The Unanswerable Question

I summoned my chief research scientist to my study.

Now see here, von Heiligenacht, I told him. I’m determined to solve the toilet seat mystery. We’ll get to the bottom of this if it costs me my entire fortune.

Heiligenacht is not a man of many words, and he simply clicked his heels as he bowed slightly, one eyebrow raised almost imperceptibly.

This is the – how is it one says in your country? The well-grown-up purchasing list?

You mean a tall order, von Heiligenacht. A tough assignment. Yes. It is a tough job, but you’re the man to do it. You may be an insolent swine, but you’re the best damned research scientist in Europe.

True, agreed von Heiligenacht. There is, of course, the small matter of the moneys?

No limit, I assured him. Hire the finest minds. Go out there and buy one of every kind of toilet seat in the world. Study them. Examine them. Analyse them. I want your report within the month.

He nodded, swivelled on his heel and was gone.

Every day for the next month, I paced the galleries on the cave walls above my laboratories, looking anxiously down at the legions of scientists as they examined, dissected and sifted through truckloads of toilet seats that arrived at the Bockschloss by the hour. Specialists came. Ballistics experts. Astronomers. Cosmologists. Nuclear engineers. Theoretical sub-atomic speculationists. String theorists. Musicians. Philosophers. Stephen Hawking.

Four weeks passed and I sat again in my study, completing a small monograph on the identification of beer stains, when a sharp, Teutonic rap came at my door.

Herein! I barked and von Heiligenacht stepped inside.

Well? I demanded.

We have studied the problem, he began. We have made the great analysing of all facets, and the mock-ups we have constructed. The destructive testing and the not-so-destructive we have carried out. The guinea pigs we have poisoned just to be on the safe side and also the rattle-snakes we have injected with bad things. We the mathematical modelling have done, und the dynamic examinations have made.

Yes, yes, I interrupted. But the results, man. The answers. Have you got to the heart of the problem?

von Heiligenacht looked down at his highly-polished riding boots. Herr Direktor, he murmured, I regret to tell you that we have failed.

You mean – I started.

Ja – I mean yes. The toilet seat, we have discovered, is a very simple mechanism, and there is only one mode of operation. For it to go up, you make the UP! movement with the hand. For down it to go, you simply the DOWN! movement make, like so without mystery and none of the magic about it and it all very simple is.

So, I said. Why then? Why can’t women work out how to put the toilet seat down?

Herr Direktor, he replied wistfully, this has defeated me.


18 replies on “The Unanswerable Question”

Curse you Bock.

I have been preparing a post on toilet seats myself but put it on hold for a bit because I thought I was overdoing it with too many shit and toilet related posts of late.

I will wait a week or two and post it then. Maybe we could compare notes on our research?

found you via dick headley…hilarious read you have here…and moderated comments, too…classy *LOL*

ps. you’re right about MOST women and toilet seats…damn stupid…rule in our house: you need up, put it need it down, put it down…flush when you’re done and wash your goddamn hands afterwards.

I have a German friend who, exasperated with life in general one day, told me that “eet eez all making me climb zee walls up, eet eez all so fack ed up!”

In this day and age you’d think there’d be some way of helping a man to a tidy, splashless piddle. What about a funnel? Elegant in its implicity is a funnel, and easily sterilised too. In draughty peeing conditions it would afford a nice little wind-breaker (if the fellow in question wasn’t already one of then himself). The benefits go on and on.

Why would any normal woman want to touch the pee backsplashed lid! Bad enough that we generally end up cleaning it without touching it a few times a day!

Typical bloody women and typical bloody Germans too.
Calm down dear, it’s only urine! Germain Greer used to drink it, or was that Virginia Wolf? Whatever. Either way it won’t kill you, and all this needless handwashing is what caused nut allergies in our namby pamby young folk. A half decent microbe would kill half of them these days.
Bloody Germans, oh yes, ask them how to kill 50 million people and they’ll come up with a solution next Tuesday, but try and get the rear wash wipe on your Golf to work and it’s all vorshsprung dorsche technik, well bite on this Fritz, you sausage noshing squarehead!

Men never get why women go crazy about the toilet seat being left up by their male-folk. Personally, I think up is better than the cover only up and pee all over the seat! (Maybe you could do a post about men’s poor aim in the toilet, while it’s magnificent in the area of parking(?), dart-throwing, snooker, pool, goal scoring….)
I prefer the toilet seat and cover down because – research has shown that when you flush the toilet, loads of ughy stuff sprays into the air and goes all over the place, including on our toothbrush!! So, I like to put the cover down, then flush. Although, what’s wrong with me, men don’t like to flush much either do they!!!!

This one has really pissed people off.

Eddie:We’ll make a research project out of it. We might win the Nobel prize.

Savannah: Hello there and welcome American Detector Warning: Much swearing here. At this time. Please be advised. Much laughing at religion here. Religious laughing area. Please step away from the blog, ma’am. At this time.

Sam:Stay on mission here now. Stick with the program. We’re discussing how a toilet seat operates. Pissing all over the bathroom is for a later module.

Flirty: That’s why they leave it up.

MJ: We never shirk the hard issues over here, MJ. that’s us: watching out for the questions our readers never knew existed.

Maroon: Thank God you’re back, man!

Mairéad: Like I said to Sam, the pissing-all-over-the-bathroom module is next week. This one is about how hard it is to put down a toilet seat that’s been left up. The scientific evidence? It isn’t difficult at all!

In the spirit of gender based mutual understanding it seems to me that a potentially more fruitful question on the doughnut in granny’s greenhouse debate is why women get so exercised about its orientation and men don’t seem to give a shit (make up your own puns, I can’t be arsed).

It isn’t hard, no woman ever claims that it’s hard to put the seat down after you lot leave it up. You men, as usual, are oversimplifying this source of female screaming! Every time I see it up I just know that the toilet was flushed with the seat up and that my toothbrush is probably covered in yeuch! That’s when I scream when I see the toliet seat left up!
Anyway, fess up, lads – you do it ‘cos you know we’ll go mad don’t ye??? I knew it!

really? swearing here? i hadnt fuckin noticed..btw, how’d you KNOW i was american???
do i really have to step away?

Liam: I suppose we could have a doughnut debate too, as you suggest, but for now we need to stay with the lid problem.

Mairéad: Ah. so it isn’t the seat. It’s the lid!!

Savannah: Fuck no! You’re welcome here. That’s only a statutory health warning the Surgeon General requires Irish bloggers to attach for American visitors.

PS, we also say rude things about Monkey Boy – oops, sorry, about George W Bush.

thanks, sugar… my ex-son-in-law was irish..but i still love all ya’ll anyway! glad we got that all cleared up *w*

ps. we usually call dubya “fuckin asshole” around here

Ya, the lid! Put it down when ye flush lads, will ye, pleeeeease. Oh and em, flush will ye, lads? Thanks, the little things mean a lot!

ok ive been trying to find an unanswerable question for a while and i havent found oneyet but is the unanswerable question….what is an unanswerable question?

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