren’t capable of keeping up with technological changes. Well, as a proud representative of my peer group, I’m here to say those naysayers are all wrong.

I’ve built on that initial feeling of toilet exuberance by accomplishing so much more. I even learned, by patiently watching and listening, that the Intelligent Toilet flushes itself! And the lid opens and closes...on its own! And it does other things, which I probably shouldn’t write about in a newsletter that may be read by the Securities and Exchange Commission. (Okay, maybe I’ll mention just one thing, but I’ll use a car analogy to derail any examiners who might be reading along.)

Let’s say, for example, you were sitting in your car, and you wanted to wash your, er, back seat. Imagine if you were to press a button and your back seat was bathed in warm water. And imagine, if you will, that you could do the same to your front seat! Are you kidding me?

I will concede there are other controls on the panel, with little squiggly illustrations, that I have yet to master. Overall, however, I now have a high degree of confidence in my toilet technology abilities. I may not understand third-grade math, TikTok, or the simplest of video games, but if I can make inroads on mastering Intelligent Toileting, there’s hope for us all.

Here's to a great year in 2024!





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