How To Cope With a Toilet Paper Shortage

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“Simple Toilet Paper 2.0” by Blender3D is licensed under CC BY 4.0

My fellow Americans,

I understand that we are currently in the midst of a terrible pandemic, the likes of which our nation has not seen in a hundred years. I am as scared as anyone.

I have a 90-year-old mom. I’m in the “at-risk” age group. I have sons with lifelong asthma. And my daughter is about to give birth to her third child, in the local hospital in our small town. The hospital where no testing has been done yet because the CDC says you can’t be tested unless you have been in contact with someone who has been tested positive. And they aren’t testing.


I’m scared.

OK, to be honest, I’ve been worried for a while now. I have cash hidden. I have extra pasta and extra rice. A shelf full of dried beans, canned beans, dried veggies, canned tuna and chicken, and lots of coffee.

I have a “bug-out” box with medicine and matches and solar battery chargers and medicine.

But. I do not have a 30 day supply of toilet paper.


Come on folks, that’s just stupid.

When I was 17 years old, I was an AFS exchange student in Tunisia. Although we young, naive Americans were placed into a completely foreign place, we managed to adapt pretty well. We embraced the desert climate, the couscous dinners, the salty water and the lack of essentials like milk and peanut butter.

But the one thing that freaked us all out, way back in 1973, was the moment that we were told that Tunisians don’t use toilet paper.

At the time, it never occurred to us that a country with barely any trees would use paper sparingly. We didn’t stop to think that without trees, one would not choose to use paper as a poop-scraper.

We were horrified.

But you know what?

As my AFS friends and I settled into our new life, we learned that your big old butt gets a whole cleaner when you use water and a little soap, rather than a raspy old piece of toilet paper.

We adjusted. We got used to it. It was not a big thing.

So here I am, almost 50 years later, faced with a county that is hoarding toilet paper.

All I can do is laugh.

Folks, we are a country that has running water everywhere. We can use a cloth, or a hand towel. Or we can just scrub with a hand and take a nice shower.

What the absolute hell, folks?

If you have to hoard something during a once-in-a-lifetime pandemic, let it be something you can’t replace.

Like good vodka. Or dark chocolate. Or coffee.

Why waste your hoarding tendencies on something as ridiculous as toilet paper? I mean, I understand that this whole virus thing is scaring the s*&% out of us all. But, seriously.

We have water. And soap.

Relax, y’all. The Charmin supply is NOT at risk.

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