What is the most ineffective and pointless device known to man?
No, it’s not the electric toothbrush, the Kindle, or even the smart car.
It’s not even the completely ignored red pedestrian light at Central Avenue and Bridge Place.
It is of course that scourge of any sane, right-thinking human, the electric hand dryer.
I was forced to use a public toilet recently and had the misfortune of having to contend with one.
Thankfully the aforementioned conveniences weren’t in Worksop - they’ve all been closed down here for being too romantic...
Still, it was an all-round unpleasant experience nonetheless.
The foul smell hit me 100 yards from the entrance - as if someone had died within.
While the floor was an inch deep in a liquid I truly hoped was water.
But all this unpleasantness paled into insignificance compared with the annoyance of being confronted with one of these truly useless machines.
As has become traditional, the first one I tried didn’t work but the second eventually sparked into some sort of life.
Using one is a bit like being breathed on by an asthmatic.
A limp drawl of lukewarm air which is somehow expected to dry your hands as effectively as a towel.
What was wrong with paper hand towels? Or even a traditional towel? They did the job perfectly well.
It’s yet another example of technology for technology’s sake. Shouldn’t the boffins who designed them be working on something more worthwhile for the future of humanity?
Anyway, after about 10 minutes of Mr Asthma wheezing on me my hands were no closer to being dry and I left wringing them in anger and bafflement.