The Un-Friendly Bathrooms

My kids love Friendly’s Restaurants.  From a kid’s perspective, what’s not to love about a place where dessert is all but guaranteed with your meal? When given a choice, as a reward for a special honor, Friendly’s always tops their list.  That is, until recently.


Our local Friendly’s has gone green and installed an Xlerator hand dryer. If you haven’t experienced one of these babies, put on your ear plugs and prepare for lift off! Basically, you wash your hands with soap and warm water and then put them under a fire hose of air.


Fish isn’t so keen on public bathrooms to begin with but because of her pea sized bladder, she tolerates them.  Add an automatic toilet or one of these wall mounted leaf blowers to the mix and the experience becomes down right intolerable. Mim has only been potty trained for the last 9 months or so, and in that time, we have visited just about every public bathroom in our home town and the surrounding villages.  He’s not really picky, but even he balked at the Xlerator.


I get the point.  Paper towels are costly and they are not green. I hate conventional hand dryers because they take so long to dry your hands. And let’s not even talk about the water on the door handle left by those too impatient to rub their hands together.  The Xlerator eliminates those problems.  Place your hands underneath that puppy and WHOOOSH, water begone (along with any loose finger nails or jewelry).  It is quick but HOLY ROCKETSHIPS BATMAN IS IT LOUD!


Memo to Exel, (the manufacturer of the Xlerator), hand dryers are typically installed in bathrooms, places with lots of hard surfaces and the acoustics of . . . well, a bathroom.  The sound of these suckers reverberates off ever piece of tile and porcelain until the cacophony is almost unbearable, especially to little ears.


At least in the newer models, the proximity sensor that triggers the blast of air is on the bottom instead of the front.  Once in an airport, I almost suffered from premature urination (e.g. I almost peed mah pants) when, with a full bladder,  I mistakenly walked too close to one and it let forth its holy wrath of air.


Seriously as an adult, I can suck it up for the 15-30 seconds it takes to dry my hands with one of these blowhards, but I really don’t think they are appropriate for a restaurant where the majority of the guests are under 4 feet tall.


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