free at last!

August 4, 2008

My kids used to be afraid of my mom’s toilets. Well, let’s face it, I used to be afraid of my mom’s toilets too.

My mom moved out here to Utah about 10 years ago, and when she was ordering fixtures for her house, she left no doubt about her requirements for the toilets: they must flush like they are jet powered, and leave no trace. She got her wish–they flush with a giant whoooooooshing sound, and I’m pretty sure you could put two 12 inch subway sandwiches in there, and they would “leave no trace.” It’s that giant whoooooooshing sound that unnerved my kids (and me). While the whoooooooshing sound makes you confident in the toilet’s disposal capability, you worry about clothes, personal items, limbs, that sort of thing.

My mom also installed a toilet SEAT that was cushioned. Squishy. Sofffft. Which is nice when you’re sitting on it, if a little unsettling.

But when you’re NOT sitting on it, you get a whole nother problem. That is, when you lift the seat and lid to do the standing up thing, the seat and lid, being a little thicker than your average seat and lid, wouldn’t stay up. The first time this happened, I walked in, lifted up the seat/lid combo, and began (intransitively). Slowly at first, then faster, the lid/seat combo also began, to fall back down into place. There’s this panic moment, after you “release the hounds” and then the lid/seat starts falling, where you think you can arrest forward motion, or maybe you think your “shut off valve” is stronger than it is. But in the end, you get a terrible mess.

The first few times I visited my mom and used the facilities I would have this dilemma–do I raise the lid/seat and awkwardly hold them up there with my knee and fire away, risking life, limb, and hard-to-explain stains on my pants? Or do I leave the seat down, raise the lid, and violate the prime directive and do my best to thread the needle? (And NO, just plain sitting was NOT an option–I am a MAN damnit, we don’t sit unless we NEED to sit!) Eventually I settled on threading the needle, and doing some clean up dabbing when my concentration wavered.

I was there yesterday, and when my diet coke had settled, I wandered into the bathroom, expecting the usual monkey business. But lo and behold! A new plain vanilla seat/lid combo that, when you lifted it, stayed lifted! My brother Steve had thrown out old unreliable, and installed my salvation. Cue Beethoven’s Ninth!

Free at last, thank God Almighty, I’m free at last!

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18 Responses to “free at last!”

  1. andy Says:

    are you telling me that you’re so well-endowed that it takes two hands to position your…well, you know…in such a way that you don’t sprinkle when you tinkle?

    you haven’t mastered using two hands to get your wedding tackle in the correct position before transitioning to using only one hand to maintain that position whilst holding up the seat with the other one?

  2. dug Says:

    andy, no, i’m not saying that. although, i admit to being a bit of a spazz.

  3. KanyonKris Says:

    My imagining of dug’s reactions:

    Getting married: this is nice

    Birth of child: cool

    Good mountain bike ride: sweet!

    New, properly functioning toilet seat: WOOHOO!!!!

    Am I close?

  4. KanyonKris Says:

    What is the deal with the male aversion to sitting to go #1. Just how is this unmanly? Because we CAN pee standing, we MUST ALWAYS pee standing? Even if it makes a mess? Even when there’s a seat right there? You’d rather wipe up pee than sit?

    Urinals I can understand – they were designed for standing urination. But for toilets stand-up peeing is an afterthought. It just doesn’t work well. So why not sit down and relax. How else will I be able to eat the 3rd 12″ Subway sandwich?

  5. dug Says:

    kk, sitting down to pee is like road biking with a triple.

  6. Uncadan8 Says:

    “kk, sitting down to pee is like road biking with a triple.”

    People do that?!?! ride a triple?

  7. KanyonKris Says:

    I’m feeling the love – thanks guys.

  8. Rick S. Says:

    Dug, I’d like to try flushing a 12″ Subway down that thing. Can I meet you there after work one day?

    KK- you’ve taken enough of a beating. Maybe take a midol and go have a sit.

