Toilet seat up or down? This is the perennial question that has troubled humankind ever since the glorious invention of the crapper.

Personally, I am not one of those who cares either way. I don’t see it as my right, as a male, to keep the toilet seat up after doing a number one. However, I certainly do not see it my duty to put the toilet seat down for the benefit of a female who can’t be bothered to put it down herself.

In fact, if I have a preference, it is to not only put the seat down, but also put the lid down. After all, let us not kid ourselves here. The toilet is a hole in our house that leads directly to a sewer. I would quite like to put a lid on that.

Economists to the rescue! Jay Pil Choi has taken a look [PDF file] at this vital issue from an economic perspective, and has concluded that the “selfish rule” — i.e., leaving the toilet seat as you, er, left it — is the most efficient.

So the next time you see the toilet seat up and you wish it was down, just remember — leaving it up was the most efficient outcome. Do you want to incur even more costs by having a wasteful argument about it?

Via Freakonomics.

5 comments

  1. My wife, during her Feng Shui phase was always hectoring about leaving it down (and covered) to ensure the wealth of the house did not flow out through the bowl. Cooky, but cute. It is also good to have a six year old son, to blame all the minor disasters in the toilet on.

  2. Bog lid shut. Otherwise you get a spray of bog emitted when you flush. It’s bad shit, as they say.

  3. Collie

    Generally I prefer to leave the seat down and attempt not to piss on it in the first place. When I fail (often spectacularly) I flush the toilet, close the lid and wander off, claiming my innocence if any one asks who the culprit was. Actually I wouldn’t do that, although sometimes when you use someone else’s toilet you wonder if that’s exactly what some git has done. Still what’s a few drops of pee on a seat when you sometimes have a deflected 3 way stream that goes everywhere but the toilet bowl. That’s what I always say.

  4. lid down. since a childhood spent in the tropics where pythons were known to crawl up sewer pipes, the lid has stayed resolutely down.

  5. ang

    I HAVE A BRAND NEW GADGET THAT WILL STOP ONCE AND FOR ALL POOR TOILET ETIQUETTE. IT HITS ON EVERY VEIW POINT AGINST LID UP OR DOWN. I JUST NEED AN OUTLET FOR MY WINNING DESIGN.