There will be a day, somewhere in the future, where future archaeologists dig up the remnants of our society and try very hard to understand us. I suspect the most confusing thing they will find is the battery operated paper towel dispenser. The following is an excerpt from Future Earth paleontologists:
...and much in the same fashion that 20th century humans failed to understand that spending $300 in fossil fuels to drive a recycling truck in order to pick up $8 worth of raw recycled materials isn't really "conservation", they totally went off the deep end when it came to conserving paper. When archaeologists first unearthed what is now commonly referred to as the "hands free towel dispenser" they were absolutely and totally confused. Many, many theories arose as to the purpose and origins of this apparatus:
- It was theorized that primitive 20th century man did not have fully working elbows, which did not allow him to raise his arms more than 8 inches above his waist. Later skeletal discoveries have proven this theory unlikely.
- It has also been theorized that this primitive man had a very flawed idea on germ theory. It was believed that they were so terribly afraid of touching surfaces after washing up that they required automatic dispensers so as not to touch the towel dispenser as we do today. The very sad irony of this is that the combination of touch free dispensers and increased use of hand sanitizer left their immune system ripe for destruction during the age of the Purellic Plague.
- Another popular theory is that primitive man was just so absolutely lazy that he could not be bothered to turn on faucets or dispense paper towels. Archaeologists have searched for an automatic poo extraction device where these machines are found, under the theory that anyone too lazy to dispense paper towels is also too lazy to actually defecate.
- The most popular theory is that primitive man did not understand basic mathematical principles. The device was designed to "save paper" by only dispensing a worthless 6 inches of towel. Also required for this theory to be viable is that primitive man had extreme short term memory. It was assumed that if he could get a 6 inch towel to dispense that he would forget the mechanism he used to dispense it and walk away... rather than actuating the dispensing mechanism a second or third time.
- It is also generally understood that primitive man had regressed by the time they were using this odd machine. Archaeological digs show that the walls contained some sort of copper electronic wiring that would generally allow powering of lighting and machines. Yet man in this age was unable to understand that mechanism and defaulted to powering this worthless gizmo using 12 caustic acid-filled battery devices. It is estimated that the power to run this machine cost roughly 300 times more in power generation, natural resources and environmental damage than the paper it saved....