Thursday, January 5, 2012

Which Way to Flip the Toilet Paper?

The other day I was at Subway when the guy in front of me asked the sandwich jockey for “pepper and salt” on his sandwich instead of “salt and pepper”. So I shouted “GO BACK TO THE SANITARIUM CRAZY PSYCHO!” to make sure everyone in the place knew there was someone unstable around.

It then got me thinking about other things people do that I would consider abnormal or eccentric or loony. Like installing the toilet paper with the toilet paper flap coming out from under the roll as opposed to over the roll. See image below.

This is the image I told you to see.

To me its unnatural to flip it under. This is the kind of behavior I would expect from un-medicated psychotics. Flipping it over is what keeps are society from dissolving into chaos. But even in 2011-12, I still occasionally find myself in harrowing situations where someone has put the flap under.

Pat, please tell me you agree with me about the proper flap placement. If not I’m afraid from now on I can only ever hang out with you in well lit public areas where there are lots of other people around.

Pat: Back to Subway. Who was the unstable one, in your opinion?

And, just as a considerate advance notice, I kind of want to tell you that I don’t use toilet paper, and thus have no opinion on the matter, just to kind of play with you, y’know.

Christian: I don’t know. Dear god, what are you saying?

Pat:  Relax, friend, relax. went crazy in Subway. That’s okay. We all lose it a bit and none of us can predict when or where. The important thing is that you (and everyone else) are okay.

I sure wish we didn’t have to use toilet paper. Wouldn’t that be nice? I don’t know if I’d prefer a bidet or just a wipeless butt, but either would be better than the inconsistent world of toilet paper that we are forced to endure. I never know if I’m going to get a soft and quilted two-ply or a sandpapery single ply that rips at every perforation and lets my finger poke through into very uncomfortable places. I don’t like that kind of uncertainty.

What did you ask?

Christian: I’m getting a sense that you are intentionally skirting the original question. It concerns me that you don’t really want to answer the question because you know I’ll be disturbed by the answer.  In fact, I’m going to have to go ahead and assume that the worst case scenario has just played out here and you are for sure someone who rolls the toilet paper flap under.      

Do you by chance have the number for the witness relocation program handy?

I already told my cats to go into hiding. This one isn’t very good at it.

Pat: My cat did that once, but he couldn’t get his head out so he walked backwards all around the house. We watched it and laughed. A lot. I know that the compassionate-pet-owner thing to have done would be to free it from its agonizing predicament, but it was REALLY fun to watch! Reminded me of when I was a mean terrible kid and I put double-sided tape on the bottom of my cat’s paws or when I gave my dog peanut butter. Funny shit!

Let me put you out of your misery...while I will use any toilet paper that is put in front of me, I do feel a certain solace when the roll has the paper coming out OVER the roll. Can we still be friends?

By the way, what really gets me is those industrial size rolls they put in the dispensers in the bathrooms at the school I work at. They’re too big for the dispensers, so all you can get outta’ there is one square at a time. Now THAT’S frustrating!

Christian: I don’t know. Finding enjoyment from watching innocent animals struggle with humiliation seems in line with a twisted soul that prefers the toilet paper flap to be under the roll. But I guess I’ll take your word for it.

However, while I was cracking up from picturing a cat walking around backwards with a vase on its head a thought struck me. There is one reason that I could accept for putting the toilet paper flap down (besides the person being mentally deranged). Cats! If they had cats that liked to unravel the toilet paper then I could see the justification in putting the flap under.

Careful you don’t bury yourself Mr. Fluffles.

Putting the flap under would prevent the cat from being able to unravel the roll. Unless of course you have a cat that can run backwards with its front paws. But in that case you’d be too busy living a glamorous life of traveling the world, managing your spectacular cat in the circus or magician’s circuit to be concerned about toilet paper flaps.

Is this the reason why you don’t seem as fully committed to putting the toilet paper flap up like you should be?

Pat:  Nope. I don’t give my cat that much of my dream-time. Cuddles are fine, but don’t you DARE impede on my visions of glory, feline dream-thief!

