Diary of an Urban Bogman, Day 16. The Toilet Seat Dilemma

“Are you the kind of person to leave the seat up or down?”

Again I have no idea of the angle this person is coming from. Could this be a politically loaded question? What sort of seat are they talking about? Am I about to get embroiled in something far beyond my means of comprehension?

“Errrr… What do you mean?”

“The toilet seat,” she continues, “Do you leave it up or down after you’re finished? It’s an important matter in our struggle for a fairer society, you see. Men tend to leave it up, and we find that this is terribly unfair and inconsiderate overall, because…”

“I usually put the entire lid down” I interrupt.

“Oh… Okay. That’s interesting. Why?”
“Well, feng shui says that it’s not good to have the negative energy of waste influence and intermingle with the positive energy of, you know, the life around it. Besides, there’s a sixty millimetre splash radius as well to consider. I’ve always struggled with that whole seat-up-or-down argument, cause it seems to favour pointless bickering over a pragmatic solution.”

She seems intrigued, so I continue. “As if people don’t actually care about the issue, but just use it to perpetuate their bias. If the seat and the lid are both left down, everyone has to put in some work, but the overall benefits are evident. In a way, this can be seen as a metaphor for the entire world. It’s like a toilet.”

“What?? What do you mean—like a toilet?”

“Well, every time you’re in the toilet, doing a number one or two or whatever… Every time you are doing things you’d rather not be doing, but you have to do them, because it’s all part of life. Surely, you’d rather be eating cake than crapping it out, am I right?”

Here, I get a slight nod.

“And every time, you are supposed to consider the fact that, after you, someone else is going to have to come and use the toilet also. So, the world is like a toilet… Because somebody is going to use it after you, so please leave it as best you can. I think we’d all be better off if everyone adopted this philosophy.”