Well, here we are.
For most of us, our normal daily routines have been disrupted. We have had time to sit back and consider which aspects of our former lives were to the good and which might be discarded. It’s a time for contemplation. Self-examination. Reassessment.
Questions seem to come from somewhere deep inside us, day after day. We need to get to the bottom of things. We need to take stock. And so, I know I’m not alone in asking:
Exactly how much toilet paper do we go through every day?
Don’t tell me you haven’t thought about it too. It’s an exisclenchal question, and you’re just sitting there. How much do you use?
“You go first,” I hear you saying eventually, and regretting it soon after. All righty:
Four squares for the first pass (we shall call it the no-look pass), four squares for the follow-up pass (checking progress this time), a final four for the just-in-case. Three more squares for frontsies and I’m good to go again.
That’s on average. There are exceptions for oopses related to texture and volume, and (more rarely) sometimes I can get by with less if the missile is intact and spit clean. There’s a helpful medical chart for poop quality called the Bristol Stool Scale. Humans are wired to count everything in a one to ten scale but unlike the makers of blenders, who apparently can distinguish between grate and purée, poop scientists have managed to scrape up only seven types from One (separate small lumps) to Seven (liquid consistency with no solid pieces). I would imagine where one lands on the Bristol Stool Scale would have quite an effect on TP consumption. If you are a Type One, you might be able to get by with no toilet paper, allowing you extra time to rub your antlers on a tree. If you’re a Type Seven youo’re going to have to trudge to the shower anyway.
I consistently range from a Four (smooth soft sausage or snake) to a Six (mushy consistency with soft edges), generally during the course of a single morning.
That’s where I go wrong, consumption-wise. I’m hardly ever Boom-Boom and Check, Please. I get a real good start right off the bat and then have to revisit the situation two or three more times, eventually accessing contents that might not have had time to set up properly. Add it all up and that’s quite a lot of toilet paper, but all of it seems necessary.
That’s the thing. Ask anyone how much toilet paper they use, and they’ll invariably reply (often huffily) “As much as I need to.” But we know this is highly subjective. There’s genuine need, and then there’s personal delicacy. My friend Sarah divulged that her brother (“Plunger-Boy”) thunders through a half a roll every time he drops a dookie. That’s the kind of thing that will get you notoriety in a family. Clearly the boy does not want to get within two inches of his own nether flesh. He’s like the person who sees a spider on the wall and smooshes it with an entire roll of paper towels and runs out to the garbage can with the whole wad, emitting high-frequency squeaks all the way, and then sleeps with a baseball bat next to his bed. Me, I have been known to spot a spider sharing my pillow and just flicking it away.
But I do go through toilet paper.