Toilet paper. That was the first thought that rolled across my mind this morning. Then I tore off the sheet and got out of bed. Toilet paper? Would it be over the top to write about it? It was stuck in the wrinkles of my brain last night. Frank McCourt in his memoir Angela’s Ashes told the story of going back to his father’s Ireland. He had to go the 2nd number and that required him to use his grandpa’s outhouse. Nailed to the wall of the room-with-no-view was newsprint. His father had to instruct him.
I am a father too. I had to instruct too, butt but not like my post-depression-era father—he used three sheets only, (single-ply, double-ply, or triple) only three. Sorry to put that image out there. Exit this post now and wipe it off. Geez.
What I really want to focus on is the empty roll. You know, the one across the spool after you have taken the position and completed your task. “Oh crap” you mumble. Bummer. The sentence which scrolls across my mind is, and always is how hard is it to change? It’s not like changing a diaper, is it? Sometimes I wonder…how many children does it take to change a toilet paper roll?
At our previous home there was only one spool, one roll available, one bathroom for 13 or 14 or infinity people. I grew up that way. My mother had ten children and one bathroom. The boys had two available. Boys always do…except for do-do. Often when this dad entered the ‘room’ the first thing I would notice was a spent fuel rod. There would sit an art project waiting to happen along with the empty egg cartons in the hall closet. Why? Oh the humanity! Not again…
It was then I would take off the empty roll and use it like a bull horn. “Hey! Everybody come to the bathroom!” When they saw me yelling through the short cardboard tube they would roll their eyes at me. Time for yet another toilet tube tutorial. The bathroom was not only singular, but small, so I would make sure everyone could see before I began my memorized speech.
“This is an empty toilet paper shell. How much toil does it take to switch it out? Hey, wipe that smile off your face! Now, I am going to put this back on the spool where I found it. The spool is spring loaded so you push on one end like this…”
The key was to drag out the lesson for as long as possible. I knew that another speech wasn’t going to cure the problem butt but that wasn’t the point. This was therapy for me. I learned this from my wife. She would often long lecture the kids on this or that for her own sanity. Don’t tell my kids, she still uses that method.
In the end, I really didn’t care if the roll was positioned for over the top or under. I just was tired of getting short sheeted. We now have two bathrooms! Yipee! Two places in which to hold lectures. One bathroom is big enough to put a lectern next to the throne. Anyone want to come over and be a quest speaker?
Now that’s what I’m talking about!