Video by Pierce Turner
A secret war has been raging through the centuries of intelligent human history. More extraordinary than the dogmatic battles of religion, and more inconspicuous than the Templars vs. Assassins. I, of course, can only be referring to one conflict: sitting vs. standing. That’s right — apparently there’s more than one way to wipe your butt, and this surprises a lot of people, myself included.
My interest in wiping habits first emerged during a late night of drinking games. It was my friend’s turn in “Never Have I Ever” and after thinking about it for a few moments she declared: “Never have I ever wiped standing up!” I watched in amazement as some of my friends shrugged it off as an obvious statement while the others were so shocked it was like she said she doesn’t breathe air.
After what seemed like an endless debate, it was determined that half the room wiped standing and the other half sitting, but I was too intrigued to let the study end there. Two days and around 50 interviewed people later I find the same result: that it is split almost exactly down the middle with 23 people voting for standing, 25 for sitting, and two people proudly declaring that they go both ways.
What was even more fascinating, however, was that in almost every case, the interviewee was completely ignorant of the other side. Sitters didn’t know about, and even doubted the effectiveness of standers and vice versa.
So which is the better way to brush off your bottom? Naturally I asked each volunteer why they chose their path and what causes them to cling to their cheek cleaning habits. The level of contention varied between the subjects but the justifications and arguments stayed largely the same.
Sitters argue that standers don’t get the most out of their wipe because standing up causes a slight closing of the gates as it were, ensuring the some mess would always remain unattended. Some say that standing up wastes time.
“It’s just a lot of work. I mean, you’re already sitting, you might as well just take care of it all in one fell swoop,” said Jesse Braughton, a junior political science major and a verified sitter.
Standers, on the other hand, disputed that and accused sitters of not being able to attain maximum wipage because while sitting, the bog will get in the way of your reach. The standers also believe their way is the most time efficient.
“It takes longer and time is money, so if you take longer you are literally just sh—ing away money,” said Blake Mullenix, a junior transportation and logistics major, and a stander.
As for the two bi-wipers, they had their own reasons for going down both paths. One said it depends on how much of a hurry they are in while the other explained that the cleanliness of the bathroom determined their posture.
Some of my volunteers confidently predicted that the sitting side would be filled with girls and the standing side with boys, but to keep the trend going, this case is just too interesting to be so black and white (and brown). Indeed, both sides are diverse and gender seems to have no drastic impact on one’s preferred poop polishing priorities.
In fact, there didn’t seem to be any trademark similarity between the two groups. Perhaps it’s the way you’re raised, or maybe it depends on what poop book you read as a child. It’s possible that you can switch sides, or maybe you’re born with it and it’s simply genetics. We may never know the truth behind this fecal phenomenon, but I do know one thing for sure: #stander