a thought experiment

August 11, 2010

Let’s do a thought experiment. Thought experiments are fun.

Okay, I may be stretching the definition of “fun” here.

Anyway, this thought experiment may not be on par with Schrodinger’s Cat, but let’s get real—how many of us have a sealed box, some radioactive material, and a cat?

I’ve never even owned a cat.

So this is the thought experiment. Given the following two scenarios:

toilet pic big stall

[Notice, it’s the big stall, with all the space, the toilet is higher, you don’t brush your arms against the stall walls, the plunger is “handier,” and all that. But. But the giant cheese wheel toilet paper dispenser is empty, and the replacement roll (as big as a roll of hay on a farm) is just sitting on the hand rail. That is, you’ll have to wrestle a toilet paper roll that’s almost as big as you.]

and this:

toilet pic small stall

[Notice, it’s the small stall, your elbows will definitely brush the walls, the toilet is lower to the ground (so your knees are up in your face), and, though you can’t see it in the picture, the flush power is like half the power of the toilet in the big stall, and the plunger (which you’re more likely to have to use, on account of the reduced flush power and all) is a bit harder to get to. Maybe even awkward to get to, if the other stall is occupied. But. But the giant cheese wheel toilet paper roll is fully stocked and functional. Fully.]

Which stall do you choose?


41 Responses to “a thought experiment”

  1. evilreview Says:

    narrow stall. i’m short and my shoulders are narrow. and i’d probably drop the giant cheese wheel into the toilet. but not on purpose.

    • dug Says:

      if you could drop the big cheese wheel into the toilet while you were sitting on the toilet, well, i would like to see that.

      metaphorically speaking. and with my camera.

  2. Slugulous Says:

    Virtually the same situation at work. Even though I’m a small guy, I choose the big stall. However, the extra TP not in the dispenser (when it’s out) is just a normally roll like you have at home. I might think otherwise if it was on one of those big rounds.

    [Big stall @ my work: flushes better, tons of room, plunger. When TP is out, replaced with normal roll stacked on top of dispenser. Small stall @ work: shorter toilet, virtually no space, you can easily hit your head or poke out an eye on the hanger on the back of the door, no plunger, but only slightly reduced flushing power, always has TP available]

  3. Cor Says:

    Aren’t people getting a bit concerned when seeing you enter these bathrooms with your trusty camera? We have names for guys like you…..

    • dug Says:

      i wish i would get someone freaking out on me. that would be something i could write about. kind of like the paparazzi yelling insults at celebrities to get them riled up.

  4. mark Says:

    nice try dug, but it’s a trick question. everyone knows you always carry your own roll of toilet paper.

    • dug Says:

      i don’t. never. i like to live on the edge.

      • mark Says:

        I do*. At least when I’m backcountry skiing. They’re even the pre-moistened-yet-still-flushable (not that that matters when backcountry skiing) wet wipes.

        *Note that I am not the same mark as the mark impersonator who made the comment above.

  5. Kyle Says:

    Assuming I don’t carry my own roll, and as a risk adverse person, i choose the big stall. A slight inconvenience as far as the tp is concerned is worth the reduced risk of toilet problems and being able to solve them. PS the plunger should be moved to the stall more likely to have flushing problems.

    • dug Says:

      i’ll say it here, kyle–i went small stall. it was worth it having my knees in my face and having to flush 8 times to not have to wrangle that giant cheese wheel. those things scare me.

  6. BM Says:

    I am pondering the quantum superposition of a giant roll of toilet paper….ew.

  7. KanyonKris Says:

    I’m with Mark, but I’ll play along with the thought experiment:

    Big stall, because before I do my business I’ll unwind several wads of TP off the cheese wheel ready to be deployed when the time comes.

  8. Jenn Says:

    I’m confused. I thought Schroeder had a piano, not a cat.

  9. D Says:

    Small stall because most people will use the big stall. So the small stall has less bacteria.

  10. bikemike Says:

    Tsk, tsk, people. You know you go to stall no.1 and when you’re finished with your business, you”accidently” drop the monster roll of TP, thus seeing just how far it will unroll through the office and possibly out into the street.

    They did this experiment in the movie “Inception”, it was a major plot twist.

  11. michwea Says:

    Small stall, of course. Better leverage…

  12. philip Says:

    Big stall of course. If for the only reason of the higher seat. I hate sitting down and having your knees too high!

    Is your upper body strength really so weak that you can not lift a super-size toilet paper roll?

    • dug Says:

      oh i can lift it. it’s “handling” it that i’m afraid of. i mean, once you’ve lifted it, what do you do? you need both hands. do you set it on the floor? on your knees? on a pinwheel on your head?

  13. Bob B Says:

    Option 1, because I’m a free-wheelin’ kind of guy.

  14. tohellandback1st Says:

    i always have wet wipes in my desk and take them with with me to the bathroom. that also makes it easy to give the toilet seat a quick wipedown before sitting.

    so, although i would choose stall 1, it would be because my kindle (in it’s cover) can sit nicely on that handicapped bar and i can read while i sit there…

  15. KanyonKris Says:

    What is it about bathroom practices that reveal so much about a person?

  16. mark Says:

    Big stall. Because even though wrestling the cheddar wheel would suck, it sure beats ripping it off one square at a time, which seems to be my lot whenever the tp is actually in the dispenser. And which is one of the reasons why I thank god every day that I’m a 7:00 a.m. kind of guy and can address my business before showering for the day.

  17. Jeff Says:

    Toilet paper access trumps all. If necessary you can just walk away if things go awry in the bowl.

  18. VaLene Says:

    Big stall. Flushing reliability takes priority over everything else. Always.

  19. VA Biker Says:

    Small stall (er, no. 2). RE: “D” from 1:36pm… I get the heebs about handling the same cheese wheel as everyone else with “soiled” hands. No thanks. Worrying about dropping it is only a secondary consideration.

  20. Nate Says:

    Why not get a fair amount of TP from the small stall prior to doing your business in the big stall. You could put it in your pocket and deploy when needed. Big stall, Big toilet, Big flush capabilities, plunger handy AND no brushing of the arms on the pee splashed walls and no knees in your face. Win win there.

  21. Derron T. Says:

    Nate, you win! That is the correct answer!

  22. Steve The BigRide Says:

    Small stall – Flush handle closer to the floor – easier to reach up and flush with my shoe.

  23. bikemike Says:

    Dug, in a bigger picture kind of thing, when you stick to your strengths (bathrooms, poop, etc.) your fans just come out of the woodwork. Puppies are sweet and all, butt, poop rules (see what i did there).

    • dug Says:

      sad, but true. bathroom posts are like going to the mall for me. you know. like sally field did in “soapdish.”

  24. Chad Says:

    Big stall unless that big extra roll looks damp from someone dropping it on the floor.

  25. Rick S. Says:

    Hold it until I get home. That’s the correct answer.

  26. tibiker Says:

    35 replies! Wow.

  27. stevebpt Says:

    big stall, every time. It always seems cleaner with room to manuever. I can get my foot up pretty high to flush a toilet.

    Next time take the roll and put it on the plunger and use the plunger as a tp dispenser!!

  28. AMR Says:

    I’d amass my toilet paper supply before beginning – either from the small stall or the wheel. Yes, I know what I’ll need from experience. But I am definitely taking the large stall…and I won’t go on and on about how fantastic it is by comparison. But I could.

    I don’t understand what the purpose of that big bar over the toilet is. For, when facing the toilet, a hand grip? A headrest?

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