Monday, August 09, 2010

Toilet Paper

Yeah, you heard me. Toilet paper. TP, LP, bogroll, the thinking man's note book, that stuff.
So simple, so elementary, so useful. So fucking annoying at the most inopportune of daily moments.

Take for example the bog-roll in our office loos. It shouldn't stretch your imagination too much if I ask you to picture a standard communal/staff loo. The toilet paper is of course deeply ensconced in a metal casing. With a lock on top. Because of all things to steal, managers HATE to see whole rolls of TP waltzing out the door in their staff's back pockets.

Post-it notes and pens are fine. Epson finest quality printing paper? That's right there in the storage cabinet. We've got reams of the stuff. Free access to it - no questions asked. One-ply bottom of the range, most-quantity-for-least-quality, cheap-ass TP? We lock that shit away.

Anyway, so... metal casing. A tiny slot at the bottom (or the side, depending on model or sadistic tendency of the maker) through which the long-suffering cleaner/toilet staff will patiently feed the one-ply, recycled paper. And then the bog-user can patiently, and with great care, break off individual squares at their own discretion (we have no choice... the paper is so fine and the serrated line is so effective that even the minutest gust of wind is likely to break the perforations). So, square by precious square you are able to gather enough to complete your daily business.

But this only works for the first roll - and only as long as it does NOT break off at that precarious point when the weight of the remaining roll will rip the free end back through the feeding slot. Anyone.. it can happen to anyone, okay - because the toilet god hates us all. But most of all, the toilet god hates chicks. Especially chicks with tiny bladders. He is definitely a misogynistic god.

So there you sit, ablutions done, gently... geeeently... attempting to coax the toilet paper just a leeeetle further out of the metal box. Just one, maybe two more squares that's all you need to complete the deed. Suddenly, you feel the pressure changing. No-no-no-no-no! Riiiip... *Klunk* (heard from the back of the metal case as the toilet roll bashes against the wall with momentum from falling backwards and out of reach. If you listen closely, you can also hear a cackle and a hoarse whisper of, "my precious, I have you all, my precious.")

Frantically, you try to regain control of the toilet paper roll (oh, the saddest of power struggles). You can get one, maybe two fingernails through the gap in the metal box. You can almost, almost rock it back and forth... maybe just enough to find the torn remnants of your bogroll. You claw, you plead, you wheedle... but you cannot find purchase. There is nothing to grip. Eventually you lose patience (and all trace of sanity). You scratch at the inaccessible toilet paper like a cat that can smell the catnip but can't find it, attempting to create a new edge... a desperate attempt to start again. But now, contrary to all indications shown previously, you simply cannot get the 1-ply, rice-paper thin bog roll to break. It has taken on the consistency of malleable rubber. You can dent it, but you cannot tear it.

Realising that you have to be back your desk to coordinate a conference call in less than two minutes time, you gouge your finger around the side of the roll and scrape it back. Finally! You have succeeded getting some loo paper! Sure, it's the size - and length - of your index finger (which is now bleeding somewhat profusely), but it feels like one-ply gold sheet in your hand. Plus you have created a new edge with which to pull yourself to freedom to the end of this lavatory break.

You just wanted a wee... why couldn't you have been born a man? The world is their urinal; they don't have to fight for their dignity (and three squares of toilet paper) every time their bladder calls.

Yeah, this may be one occasion where I'll admit to having penis envy...
In. Unzip. Wee. Zip up. Wash hands [optional]. Out. Done.

Oh god, I need to wee. Again.

1 comment:

rd said...

Every tree is my lava-tree!
Nice story, helped me through a few minutes of cabin fever while watching the rain pee down outside (I wonder if Mother Nature ever needs to wipe?)