I have never once in my entire life been asked nicely to leave the toilet seat in some specific position.

It seems as if it is some sort of rule that women cannot simply request this of someone, they have to break into a song-like rant, spitting obscenities and shaking their finger at you. I by no means wish to clump ALL women into this group. I am not leaving out the possibility that only women I associate with have this problem. So basically, when I refer to "women" in this little rant, take it with a grain of salt. You know who you are… those women…

Recently, while watching "Bill Cosby Himself" with my girlfriend, I noted that during a joke he was doing, he said something about leaving the toilet lid down as being a bad thing. My girlfriend explained, while glaring at me, that leaving the lid and the seat down is just as bad if not worse than leaving both of them up. This is apparently due to the fact that when one has to pee, they plop down on the lid, cannot tell that it is down and begin to pee on the lid.

I have been told the exact same reason for all of this from every girl who has screamed at me for it and it has got to be one of the stupidest admissions that I have ever heard in my entire life.

"We don’t always look before we sit down, and sometimes at night we don’t even turn on the light."

This is a deficiency. This admission, made almost with pride, says two things to me:

  1. I make unwarranted assumptions.
  2. I am militantly unaware of my environment.

So as a male, apparently I am expected to make up for this deficiency by making sure that the lid is always left in the correct position. In the interest of not falling into the toilet and/or urinating on myself, I always make sure to look before I sit down. I find the concept of "not looking" interesting. How exactly does one not see the condition of the toilet before sitting on it? The only solutions I have been able to come up with on my own (since females seem uninterested or unable to tell me) are these:

  1. Women enter the bathroom with their eyes closed or while staring at the ceiling.
  2. Women open the bathroom door and then proceed to back into the bathroom using their rear-end to locate the toilet.
  3. Women only do bathroom business after daylight hours and are incapable of and/or unwilling to operate a light switch.
  4. All women are very cleverly hiding the fact that they are born blind.
  5. Toilets/toilet seats are diabolically engineered to be completely invisible to women.

One time, when I was about seven, my skinny little ass fell into the toilet because I had left the toilet seat and lid up. Having no girth to speak of I fell right in and dipped my bare hiney in the cold (yet thankfully clean) toilet water. This was not only embarrassing but uncomfortable as well. Since that day, I have never fallen into or even come close to falling into the toilet. Might I also remind everyone that men sit down, too. Personally in the comfort of my own home (where the toilet seat is relatively clean), I rather prefer sitting down due to the fact that it is plainly less taxing and requires no aiming or standing (not that aiming and standing are all that big a task, I am just lazy).

This rant isn’t due to the fact that I am unwilling to help women with this admitted deficiency. Rather, I find it infuriating that because women are seemingly unable to check to make sure that the toilet seat is down, they take this anger out on me. It becomes my deficiency, I am less of a person because I cannot remember to put the seat down/lid up. I can understand the embarrassment of urinating on one's self and/or falling into a toilet, but getting angry with someone else because you did something foolish is rather immature. In some Asiatic/Middle-eastern countries, they have unisex restrooms where they squat over holes in the ground and "wipe" by splashing water on themselves. I propose a compromise: you may keep complaining and we men shall suffer it for about 10 minutes before taking a hack saw and simply removing the source of debate. Problem solved, you must now "hover."

I agree that people whining at you are just being mean, but I have to say, having the toilet seat up is a real piss-off for me.

Rational reasons:

  1. Of the 4 possible (well, frequent), er... transactions that can occur involving a toilet, only one requires the seat to be up. Unless you're in a male-dominated house full of people who drink a lot of water, chances are the next person will want the seat down.
  2. Having the seat down, or better yet, the whole lid down, will prevent the beautiful aroma of excrement (or at best, stagnant cleaning fluid) that toilets can produce from spreading.
  3. It looks nicer, especially for guests. The underside of the seat tends to get cleaned less, and the rim of the toilet is often the most susceptible to staining. Much as I love to think about mysterious toilet stains while I'm washing my hands before dinner, thanks but I'll pass.

