Tight Seat

The second law of thermodynamics states that entropy (order to disorder) increases over time. In my life experience, this occurs slowly. I never really understood entropy, however, until Steve was about 2. He’d come blasting into a room in which all blocks, toys, plush animals, costumes, and crayons were in their respective containers. He would stop and do a quick calculation, because as an entropy machine, Steve felt he had to maintain his position as the best. Then the disorder would commence. In almost no time, the floor would be strewn with the remnants of his projects. If anything at all remained in the toy containers, it was likely not the toys that belonged there. Once total entropy had been achieved, he quickly became bored and looked around for new challenges.

Entropy, I’ve learned, also applies to toilet seats. Especially in the hinge department, what began as a subtle wobble evolved into a pretty wobbly structure over the years. Without thinking much about it, we learned to position ourselves directly over the seat before making contact, and to avoid any fast moves. Otherwise the seat could slip off the toilet lip, causing some discomfort for the sitter.

Since it happened so slowly, I pretty much put up with it until I sat down a bit too hard one day, and began to wonder why I was putting up with this? How much could a pair of toilet hinges cost? I am pretty good at ordering parts online. (Much better than I am at actually installing the parts.) After quite a bit of searching, all I could find was something that didn’t exactly say it was a hinge set, but it didn’t say it wasn’t either, so I ordered it. What came in the mail was a set of extra sturdy bolts that attach the seat to the porcelain, but no hinges. So I took the seat off and took it back to the place where I’d bought the original. I’d normally be a little shy about walking into a store with a used toilet seat under my arm, but in this place they were totally used to it.

I asked about hinges. They said they had none. It cost me about $20 to replace the entire seat. As I was walking out, I asked them to dispose of the perfectly good old seat with the broken hinges, and they said they’d be happy to. It was a pleasure to deal with professionals that are not all hung up about bodily functions.

When I got the new seat home, I quickly installed it, and also used the stronger bolts I’d ordered by mistake. When I sat down to test my work, my muscles tensed as they were used to, and I lowered slowly and perfectly aligned. I needn’t have worried. This seat was on there like the Rock of Gibraltar. If I needed a lever to put under a jack to raise the back end of the bulldozer, I’d use this seat without giving it a second thought. Entropy defeated!

I’ve noticed lately that when I use public bathrooms, I am quite critical of the sloppiness of the hinges on the seats. “How can these people be so careless,” I asked myself. Perhaps I should have some business cards printed up and offer my services. Ted the Toilet Seat Tightener.

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