Carved Mahogany Wheels

My new and improved fitness area.

My new and improved fitness area.

A couple of months after the car accident wherein a utility truck tangled with me (I’m completely innocent in this one), I was persuaded to buy a recumbent bicycle. While my injuries weren’t serious, they felt like it. It was serious enough to involve weeks of physical therapy and I was tired of the constant interruption in my day to stop what I was doing and heave my aching body in the direction of the physical therapist’s office. Since a good deal of my therapy involved bicycle riding and yoga-like moves, I resolved to just get my own bike and resume my yoga practice.

The yoga went well.

Initially, I liked the bike. One of my complaints about exercise equipment is that it is ugly and noisy. The bike is ugly, but silent. (Why can’t I have something that looks like an antique bike? With a big willow basket? [Hi, Granny Sue!] Wrought iron wheels, carved mahogany pedals? Why do they have to be ugly?)

I love the silence of it. When I get it really going, it makes a whirring noise that is all white noise. Unfortunately, the effect is I pedal slower and slower the deeper into the meditative state I go.

As my recovery has unfolded, I spend less and less time on the bike. It shows. Due in part to the Misery Diet, even my flab has flab. Since bathing suit season is upon us, I’ve been trying to motivate myself to return to the bike in earnest in lieu of my lackadaisical fitness regime (mutiny?) of the past several months (okay, year).

It’s been slow getting started. I thought dusting the bike would be a good start. So. I dusted. And then admired it for a few weeks. Then it was time to dust again.

Nifty book holder and fan.

Nifty book holder and fan.

I thought a book would help. So I put a book on the book holder thingie. For another couple of weeks, I admired how clever it was to include a book holder.  Then I remembered that silly looking thing above the book is a fan.  If I do actually work up a sweat on the thing, I can air dry.  Such convenience.  (I wonder how it works on nail polish?)

Then I noticed the windows were filthy and there were cobwebs in the corner. So, I de-webbed and cleaned the windows. My they sparkle. So I sat on the stairs and admired the pristine view through the window.

While admiring the oak tree, it occurred to me that a little candlelight might not go amiss.

Candlelight is so nice to drink a nice Merlot by.

Summer twilight by Wateford.

Summer twilight by Waterford.

I’m pedaling pretty slowly in my new and improved fitness area. But I’m pedaling.  I’m pretending it’s wrought iron, intricate caning, and carved mahogany.  Every so often, I do my Queen Elizabeth wave to birds visiting the feeder for one last time before nightfall.  It’s a good day to be me.

You do things your way, I’ll do it mine. I am a hedonist.

[Maybe a fruit and cheese tray. . .some Chopin. . .mango vanilla incense. . .a butler to check my heart rate. . .]

The Vertical Toilet Seat

I'm doomed.

I'm doomed.


I’m going to get thrown out of the Women’s Union for this, but . . .

[taking a deep breath]

There is no truth to the idea that if a man leaves the toilet seat up, a woman sitting (unaware) on said toilet will plummet into the water and require (a) disinfection or (b) 911 emergency removal through intervention of the Volunteer Fire Department.

It’s not true. Women will not fall into the toilet. They will not get stuck.

Oh, I can see y’all flailing your arms around and motor-mouthing about the time Herbert left the seat up and you stumbled into the bathroom in the middle of the night and encountered the shock of toilet water on your derriere and had to be treated for frostbite as it was the dead of winter during an ice storm on a windswept bluff in Duluth.

It never happened.

Now. Contrary to popular (mis)belief, feminism is not about the subjugation and derogation of men. Feminism is the idea that women and men should be treated equally in the attainment of life’s goals and everyday experiences. Now I don’t let men get away with bashing women drivers or labeling us all irrational. I’m not going to let the womenfolk perpetuate this urban legend about the vertical toilet seat. I am a feminist; one who will not, no matter how long the seat is left up, fall into the toilet.

I’ve done a lot of research on this as well as some personal experimentation.

The average toilet seat with tape measure verification.

The average toilet with tape measure verification.

Now then. The average woman’s pelvis is somewhere between 14 and 16 inches in width (dependent on if you’re measuring the top of the pelvis or the bottom) – that’s just the bone. If you add in varying amounts of muscle, fat (including the despised cellulite), and skin, the average woman is 17-19 inches in width and that’s not even allowing for the curvature of the buttocks or water retention.

The average toilet opening is 11 inches.

Do the math.

[Note (in the interest of full disclosure): While I bristle at the average label, those measurements apply to me. I used a cheap tape measure after a glass of wine, but I stand by my methodology. Since I’m generally described as slim-hipped, I think we can go with these especially since I don’t fall into the toilet bowl – slim hips and all.]

Now, I wondered if it was possible for someone with an especially droopy form of fat on their hind-end to make contact with the water. The average toilet allows between 6 and 8 inches between the rim of the bowl and the surface of the water. It’s generally true that fat spreads before it dangles.

In the normal of act of sitting on the toilet, the buttocks would relax, spread and any dangly fat would depend over the outer rim of the toilet. [I tested it, but will not be supplying photographic proof.] I suppose one could push and wedge the fat into the toilet bowl, Even so, it would have to droop more than half a foot to settle into toilet water. [And really, isn’t that a bit far to go to perpetuate this urban legend?]

So. I submit. This nonsense about imperiling one’s life should Mr. Man leave the toilet seat up needs to stop. It’s not true and generations of men have been nagged to death about it (to no avail).

None of this, however, refutes the idea that men have terrible aim. I mean, really, guys – how hard can it be? You manage to get golf balls into tiny cups from some distance, you can slam dunk a basketball, and you can carry the oil pan without spilling it all over the garage floor, but you can’t hit an 11 inch oval of water from a distance of 18”?

Now, men? I’ve done you a great favor by exposing this myth. While we may not fall in, we do not want sit in your piss. Put the seat down please. (I’m not nagging, I’m asking nicely.)