Have you seen those 'Blue Tooth' telephones that control all the electronics in your house? You can turn on your cooker before you leave work so dinner is ready just as you get home. Washing machine on/off. If you have the camera for it you can also see your cats tearing up the curtains and knocking your Ming vase over.
My german friend had a large part in developing that stuff. In fact the Company fitted out her kitchen so that she could test it at home, Germans like testing things. This would be back in about 2003 I think.
She'd also been working on the self-parking car (among other things). So, if you're ever in Regensburg and you see a BMW 3 Series with nobody in it reversing towards you at about 40mph get out of the way. They still can't get it to reliably recognise the pavement. It'll park so close to the wall you couldn't get a sheet of paper in there.
So, we'd had to drop into her main office building one morning and decided to stay for lunch in the Company canteen. Not a hazardous mission you might think. That's because you wouldn't know about the japanese electronic toilets they were attempting to upgrade. And, as I've said.......... the germans like to test things. That's why they'd been fitted adjacent to the canteen.
Having tried it I now know why the japanese economy is in such a mess, all their top people and scientists are stuck in their bathrooms, unable to wipe their bottoms.
First of all the seat is warmed - and there is no way for the round-eye to know this, which means I had to sit there imagining the heat had come from the CEO who’d been the last person to use the motorway service-station sized cubicle. This is unnerving. Soon I became convinced that it was possible to catch encephalitis from the latent heat of a CEO’s bottom.
Wanting to get out of there as quickly as possible, I turned and discovered to my horror that the loo roll had been replaced with what can only be described as the Starship Enterprise’s dashboard. And it was all in Japanese.
The first button I pushed, with a trembly finger, made the seat get even warmer. Realising that unless I acted quickly I’d be cooked, I stabbed at another button - which made a gout of liquid nitrogen shoot up my bottom. So hurriedly, and in great pain, I turned a hopeful-looking knob that simply redirected the fountain into my scrotum.
In a state of some distress I pushed a slider control all the way down and immediately got a pretty good idea of what it might be like accidentally to impale yourself on the fuel rod from a nuclear power station. I was now in real trouble.
And I didn’t understand why. Who would want to steam-clean their nether regions? Who wants a lavatory seat that can reach the same temperature as a barbecue? And, conversely, who gets up in the morning and thinks: "I know, I’ll stop off at the Company toilets this morning and deep-freeze my testicles"?
Which brings me on to the next question. Why is it necessary to have directional control for the fountain of fire and ice? I can understand why a lady might need - and even enjoy - such a feature. But for chaps it’s jolly painful.
And then there’s the problem with the flush. The first button I pressed filled the cubicle with karaoke tunes. The second started the tap in the corner. It wasn’t till I got to the sub-menu in the eighth quadrant that I was treated to the sound of water being sucked away.
Unfortunately it was just the recording of a flush being played through the WC’s speaker system. Am I missing something here? I can think of no reason anyone might want to convince people in neighbouring cubicles that they are flushing the bog when in fact they are not. And why would you want to play this sound at a volume that could kill bats? Because, trust me, you can.
Finally I leant over the unit to see if there was a conventional handle, and somehow while doing this I made a jet of water squirt into my crotch. Which meant I eventually emerged from the cubicle looking as though I hadn’t bothered to lower my trousers. Everyone in the restaurant smiled at my misfortune.
Apparently I'd got off rather lightly though. My german friend told me that some poor chappie had been hospitalised the previous week. Apparently he'd been zapped when he tried to dry his bottom using the toilets built in hot air blower. Some water leaked into the fan motor from the sprayer and electocuted his 'bits'.
You'll be relieved to note that I haven't added my customary video to this blog.......:)