The Great Toilet Paper Crisis

Posted on November 3rd, 2010

Recently, a disaster of catastrophic proportions occurred at my house.

We almost ran out of toilet paper.

I don’t know how it happened. I am a regular at one of those big box stores. I wander the aisles and purchase lots of stuff, like enough onion soup mix to last for three years or butter for a family of twelve. I have stacks of cans in the garage—cream of mushroom soup, chicken stock, tomato sauce, artichoke hearts. I once purchased a box of two hundred Otter Pops.

Do you know how long it takes for a family of three to eat two hundred Otter Pops? Junior will be graduating from college by the time the last one is eaten. If there is ever an earthquake or a snow day (unlikely in California, but you can never be too prepared), come to my house. I have enough food, water and beef jerky to last the entire city for at least five days.

So how did my family get to the point where we were hoarding toilet paper?

I guess it didn’t make it to the list the last time I went shopping. Or maybe when I went out to the garage to check supplies I mistook the two huge, plastic covered cases of paper towels for toilet paper. Whatever it was, by Friday night, we were in crisis mode.

It happened so fast, I couldn’t believe it.  One minute we were at a normal defense level and the toilet paper supply seemed endless. We even used it to blow noses. The next minute my husband had declared Defcon 2 and a household toilet paper shortage. He immediately decreed that only four squares were to be used per person and that the family shopper (that would be me) was to head out for supplies at dawn on Saturday.

Well, I ignored him as usual and slept in. Seriously. Why the heck couldn’t he get up at dawn and go hunting for Charmin?

Anyway, I kind of forgot we were in the middle of a crisis. And then I had yard work and housework to do since friends were coming over. And Harry and Junior went to the park to look for lizards (like we need another one of those in our house) and, well, I forgot to buy toilet paper. By that evening, even our guests were being rationed and I was searching the garage frantically for something to use as a substitute—Kleenex, paper towels, napkins. Heck, at that point, even old newspapers were considered and rejected. I didn’t want my plumber to get the wrong idea about us.

Fortunately, our guests understood. And half of them were male, which helped ease the crisis a bit. But by Sunday morning, we were at Defcon 1—full out war. To survive, we needed toilet paper and we needed it now. So I went to Costco to requisition supplies. I didn’t even shower first, that’s how dire our situation had become. We had less than half of a roll left. And we were starting to fight over it.

When I returned with my bounty of 48 precious rolls of Charmin, there was much rejoicing in our house. We would have danced in the streets wearing toilet paper hats –but we felt that was a little much. So I just ran around putting toilet paper on the holders and generally feeling that all was right with the world. Okay, I did make toilet paper towers tied together with cute raffia bows and put them next to the toilets—but that was just to boost family morale.

And I learned something from this terrible time of rationing. 1) Somebody in our house uses too much toilet paper; and 2) I don’t think it’s me.

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8 Responses to “The Great Toilet Paper Crisis”

  1. Uuree Says:

    Oh I hate when I run out of toilet paper. Good article.

  2. Karrin Says:

    *ROFL!!!* I am glad I read this when everyone had left the office! I was about to fall out of my chair! : )

  3. katie s Says:

    We’re in the middle of a TP crisis here! I laughed so hard when I read this because that’s exactly what it’s like in our house. Of course here I am reading blogs instead of going to the store.

  4. Laurie Says:

    LOL! Thanks so much. Good to know I’m not alone in ignoring the siren call of Charmin :)

    And be careful out there! Those office chairs are out to get us!

  5. Carol Schneider Says:

    What a fun discovery! Just found your blog and can so relate. Running out of toilet paper is catastrophic. My household would cease to be. Thanks for the laugh.

  6. Laurie Says:

    Thanks for reading this!!! Who knew so many of us forget to buy TP?

  7. Lauren Says:

    Thankfully my son is still young enough that I have to buy a case of wipes every few weeks. These come in handy for the times that Mommy forgets to go buy the Quilted Northern Ultra-plush (it’s 3-ply and the commercial swayed me from Charmin!) from Tom Thumb.

  8. Laurie Says:

    3 ply? Lauren, you are a brave woman. We don’t use 3 ply because at the the last house, the plumber was there all the time!

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