Toilet paper, of course.
Toilet paper has become part of modern American life, but we know so little of this constant companion. Take a journey with me through the mysterious realm of toilet paper and we will all, hopefully, emerge as wiser and better people.
A Whale of a Tale
Finally, someone took it upon themselves to generate intelligent literature to ponder in the restroom. The problem?
The more you go, the less literature you have.
In January 2012, Ebay user the_heppcat placed an online ad for his prized possession – toilet paper rolls on which he typed he entire novel of Moby Dick, using a typewriter.
“Considering what it’s been through, it’s in amazing condition,” he says. “I’ve kept this mod oddity in a box in a cool, dry place for the last 10 years and have only broken it out to prove to doubters that I actually did it.”
The novel is typed out on clean rolls of 2-ply Cottonelle, telling us that our writer has good taste in tissue as well as in literature. While one or two of the rolls have a slight tear at the beginning, the whole package appears to be in good condition. The collection has taken up four complete rolls, with the addition of one-fifth of a roll for the epilogue and one extra half-roll.
All four toilet paper scrolls were available on Ebay until January 28th, 2012 for the bargain price of $999.95, with free shipping thrown in as a bonus. No word on whether this masterpiece has sold since then.
All of us have, at one point or another, had cause to complain about our jobs. But I think we can all take a little time out of our days to empathize with the suffering Public Works employees of Windsor, MO, who were forced to bring their own toilet paper with them to work.
The small Missouri town, boasting a population of 3,000, has four female employees who work at City Hall and ten public works employees, all male, who work at the municipal barn.
The male employees were requested to tote their own TP because, allegedly, the male employees were using far more than the female employees.
The issue came to light at a City Hall meeting in March 2013, causing scandal throughout the small town.
Although the resolution of the issue was unclear, we can only hope that those poor Public Works employees were finally able to regain their toilet paper and their dignity.
When the Spitsbergen Jurassic Research Group journeyed across the archipelago of Svalbard, they were on a mission to locate and excavate prehistoric marine animals from the Upper Jurassic period. They brought plenty of supplies along – and lots and lots of toilet paper.
“It is almost impossible to get the plastic-solution to soak all the way through. To keep the bones from breaking when turned, we use the same technique as in the field. We plaster it, strengthened with burlap and metal bars, but to cover and protect the bones from the plaster; lots and lots and even more toilet paper is needed.”
The team reserves the highest quality toilet paper for protecting precious bones, using cheaper brands for a less dignified, more normal purpose.
When team members find a specimen and need to make a jacket for it, they call for assistance of the toilet-paper variety. Shouting out “TP-time!” inevitably results in several team members running to your aid, rolling out toilet paper and wetting it down for use. The process is time-consuming, requiring up to five layers of dampened paper to preserve fossils.
Who knew the search for ancient monsters would require so much toilet paper?
First sold on a roll by the Scott brothers in 1890, toilet paper has gone from a luxury to a necessity, becoming an integral part of our lives. Now it comes in all sorts of varieties – everything from the simple single-ply to a super-fancy triple-ply. You can buy toilet paper monogrammed or patterned – printed with almost anything you can think of, including $100 bills, baby chicks, and Sudoku puzzles.