2018-08-01 / Editorials

Sensitive ‘tissue’

Other Voices
Mitch Clarke

I’m going to talk about a personal subject, something we don’t always talk about right out in the open. I’m going to talk about toilet paper.

I’m broaching this sensitive subject today because of a recurring incident that happens in the men’s room at my office. I’ll admit it’s a little thing, but it’s driving me insane. But because toilet paper is a sensitive subject, I haven’t brought it up with anyone.

We try to make toilet paper a happy product. It’s sold on TV using cuddly little bears. For a long time, it was sold by a friendly grocer named Mr. Whipple, who was constantly being caught squeezing the Charmin. I say he was friendly, but honestly, in light of today’s Me Too movement, he’s a little creepy and you’ve got to wonder what else the old guy was squeezing when no one was looking.

I don’t squeeze my toilet paper. I know what its job is. It’s not there to be cuddled.

I want my toilet paper to be soft, of course. A few years ago, when I was trying to pinch pennies, I decided I didn’t need to spend a lot of money on toilet paper, so I bought a generic brand from the dollar store. I thought I had made the deal of the century. Then I attempted to use it.

The old saying about you get what you pay for comes to mind here. This cheap toilet paper was clearly a first cousin to industrial sandpaper, and I really don’t want industrial sandpaper used on that particular part of my body, if you get my meaning. I went out and bought some soft, very un-sand paperlike toilet paper. And — true story — I donated the cheap stuff to a friend’s son who goes to Auburn to use at Toomer’s Corner, so at least it got used in a way that no one got sandpapered.

About the only time we have a conversation about toilet paper is when the “over or under” debate comes up. You know this debate. Some people think the toilet paper should roll over the top and down the front side of the roll. Other people think the paper should roll down the back of the roll and you should reach under the roll to get it.

Put me clearly in the “over” category, please. It just makes sense that would come across the top so that it’s easily reachable when it’s most needed. I’ve been known to change the roll position in some bathrooms, even in homes of my friends, who clearly need the help.

Anyway, the issue at my office isn’t “over or under.” It’s the refusal to replace the roll when it’s empty. I don’t mean there’s no toilet paper. There is. But whoever uses the last paper on the roll doesn’t remove the cardboard center from the holder. They just balance the new roll on the holder. Or sometimes, they put the new roll on the floor under the holder, which is completely disgusting. I mean, do you know where that floor has been? I do. It’s been in a busy men’s room, and I’d rather use industrial sandpaper than toilet paper that been sitting on the men’s room floor.

I told you toilet paper is a private issue. So I’m hoping the person who can’t be bothered to replace the toilet paper roll will see himself and learn a lesson.

And I’ll consider my day’s work done.

Mitch Clarke, a native of Blakely, is the editor of AccessWDUN. com in Gainesville. He can be contacted at mitch.clarke@gmail.com. Read previous columns at www.accesswdun.com/ blog/mitch.

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