The Great Toilet Paper Conspiracy
When I was growing up, it was routine around our house to hear our father yelling from behind the bathroom door for Mom to bring him some toilet paper. My sister and I knew that whenever we saw our father head down the hall with the Marietta Daily Journal under his arm, we’d have about an hour before the shouting commenced. We’d finish watching whatever episode of Daktari or Flipper was on and then head over to Ricky Railey’s to help him hunt for snakes.
Often, our father would have to sit there, with nothing left to read but the Richway circular, while Mom drove over to Big Apple. And inevitably—eventually--she’d come back with a big roll of Scott tissue. For some reason, the self-righteous tirades she had to endure never prevented my mother from repeating the offense.
Interestingly enough, once my mom was divorced and living on her own, she never ran out of TP. She prided herself on it. She bought it in bulk at Sam’s, even though it was just her and her Schnauzer Jigs in the house. And years later, after my own divorce, when I bought Scott because it was on sale, my mother, who was living with me and the kids at the time, suggested I save that shit for sanding furniture and offered to pay for Charmin.
Having been raised to associate running out of toilet paper with passive aggression, I really try to keep plenty of tissue on hand. I’m better suited for pure aggression, anyway--for dumping an armload of dirt and mulch in the front seat of Biggy’s car, for instance. Besides, anything that requires my making a special trip to Publix is more likely to punish me than him.
One six-roll pack used to last this family two weeks—this was back when Jack ate prunes and Sadie stuffed her bra. And before Lola learned the fold-over. Suddenly, we’re going through a roll a day per bathroom, which means three rolls a day. There hasn’t been any surge in usage. We haven’t switched to whole grains. Each of us eats enough cheese to stop up a storm grate. So the only explanation I have is this: THEY are putting less paper on a roll. They’re also using fewer fibers per square and winding it looser. I can't keep up now.
It’s the same thing that happened to coffee about ten years ago. Rather than raising the price, they started putting 13 ounces in a can instead of a pound. Now, it comes in 12 ounce bags. Pretty soon, Maxwell House will come in a bag the size of a sachet, with a little star on the label that says,” Same price since 1962!”
It'll have a peel-off coupon for a roll of Scott tissue on the back.