  9. steve Says:

    Dug, you’re welcome. After years of mom (and Leslie, our sister) saying the toilet stays no matter what the point became moot with the hinges breaking. I immediately offered to get an appropriate, and self standing, toilet seat. She unfortunately did not agree to the toilet/bidet combo. That would have been sweet and kept my kids (5 girls) out of my bathroom downstairs. Oh well. Though I still can’t understand the inability to point and shoot without much collateral damage. Maybe you should sit down for your wee wee sessions.

  10. KanyonKris Says:

    Which is less manly: sitting to pee or shaving your legs? At least peeing is in private, but shaved legs are out there for the whole world to see.

    Perhaps unbiased (non-cyclist) men should be polled on this critical issue. You know what my money’s on.

    Rick, you could capitalize on this. You’re doing cycling clothing. How about some high heeled cycling shoes? Or fishnet stockings to really show off those pretty legs? You’re products could be the bridge between cycling and the true shaved leg destination: transvestism. {evil grin}

  11. Flahute Says:

    Re: sitting to pee …

    If it’s good enough for Bart Gillespie, then it’s good enough for me.

  12. steve Says:

    Being probably the only non-cyclist who has commented I still go with the never sitting to pee unless comatose and the same goes with the shaving of (my) legs. World class swimmers should be exempt unless they wear those cute body suits.

  13. Eric Says:

    Old way = get up in the middle of the night to pee, turn on the bathroom light to ensure proper aim (as best I could because my eyes were squinting so much from the blinding light), do it, finish up and turn out the light as I headed out of the bathroom. Then it took forever to get back to the bed since I could now not see anything in the dark and I had to slowly slide my feet and feel for things so I wouldn’t stub a toe or walk into a wall. New way = I go in, sit down in the dark, do it in the dark, finish up and walk back to bed in the dark. I’m asleep again about 1 second after my head hits the pillow. Unacceptable doing it sitting during normal awake hours, however.

  14. VA Biker Says:

    Standing to pee is fine, but based on splatter patterns I’ve seen at my workplace, the success rate is not all too great. Lifting the seat, even with the front cut-out in a “seat only” configuration, should be a requirement. That said, I’ve had to do the knee against the underside of the seat deal when the padded seat is installed. That blows.

    My issue with threading the needle, then wiping the seat is leaving pee residue on the seat for the next poor slob to potentially sit on. It’s just rude, right? Do you want to sit on someone else’s pee. I don’t.

    I’m totally with Eric on the middle of the night pee, making this the only exception to “the standing only” rule.

  15. KanyonKris Says:

    I re-read my last comment and I’m concerned it could be taken the wrong way. I’m just having fun batting these issues around and teasing a bit. No insult intended. I’ve been amused by the witty comebacks directed at me – good ones all.

    Personally I don’t care if cyclists shave their legs. It seems odd to me and I won’t do it, but I guess it’s a part of cycling for some so ride on.

    dug, you have me wondering: You appreciate the civility of the bidet, yet you are OK with the admitted hazards of standing to pee into a toilet? Just seems contradictory. That’s OK, I have my own schizophrenic topics. I’m just curious if you see this as a contradiction or not?

  16. mocougfan Says:

    dug, KK, Rick, et all….

    Your killing me. Tho I must admit to agreeing with standing up. We are men for a reason.

    btw… what the heck does “intransitively” mean?

    Seriously love reading the blog and commentary.

  17. Bander Says:

    Eric, your theories on middle of the night peeing clearly have merit. However, I find that many of my nighttime pee runs involve what many may call, um, morning wood. I find that sitting to pee is incompatible with this condition. Do you have any workarounds for this situation?

    Dug, I’m with you on the padded seats. Whoever invented those ought to be shot. Toilet seats should stay up when they are put up, and be easy to sanitize

  18. Anonymous Says:

    Middle-of-the-night urinations are best done outside, off the front or back porch.


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