Friday, April 10, 2009

A Dry Read

I don't know if any of you are the type of people who will deliberately disobey instructions because you think you know better. Sometimes, I am.

You know those hand dryers in public restrooms? If you, like me, like to study the diagrams, phrases (English, Spanish, and French), and logos on all the dispensers, disposals, and whatnot as you (eh hem) go about your business, you may have noticed that the hand dryers usually include usage instructions. Sometimes the instructions are only listed, but if you're lucky, they're illustrated as well. Or sometimes only illustrated. Always, they will tell you to press the button then rub your hands under the warm air that dispenses. The rubbing your hands part is the part I used to ignore. I thought, I'd rather hold my hands still and separate, thus allowing maximum space around both hands for which the air to blow. Please tell me someone else has had similar thoughts. Um, anyone?

However, using my method, I always had to push the button at least twice to get my hands completely dry, and sometimes still found myself wiping them on my jeans afterward just to be sure. Not only is it kind of a waste of time but nobody wants to touch something public with a wet finger more times than he needs to.

The other day, I made a discovery: to get your hands dryer (drier?) faster, just FOLLOW THE DIRECTIONS. I found myself rubbing my hands together just like I'd so stubbornly refused to do for so long. I dunno, maybe I was in a hurry or something. The air let up and I was about to press the button a second time when I realized my hands were completely dry. To my completely unscientific mind it doesn't make any sense at all but rubbing wet hand against wet hand actually speeds up the drying process. I've tried it every time since then and it's worked great.

Following instructions. What a novel idea.