Saturday, December 31, 2005

The Toilet Seat Debate Settled

The Science Creative Quarterly, never one to disappoint, has a mathematical treatment of the great toilet seat debate. If you live with a member of the opposite sex and share a single bathroom, a derivation is given to determine who should put the toilet seat up/down and when. It concludes by suggesting:
"In the morning John leaves the seat up after performing #1. In the evening he puts it down.

"This rule may not be precise but it is simple and approximately equitable; moreover the use of a definite rule sets expectations. The seat is put down in the evening to avoid the notorious 'middle of the night surprise'."

This, of course, assumes that middle of the night surprise consists of "her falling in". While this is an obvious concern, the middle of the night mistake is not to be ignored, wherein he forgets that the toilet seat is down and attempts to perform #1. I caution anyone who attempts to apply this model to their home restroom use that us men are notorious for our poor aim, and it is highly advisable to give us a larger target at which to shoot.


At 6:45 PM, Blogger another orphan said...

This dispute is irrelevant to those of us with cabinets over the john. If you respect gravity, you always leave the lid down.

At 9:04 PM, Blogger RPM said...

Whether the "lid" is up or down is different from whether the "seat" is up or down (see Remark 1 below). The burdon of work is equal for both males and females if the lid is put down following each use. Differential labor is only required when the lid is left up at all times.

Remark 1: The toilet has an additional attachment called the toilet seat lid which can only be down if the toilet seat is down. When the lid is down the toilet is (or should be) non-functional for toilet operations. Some persons maintain the toilet seat lid in the down position when the toilet is not use. For these persons the analysis in this note is moot. Such persons pay a fixed cost in seat movement for all toilet operations.


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