Posted by: wrmcnutt | April 29, 2009

I’ve Been To George Jetson’s Bathroom

I want my flying car, dammit.

Everybody who falls into the category of Baby Boomer is familiar with the offerings of Hanna-Barbera during the period.  Key pieces were “Scooby Doo,” “The Flintstones,” and, of course “The Jetsons.” the “Jetsons was an animated sitcom set in the far future, in a world where all human activity happened in buildings so far above the earth that the ground was never seen, but merely alluded to by long colums that extend off screen.  All things happened in an artificial, automated environment.  Any plants were seen in pots. The Jetsons, father: George, mother: Jane, daughter: Judy, son: Elroy, pet dog, Astro, were a classic mid-century sitcom family.  Two early middle-aged parents with a teen daughter and pre-pubescent boy, plus pet.  George’s environment was almost entirely automated.  His job was occasionally described as literal button pushing.  It was a grueling three-hour shift, three days a week, as typically described.  Often, though, he was portrayed as working late.

All of George Jetson’s life was automated.  Dishes washed themselves.  Floors were self vacuuming. Every small task of life was done by either free-standing robots or robot arms mounted on the wall extended to execute tasks.

So I’m at lunch a block from the office.  There’s a diner there called “Petes.”  I stepped into the gents room and seated myself.  And the toilet flushed.  Business finished, I rose, and it flushed again.  I stepped up to the sink, and the paper towel dispenser spat out a paper towel.  I stuck my hand up under the soap dispenser, and it gave me some soap.  When I put my hands under the faucet, it automatically dispensed water.  I got all of my business done without actually touching anything in the room with my hands.  It’s not quite the same as having robotic arms brush my teeth for me, but I think we’re getting pretty close to the George Jetson experience in many ways.

But I still want my flying car.

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  1. I DESPISE the auto flushing toilets.

    they splash.

    when I’m not yet ready to leave.

    ’nuff said.

    If that’s the future, I don’t want it.

  2. Actually they almost alwasy scare me as they sound really weird – often starting with a strange whistling squealy sound.

  3. they are great for my fitness levels at work though. I will WILLINGLY walk up three flights of stairs to get to a floor that doesn’t harbor self-flushing-maniacal-toilets.

  4. I don’t have nearly the toilet concerns you ladies do. But then, I’ll bet it’s rare you find an unflushed toilet in a ladies room. In men’s rooms, they’re all too common. And I’m just as glad to not have to deal with them.

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