It’s a Tuesday! Why the change? I’m living the joy of volunteer work, where the effort is the best reward (some might argue ‘only’). I am currently working as a humble crew member for a local production of Man of La Mancha. Now I’ve never seen Man of La Mancha before and the show/story/music is great. It’s much more ‘adult’ in nature than I would expected (see rape scene) so it’s also a bit of an eye opener.
Likewise, another ‘its so damn simple why didn’t I know this before’ TED Talk can be found here: http://www.ted.com/talks/joe_smith_how_to_use_a_paper_towel.html
Length: 4 minutes, 28 seconds
Well this is just damn embarrassing. Why didn’t I already know how to use a paper towel? Or to be more accurate, how did I NOT know how to properly dry my stupid useless twinkie fingered hands?
I’ll be honest, there are two things I do when I go to the bathroom. The first, I use the facilities! (see joyful exclamation mark included for emphasis)
Ok, there are THREE things I do when I go to the bathroom. The first part is nature’s call (if at work, this is also interchangeable with ‘play Tetris break’), the second part is I wash my hands and finally, I dry my hands.
Why I decided to distinctively break this down into three parts, I have no idea. It is more than likely due to the reason that similar to ‘Ready. Aim. Fire.’ you have to put the three in a particular order for it to work. Washing your hands, drying your hands and then using the facilities is cause for a health inspection. (I digress.)
Now I’m a man who prefer paper towels. It reduces waiting time to get the hell out and thereby minimizes the possibility of ‘washroom conversation’, or being the cause of delay for weird smiley guy and/or being stuck in the gas chamber of death. It’s a lot like using a public shower where you’re more vulnerable in nature. Don’t talk to me, don’t look at me, and for the love of god don’t smile at me.
Going to the bathroom? Hell no, it’s more like going to a funeral.
Obviously I have bathroom issues to sort out.
Now part of this routine is that I’ll grab a hundred paper towels and hastily slap them between my hands in some futile effort to get them dry. That’s right, I don’t stop at ONE paper towel, I pull out a screwdriver and hinge open the metal door and just take ALL of them. They’re mine, ALL THE PAPER TOWELS ARE MINE.
And then I will slam dunk them into the garbage container on the way out, leaving all behind me in wallowing water hands.
But I don’t need to be doing this? I could solve one of life’s mysteries (how to dry hands) just by adding a singular step to the process? This is devil’s magic! Witchcraft I say! Burn the pagans!
One Sentence Summary
“Shake the water off your hands. You idiot.”
Yes, this is two sentences (and the second is just a sentence fragment), but its so simple it had to be said. It’s on par with ‘take off sunglasses when walking through dark corridor’ and ‘open mouth FIRST before put food in’. It’s almost to the point that I considered this to be possible ‘lost Aztec knowledge’ that was culturally forgotten thanks to our so called superior ‘hand dryer technology’.
What caught me off guard
Joe Smith, who does a very good job by the way, teaches in a manner that is akin to a grand parent teaching a very small child. He uses a slightly uncomfortable interaction device (this side of the room shouts ‘Shake’ and the other side says ‘Fold’), followed by an example and multiple repetitions.
There’s nothing wrong with it, it adds to the presentation time, but if it worked for the first paper towel he held up, I seriously doubt anyone was going to stand up and shout ‘LIAR!’ during the third or fourth time he dried his hands.
If I had been giving the presentation, I can envision going a completely different route of grabbing the microphone and shouting into it at center stage.
“When you wash, shake your bloody hands twelve times and then use the folded towel.” and then I’d expertly hold the mic aside and drop it to the floor. (This might also be followed by shouting ‘Eugene has dropped the mic! PEACE!’)
Aw, who am I kidding. I would have added diagrams and somehow related it to chess, and once the audience was drenched in tears of boredom I would hand out paper towels for a mass demonstration.
I like the clever use of the word ‘Twelve’, in that it pertains to the highest one syllable number. (Note: I tried counting while using this technique earlier today, and found that I seem to favor Fifteen more)
None really, however I did come across a revelation. This revelation is that everything I know how to do is wrong and eventually there will be a TED talk to enlighten me. Joe Smith jokes that he will return with a ‘toilet paper’ lesson someday but we know it not to be true. You can’t shake that.
Er, not fast enough, I mean. You can shake that thing,
SHAKE. THAT. THING.
I’m going to go out on a limb here and assume this isn’t what was in mind, but hey it fits with this TED Talk. (No one saw that coming, not even me)
What can we do now?
Shake your hands, fold your paper towel. Dry your hands.
Now if only they can create a TED talk on how to shave beards properly, I can never get it right.
– Updated every Thursday
(Er.. Tuesdays.. until the show run is over)