Irrational reasons:

  1. Most girls have been brought up to believe that it's just plain impolite to leave the seat up, just like leaving yer elbows on the table or chewing with your mouth open is rude. Why? Who knows. Humour us, pretty please, and we'll try not to menstruate on you.
  2. Hey, if you've lived alone or only with women for years, you're sleepy, and the lid is up, you too might not think to check to see if the seat is down. Pathetic, yes very, but probable now and then.

I propose a solution.

  • The toilet seat is screwed down, with the cover permanently affixed up.
  • All guys piss in the shower. The more stuff they hit, the better.
  • The toilet is used by the female gender for everything, and the male gender for defecation.
  • Anyone wishing to worship the porcelain prince, must do so with the seat down. They need just flush it. Don't worry about cleaning up any mess you make.
  • Anyone who wishes to pee standing up at this toilet, must learn to not hit anything but water. Period.

Now, I realize those screws could be driven all the way down and covered as to make it comfortable. However you must leave a few millimeters of the head out, just to bother anyone who sits on it.

I live in a small apartment. Therefore, according to the rules of feng shui and good sense, the LID to the toilet must be left down when not in use. Not just the seat, the lid. This isolates any unpleasantness, and makes everyone equal in that we all have to lift the lid each time.

The other rule is this: You live by the rules of the house you're in. If the owner of the house says seat down, or no food in the living room, or lights out at 11, then so it is. ...I have never seen a woman rant and rave on this issue (though I don't doubt MoJoe's word) but I have seen men whine and argue incessantly over such a tiny non-issue, and I think anyone of either gender who goes ON about it without a reasonable compromise should be made to LIVE in the toilet.

Ha ha ha HA! Silly Americans (& other Non-Germans)! You think you have it hard with your tiny, little up-or-down quibbles.

If you think the issue is putting down the seat, try living here for a year, my friends. Just try. Would you like to know what you'll run into?

Vehement (and I mean vehement, HUGE) Anti-Pissing-While-Standing Sentiments. There is an entire movement in Germany against men peeing while standing up. Now, I've heard this type of thing before. My grandmother, for example, wanted my grandfather to sit while he pissed so that he would keep the toilet seat clean. OK. Did she harass him? No. Did she force him? No!

BUT in GERMANY, Gentlemen, it is something altogether different.

I first started to notice this all one day while peeing at my girlfriend's house. She asked me if I had stood up. I just laughed. Figuring, "hey, she's a feminist - maybe it's some obtuse joke that I'm missing because of the language." Because high and wide, I, too, am a feminist. So, time went by, she mentioned it again. Uh. Then again. The jokes were decidedly not funny. Finally, she told me that she had gotten her last boyfriend to sit while peeing (after several years, but nevertheless... poor guy). I told her I would think about it (we broke up within three months).

So, I thought, maybe she was just a little quirky about the whole bit. Wrong.

I babysat for a single mother friend. She had just moved in with three of our mutual male friends. Anyway, I watched the kid, watched TV, waited. When she got home, all was good, "thanks," "no problem," I left.

Days later I heard, she had yelled at the three guys (remember this was their place, she had just moved in) for over THIRTY minutes about who had left the toilet seat up. Since that, of course, was a sign for standing while peeing. No one thought of me until later and then all was quietly forgotten. But, had I been there, dear reader, who knows if I would be alive to day to tell the tale.

But, it goes even farther. There are stickers, post cards, signs, email messages, buttons, probably even books and newspapers about it ("Mr. Johnson in 3A this morning was caught peeing while standing. News at 11"). It's absurd. And violent. And effective.

The men here comply for the most part. And, you know, I too probably would have no problem with peeing sitting down, but when you find yourself in such a completely hostile environment, you really just have to rebel.

So, my compatriots, a warning to you all: if you come to Germany, don't just put the seat back down...


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