To the Optimist, the Lid is Half Open…By Ian Carter

I am not often asked to guest blog, so it is with some excitement, and trepidation that I appear here. It feels like the first day in a new job where I am keen to make a good impression. I will try to not break anything, upset anyone or spill a drink on my currently spotless desk as I nervously complete the induction and fire safety training. Given that I should be avoiding controversy my subject matter is risky, but I feel it is something that needs to be discussed. It’s a stormy topic that is even more hotly debated than the whole “cats versus dogs” thing (that applies to the personal preference of the owners of these animals, and also the general feeling that cats and dogs have about each other). This is an issue that has divided men and women since the dawn of time (or more accurately, since the invention of the toilet).  Toilet seat – should it be left up or down?

Before I continue, I should define some terms. Lid – the thing that goes on top of the seat, and stops usage. Seat – the bit people sit on. Rim – the hard, cold porcelain bit that is under the seat that no one wants to sit on. Are we all clear? Good! Everyone in the world knows that men like to leave the seat up, and women like to leave the seat down. Who would have thought the simple act of raising, and lowering a small piece of wood or plastic would cause so many problems?

Firstly, I shall argue the case for the female position. I am a man, but I shall try to be as unbiased as possible. Women always sit down (at least I assume they always sit down – I’ve never asked). Men sometimes sit down (I won’t go into the details – I think we all know why). Using simple maths, we can see that seat down is the optimal solution assuming that the number of women in the house is greater than or equal to the number of men in the house. By the way, I considered changing that to “math” as this is a US based blog but I decided that I would appear more exotic, and knowledgeable if I left it as “maths” which is the British style. Seat down is right for women 100% of the time. Seat down is right for men approximately 10% of the time. Seat up is always wrong for women, and right 90% of the time for men.

At this point the male position is looking shaky, but I shall attempt to argue the case for men. Men are lazy. That’s all I really have for leaving seat up. I asked a male friend if he could justify leaving the seat up. He said that men don’t leave the seat up, women leave the seat down. Somehow I could not argue with that logic.

From my general experience of visiting houses it seems that seat down is the overall favourite. My theory is that women successfully argue their point (possibly with threats of violence) until the men crack. It even raised a bizarre situation in my own home just a few weeks ago. I had a man over repairing my heating. He was there for several hours, so on occasion needed to use my toilet. After use, he would carefully place the seat down. As there were exactly two men and zero women in the house he was presumably placing it down, in case an as yet unknown woman arrived, and shouted at him for his uncouth behaviour. If that had happened, I’m sure I could have adopted the moral high ground, and demanded to know what she was doing in my house, but that’s a different story for a different time.

So which is right – seat up or seat down? Well, brace yourself, because I am about to say something controversial. Both are wrong (although technically, seat down is nearest to the correct method, so women are right once again). The seat AND lid should be down. There, I said it. Pick yourselves up from the floor, and take a deep breath. Revive anyone nearby, and take a moment to regain your composure. Please allow me a few seconds to explain my reasoning before forming an angry mob, and storming my house in some sort of homage to Doctor Frankenstein. The lid should be down because it looks nicer. It is also safer in the event a stray toothbrush or similar bathroom tool flies out of your hand. If we were not meant to use the lid, why was it invented? A tree or piece of plastic gave its life to create that lid. Think of the environment. It would be a waste to not use it.

If you are still not convinced, just consider the countless arguments that could be saved by both sexes spending those few seconds placing the lid down or as I like to call it, lidding. You would both be equally inconvenienced, and neither side would feel like the other was unfairly benefiting. The shared experience may even bring you closer together. Now, go and put that lid down!

By the way, if you are already a lid down person, I feel like we would be friends if we ever met. We already have so much in common.


I would like to thank Ian for appearing on my blog. Isn’t he funny? I have the impression that right now, people everywhere are standing, and cheering – giving him a standing ovation.  If you’d like to know more about Ian, I’ve listed his links below.  Hurry on over, and say hello.

The Strange Behaviour of Ian Carter Online




3 thoughts on “To the Optimist, the Lid is Half Open…By Ian Carter

  1. I entirely agree. Both down. The reason being, it is scientifically proven that no matter how clean the toilet bowl, microscopic spores of bacteria (ewww!) emirate from the toilet bowl and land on tooth brushes, soap, towels etc. There’s no two ways about it, BOTH DOWN.

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