Toilet Seats: An Appreciation

Is any household appliance/tool/fixture less appreciated than the toilet seat? No one ever thinks good things about toilet seats. They’re like baseball umpires: not noticed unless they’re not doing their job right.

Except for the actual toilet—which we give fancy nicknames (Porcelain God, The Throne)—what item in our household is more disrespected on a consistent basis than the toilet seat?

Not only does it have to endure the most disgusting aspects of human life, we ask it to do so while making us comfortable and safe. What other purpose does a toilet seat have except to keep us from falling in? It’s the first responder of household gadgets.
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Lest you think that I’m wasting my time thinking and writing about toilet seats, picture this. Imagine you’re at an outdoor festival. You tried the world famous spicy nachos from the latest ultra-cool food truck thirty-five minutes ago. Your stomach’s rumbling. There’s a line ten people deep at the bathroom. After waiting your turn and then hustling inside in search of some relief, you open the door to the stall and see a toilet with no seat.

If you could buy just one thing at that moment, what would it be?

Now think about all the times you’ve used the bathroom at your house during the past year. How much of that would you have cared to do without a toilet seat?

Get it?

Since we now agree that toilet seats are worthy of our praise, and deserve at least a moment of appreciation, and a smidgen of respect, what else can we say about them?

First, what’s the deal with this up-and-down toilet seat battle?

“Why can’t men ever remember to put the toilet seat down?”

On the list of stereotypically female thoughts, that sentence is just below “I want some chocolate.”

All men lift the toilet seat before they pee, and then they forget to put it back down, and some poor woman goes into the bathroom, and either has to touch the disgusting thing to put it back down, or…or what? She doesn’t realize it’s up and falls into the toilet? What exactly are the consequences of a toilet seat left in the up position?

I don’t know. And the reason I don’t know is because I don’t lift the toilet seat. Apparently, that puts me in the minority.

But wait, don’t start yelling at me about being disrespectful, or ask me how I’d like it if I had to sit in a puddle of pee on the toilet seat.

I don’t put the seat up because I don’t pee on the seat. How bad is the average male’s aim that they can’t direct their pee twenty-two inches downward without making a mess? And really, how much more hole real estate are we gaining by lifting the seat? If a man can’t accurately aim a quarter-inch stream of liquid into a ten-inch opening, do you really think he’s going to do any better with a twelve-inch opening?

I bet not.

And frankly, the thought of anyone having to touch the toilet seat to put it up or down, either in public or at home, is just vile. Thankfully toilet paper takes away some of the eww factor, but still, it’s better for all involved if the only thing touching the toilet seat are cheeks.

Which brings me to my final point. Paper toilet seat covers are a human right. There should be a city department devoted solely to ensuring that any company that provides toilets for public use must also provide a plentiful supply of paper toilet seat covers.

Without them, we might as well not have public toilet seats at all. From what I hear most women have mastered the art of hovering over public toilets. And I know many men who don’t necessarily hover, but will instead use toilet paper to cover the seat. God forbid any square centimeter of that repugnant, petri dish-like surface with its thin crust of who-knows-what on top touch any part of me.

By the way, I think anyone who cleans a toilet should get some sort of reward. Remember Book-It? Pizza Hut would give a free personal pan pizza for kids who read a certain number of books. Why not having something like that for the saintly people who clean toilets?

Good idea, huh? Right on target.

Just like my aim!

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