Where Is The Toilet Paper?

Are you tired of looking for a new roll of toilet paper every other day? Whatever happened to a real roll of toilet paper, one that actually fills the holder and lasts longer than two flushes and a blow? Has it gone the way of a pound of bacon or coffee? For our convenience the manufacturers of these products now make them in 11.6 ounce sizes. Did you tell them that’s what you preferred? Did you?

But let’s get back to toilet paper, it’s a subject seldom talked about and even more infrequently the topic of written articles. You won’t even find it listed on grocery store signs where they call it bathroom tissue. Given the kind of embarrassing personal items advertised everywhere you have to wonder why.

Can you recall the last time you have read a column about toilet paper? Has it has been years since you even heard a good TP joke? That could just mean you are a grown up. Dave Barry did a bunch of articles about the size of toilets and even wrote a book with his picture on the toilet as the cover, but did he mention the size of toilet paper rolls? Then again, you might make the argument that most everything that needs to be said about toilet paper has been said, but in the hallowed words of Johnny Carson, “Not so fast fiber fan.”

The other day I picked up a container of toilet paper that filled an entire shopping cart, except for a two liter bottle of Dr. Pepper and a can of Pringles. It just barely fit on the checkout counter and took up most of the trunk. It was large. It was really big. It should have lasted for months, but it was mainly just creative packaging. The sad 空氣噴霧機 truth is the package was more air than paper. In fact, it had about as much trapped air as one of those hot air balloons.

It was 1882 before toilet paper appeared in rolls and a couple of years later before they figured that perforating the rolls made it easier to use. For all its faults, it is better than a Sears and Roebuck catalog or the dried leaves that once were stored in outhouses. If you don’t remember either the catalog or what an outhouse is, you are not as old as you think.

Since the first roll made an appearance the manufacturers have been figuring out ways to give us less of it and charge more. Toilet paper holders used to hold one roll, but now they can hold double and even triple rolls. How can that be? Don’t the laws of physics apply to toilet paper?

The problem is that no one has ever defined how much toilet paper there should be in a roll. Why don’t we have standards? Lord knows there are regulations for everything else. If a manufacturer advertises they are selling double rolls we’ll know that should be twice as much as the standard single roll. But of course we first have to know how much is actually in a single roll. Discussions of these big and important issues can be so tiring.


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