Saturday, May 03, 2008

Toilet Seat: Up Or Down?

Leave it to chemical concocters and modern advertisers to come up with a solution to an age-old problem between men and women.

Reader’s Digest magazine prides itself as being “America In Your Pocket.” I hadn’t seen an issue for some time and so out of mild curiosity I picked up a copy I found tossed into the FREE BOX at the used book shop.

The cover for the April 2006 edition of RD demonstrates real concern for the human condition. Headlines shout:

-- Our Borders – WHAT’S AT RISK NOW

-- Shocking! The New Threat to Kids

-- ‘I CAN’T AFFORD TO GET SICK!’ Fixing Our Health Crisis

Yup, this digest-sized magazine is loaded with digestible articles that offer pragmatic solutions to perplexing problems.

And even the advertisers get into the act. That’s why there’s a full-page ad featuring a close-up of a toilet.

The seat is still down. The copy explains: Earlier today YOUR HUSBAND WASN’T QUITE AS ACCURATE as he likes to think he is.

In the lower right-hand corner is small image of a container of Clorox Disinfecting Wipes. The accompanying text provides this advice: Don’t just clean. Clean and disinfect.

A few words, a couple of images, and the problem is solved. Just let your lazy-ass hubbie try to piss pass the seat, instead of raising it, and you, the devoted wife, can wipe up his splatter.

Of course, whether or not pressing your bare buttocks on a toilet seat repeatedly smeared with chemicals can lead to problems isn’t addressed.

Me, I have another problem with the ad. It shows the leading sheet of the toilet paper roll hanging from the top.

Anyone with half-a-brain knows the paper should be pulled from the bottom, not the top.


X. Dell said...

(1) From the bottom? Are you an Army veteran or something?

(2) My mom used to get Readers' Digest, so I read lots of them as a kid. I haven't seen one in ages, though. Sounds like it hasn't changed much, except for its advertising.

(3) I'm wondering: wouldn't the cleaner and hubby's urine both contain ammonia?

Ray said...

X. Dell:

Point 3: Are you referring to the classic mistake of combining ammonia and bleach for cleaning, thus ending up with chlorine gas? I don't know if Clorox Wipes have bleach. But unlike urine, it's a given they're STD free.


Doug said...

But if they put the roll so one pulled from the bottom, the end wouldn't be in the shot at all.

I'm not sure why that matters. I'm just assuming they wanted it in there for some reason.

And any woman who hasn't nagged her husband into lifting the seat by rote surely has a better cleaning regiment than these meager wipes would provide; thus, there is no real audience for the ad.

There's a reason why I'm not in advertising.

Ray said...


There's a reason why I'm not in advertising.

Gee, don't you want to make lots of money by scamming both clients and consumers?

Companies put all sorts of faith in advertising. If they think it works, you get paid. After all, how can they really tell if your promos made a difference? Maybe word of mouth did the trick. It's all about perception.

And if consumers are really stupid - you get them to buy something they really don't need - you get paid even more.


Lynn said...

Wow that's the first thing I thought of, that toilet paper being "wrong".

Now I was told by a hospital infection control person that there is a reason- the roll should be inserted so that the paper stays the cleanest which is in the under position. Over makes it a landing surface for air born settling germ beasts.

WHy am I talking about this, Ray?

Ray said...


Talking about the proper hanging of toilet paper sure beats any American Idol blather for me.

Usually I could care less which way the TP hangs. But I'm a big guy living in a cramped apartment, toilet near the wall, and so it's easier for me to access the roll with the tail on the bottom. But when there's enough room, I could care less.

The point you raise - paper being exposed to more germs - is interesting. Years ago some doctor or scientist was claiming that a toilet should be flushed with the lid down because it can spray tiny germy droplets all over. If that's true, how come people who flush with the lid up aren't dropping like flies?

Thanks for stopping by.