Paper Towel Machine Reluctant To Dispense Third Towel

Open the pod bay doors, Hal. PHOTO: Brett Jordan, Flickr

NORTHSIDE HOSPITAL–TOWL 9000, A sentient paper towel dispensing machine which recently dispensed two towels in quick succession, was reluctant to dispense a third last week in a bathroom on the tenth floor of Northside Hospital’s North Tower.

“I just wanted to completely dry my hands after washing them,” revealed Dom J. Ghison, bathroom user. “I wasn’t expecting a battle of wills with an object.”

The towel machine, known as TOWL 9000, or Towel Output Wave Limiter, came on line at the TOWL plant in Urbana, Illinois in 2007, and is among the first generation of dispensing machines with true self awareness.

Dr Harold Palms, PhD, spokesman for the TOWL engineering team responsible for the machine, spoke with Atlanta Banana reporters via phone.

“The 9000 unit is quite amazing,” he stated. “Our preliminary research showed that nearly half of all bathroom users wash their hands. This led to a significant paper products expenditure for the businesses who provide the bathrooms. TOWL decreases this fiscal exposure by becoming increasingly angry with each dispensed towel.”

Dr. Palms warned that if someone were to find a way to override the TOWL 9000 dispensation limiter, causing the machine to dispense four or five towels in rapid succession, the machine would become angry enough to detonate its core power unit. This could spark a chain reaction, converting every atom in the machine directly to energy, which would be an explosion many hundreds of times more powerful than the bombs dropped over Hiroshima and Nagasaki at the end of World War II.

“But that’s not very likely,” chuckled Palms. “Why, you weren’t tinkering with it, were you?”