I went looking for some toilet paper recently. All of the soccer moms and suburbanites had raided the stores. There was none to be found. The hoarding of toilet paper had begun. I felt it was a form of affluenza in my opinion. Nonetheless, I needed some.
I decided the poorer neighborhoods nearby made more sense. People with real problems don't suffer from affluenza. I found a small bodega with a surplus. They had 40 or 50 rolls on the shelves. I could have bought them ALL. I had the money. However, this white boy could not bring himself to act like a selfish gringo and buy it ALL. I admit to a desire to do so, but I tamped it down and bought four rolls.
I came to the counter and the clerk said, “Crazy times. Have you ever seen anything like this?”
“What?” I queried. “Have I ever not had toilet paper?”
She laughed and I said, ”well yes I have,” and she laughed harder as we completed the transaction and chatted further.
Well, four rolls of toilet paper don't go far. Now I am looking for a bidet. Still, I don’t wish I had bought it all. I was not lying when I told her I had in fact been without toilet paper. There are worse things in life than no toilet paper, though it can be trying.
There is a kind of funny story behind that…pun intended. I once rode my bicycle around the British Isles for a month or so. I ended up in this seedy pub one night. It was not really a pub, because a Public House is licensed. A Public House would never allow their restroom to reach the state I found this one in. If you have seen the movie Trainspotting, you will have some idea of what I mean.
I had gone to the place looking for some partying British birds. Once I was inside, I knew I had gone to the wrong place. Nonetheless, I decided to stay and have a drink. It was allegedly a pub after all.
Unfortunately, I had not been eating too well. Off to the restroom, I trudged, not feeling terribly well. I walked in and was taken aback. However, my gastrointestinal distress left me with no choice.
There was nothing to be done but to use the facility. However, I was not very happy about it. You see I was in the worst toilet in all of the United Kingdom. I had no doubt of that fact. The thing to do was to get the business done and get out.
It felt good to ease my distress. I thought this was not going to be as bad as I had feared. I felt a little messy, but nothing a little toilet paper was not going to take care of. And then I realized, there was no toilet paper in this restroom stall. In fact, there was no toilet paper in the worst restroom in the United Kingdom.
Oh my goodness. It had been a messy bit of business and though I felt better some clean up was going to be ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY. What to do? I sat there for a time looking at my pants around my ankles. Then an epiphany and out came the pocket knife. I cut out the pockets of my jeans. It worked well and I was out of there in short order wearing my pocketless pants.
When you are riding a bike around, you keep your “luggage” to a minimum. These were my best jeans! I really looked good in them. I felt confident I could lure a British bird to my side in these pants. I kept them and wore them fairly regularly.
It took longer than expected, but finally, a Cockney girl took an interest in me. She took a real interest in me. Later on, she happened to notice my pants on the floor. They were inside out because they were very tight and I had shed them quickly.
“WTF”, she said, “Why don’t you have pockets in your pants?”
“Well”, I said sheepishly, “Funny story, there was this time I didn’t have any toilet paper.”
She was not particularly amused, to be honest. There was nothing to do about it. It is just a funny story now, but it helps me keep things perspective as I search for a bidet. I hope it does for you as well.