Robots are always blamed for wiping out jobs long performed by humans and here’s a perfect example — the Charmin RollBot.
The cute little robot with a bear face will deliver an emergency roll of toilet paper when summoned by smartphone. Of course, it’s assumed that the person in need of rescuing has his phone nearby.
RollBot isn’t on the market yet, but it charmed crowds at the recent 2020 Consumer Technology Association conference. I’m guessing that most folks can relate to being trapped on the throne in a paperless situation.
And I’ll proclaim right here that I’ll be happy to lose my job as toilet-paper fetcher to the first RollBot who wants it.
I’m basing my claim on anecdotal evidence only, but women have long been the primary and unheralded rescuers who toss out these paper lifelines to stranded family members and even complete strangers in public restrooms.
All it takes is one desperate plea from a privy occupant to send a woman on this urgent mission faster than RollBot can map his route out of the pantry and down the hallway.
I responded to just such a plea recently coming from one of the women’s stalls at a large restaurant.
“Darn it! There’s not one scrap of toilet paper in here. Anybody out there who can help?”
Two of us sprang into action and unfurled enough paper from our own stalls to T.P. every car on the parking lot. We shoved it in billowing waves under the partition.
“And I’ve got a bunch of tissues in my purse if you need more,” volunteered another helpful woman.
Likewise, a woman is the primary toilet-paper rescuer in her own home. At any hour or from any location in the house, a mother can hear and will respond to that whiny plea:
“Mom, can you get me some toilet paper?”
RollBot may not be any more efficient at coming to the rescue, but the little high-tech helper has one advantage over humans.
RollBot doesn’t make any snarky comments that some women have been known to utter, such as, “Next time, could you please plan ahead, instead of planning behind?”
Marti Attoun’s “Booth 186: My Secondhand Career in Vintage Corsets, Moose Heads and Other Moth-Eaten Antiques” is available as an e-book on Amazon.