Sunday, January 08, 2006

People cry, people moan. Looking for a dry place to call their home.

Ladies, there is nothing in this post that concerns you, and a great deal that will disgust you. Please skip to either the previous or following post, depending on your standard browsing style.

Gentlemen, I have a boon to ask of you: any time you use a toilet in a public restroom, please leave the seat up before you exit.

Why, you ask? Because such seats are often filthy. The root cause of the problem is individuals with an overconfident estimation of their aiming ability. Rather than simply wait to use a urinal, they will barge into a stall, do their thing in 3 seconds, and then rush back out. If considerate they will stop to flush, but this does nothing to alleviate the surface mess they have left behind.

I don't want to go into too many details, but you've all seen this before and know what a pain it is. If you have some more serious business with the toilet, you have a handful of options, none of them particularly promising. In my recent month of flying all over the country and spending hours in airports, I had one too many experiences of playing janitor, and then hoping against hope that the flimsy seat of tissue I had sandwiched would provide protection against any germs that remained.

The best solution would be for people to (a) stop doing this, or (b) at least clean up their own mess. But I get the feeling I'm preaching to the choir, and those individuals who are at fault here are not likely to change their ways. So I hope that my proposal will limit the damage they do. If the seat is already up, anyone who is in a hurry will be happy to go for the larger target. Who knows, the extra space may even allow them to get it all in the bowl. Even if it doesn't, though, the mistakes are going on a surface that nobody will ever sit on. The only time the seat is lowered is when someone is ready for a more long-term relationship with the toilet, which virtually never results in an exterior mess, and as long as they raise the seat after they flush, the next visitor will face the same tableau they did.

I fear that decades of nagging regarding the proper position of toilet seats has blinded us to the folly of current bathroom practices. Yes, when you are sharing a house with a family member or spouse who happens to be female, by all means, lower the seat and keep them from falling in. But we're all men in the men's room, and no man in the history of the universe has neglected to check the seat before sitting down. There's no downside to leaving it up, and we'll be saving our arses.


  1. am I a lady?

  2. Of course you are, dear. This is the sort of situation where you're supposed to sniff, say "Men!" (or, if you prefer, "Boys!"), and stalk out of the room.