Washing Away the Generation Gap

, , , , | Right | January 3, 2019

I’m in a theater’s restroom, about to wash my hands. A movie has just ended, so the restroom is packed and loud with guys talking, water running, toilets flushing, paper towel dispensers whirring, and hand dryers going off. It’s almost chaos with how busy it is.

There’s a man, probably in his seventies, two sinks to my right. He already has soap in his hands as he side-steps to the sink next to me.

I start washing my hands, and I see the gentleman stick his hands under the water nozzle, but nothing happens. I notice he looks at the sink I’m using, and seems frustrated also seeing the sink to the right — the one he just walked away from — now working.

He shoves his hands under the water nozzle once more, but the water still won’t come out.

I wait a few beats for him to figure it out, as I don’t want to make him feel foolish.

Then, without a word, I reach my hand over and turn the large handle for the water on.

The man immediately guffaws and, blushing furiously, says, “I can’t believe it! I’m so used to those automatic sinks!”

We both have a good laugh, especially when he points out that he’ll use the paper towels instead of automatic hand dryers!

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