Friday, July 21, 2006

Up or Down

(Editor's Note: The following essay was written well before I met the Crazy Like Me Correspondent. None of the events described have transpired on her watch. )

I will confess, I leave the toilet seat up as often as not, but I live alone. I am aware the seat may be up or down any time I use the facility and over the years I have developed a simple plan for checking whether I should change the position before beginning my task.

I look at it.

For a gender who delights in reminding us what sloth-like troglodytes we are, that simple action, accomplished billions of times a day by men the world over, seems to be too much effort for women. “But if you leave the seat down, you'll always know it’s down,” they say. Big deal. If you leave it up all the time, you'll always know it’s up.

Then the argument shifts to, “You have no idea what it’s like to have to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night and fall into the toilet because the seat is up. That’s why it should stay down.” Personally, that’s why I would look carefully before flopping my behind down, but we've already discussed that. Here’s something they never mention: we'll fall into the toilet, too, if the seat’s up. That’s why we look first.

As bad as dropping into the toilet may be, it has nothing on its reciprocal occurrence in a man’s life. Picture this. A man has awakened in the middle of the night to answer nature’s call. Half asleep, he staggers into the bathroom and, doing what a woman asserts is her God-given right, fails to check the seat location before draining that night’s consumption of malt beverage. He finishes, flushes, then returns to his blissful sleep.

A few minutes later his bride follows him. She goes into the bathroom, exerts her right not to have to check the seat, and the entire neighborhood is shattered by her resulting scream.


He leaps out of bed and runs to defend his one true love from whatever has frightened her, be it burglar, mouse, spider, or O.J. Simpson with a chain saw. As he reaches the bathroom he sees her, tears of rage on her cheeks and a look of hatred on her face.

“You bastard!! You peed on the seat!!”

Harry can only console himself with the knowledge that it was a good, relaxing purging, as that’s the only exercise the Big Guy is going to get for about three months.

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