Hey! This weekend I experienced something WORSE than your dreaded underfold. It was one of those industrial dispensers I’ve already cursed at, but this one had a mammoth roll WITH NO APPARENT PERFORATIONS! I know I should be able to just rip the paper apart with my brute strength, but I kept assuming (as any rational person would) that a perforation MUST be on it’s way, so I just kept unravelling. I had a good 25 feet of paper in a pile on the floor before I finally gave up. And then it was hard to use.

Christian: Yeah I hate that too. Or when you can’t find the end of the toilet paper because it’s a new roll and the end is still stuck down. So you keep rolling it and rolling it thinking the end has got to be there somewhere and then the next thing you know 30 minutes have gone by and your cat is no closer to fame and success than before. Toilet paper engineers are sadistic folk.


  1. Christian I am 100% with you on this one, people at Subway are psychotics.

    And Pat, the one square at a time scenario is enough to drive me into a homocidal rage, if I weren't so exhausted by the time I get the 57 squares I need to take care of business, someone would get hurt.

  2. In a way, I'm glad that I can't eat at Subway anymore. With the screaming people, the pressure to choose banana peppers or jalapenos, and my own worries that the artist changes their gloves after handling $-it's too much. Now that I think about it, it's not in A way, it's in EVERY way that I'm glad that can't go back.

    Also, this post made me think about poop too much. For some reason, I can talk about poop, but I don't like to read things that make me think about it.

  3. I don't think we've ever gotten such detailed and prompt response to a post, Christian. Just goes to show, buddy--I don't care how close you are to 40...poop- or butt-related material NEVER fails to amuse or intrigue!

    @Tumbleweed- couldn't agree more! I think it's a variation on the "Princess and the Pea" theme!

  4. I have an ongoing battle with someone I work with regarding the under/over the top dispensing of toilet tissue. Come to think of it, it may actually be the cleaning staff--I actually have no way of knowing who I'm battling.
    Whenever I need to use the facilities in my building, I actually switch the roll over so it is the way it should be. The next time I return, it has been reversed.

    At home I have a bidet. It is awesome in its accuracy. Having such a device does not preclude one from needing toilet paper. It may be wise to do a preliminary wipe before spraying your ring, otherwise you risk spreading your dirt all around the backside. Also, it's wise to do a quick wipe down to dry off to keep you from having a wetspot on the backside of your pants.

  5. @Tumbleweed - I know! It does seem like the people that frequent Subways are freaks! I should know, I go there quite often.

    @Megiweg - It's a no brainer. Banana peppers.

    @Joe - Keep fighting the good fight. They may have won the battle but we will win the war. Also, I never knew bidet's were so complex. I think I'm now more scared of them than I was before.

  6. Hey** happens...grow up...


  7. Hey** happens...grow up...


  8. Hey Thor- Welcome to the blog, and thanks for posting your thoughts. While we appreciate your thoughtful consideration, we felt it really important to let you know that there's no need for asterisks. This is a swearing-friendly blog. Damn shit hell right it is!

  9. This is all new to me...(dots...OK???)) I grew up thinking Herb Caen was one righteous writer...Pat, have you and Christian thought about trying to get a slot on NPR... (whoops *** dam*....) I think my Catholic upbringing has impacted my ....Oh shit, the hell with it...

  10. Your blog is awesome. I'm laughing out loud! The first part that got me was you yelling at the "pepper and salt" man. The other one was the one square at a time from the industrial-size roll. So many good points here on Point-Counter-Point-Point-Point! Get my point? I like your blog!

  11. @anonymous- you have effectively used the ellipsis as a weapon of mass confusion. Touché, good sir!

    @kelley- thanks so much. I really like people who like our blog, ergo...

  12. @Kelley - Thank you so much. It means a lot coming from such a funny lady such as yourself.

  13. OH dear god... I could barely read the rest of your post because I was laughing so fucking hard at the very first paragraph. Thank you so much for a hearty laugh today man -- I mean it.

  14. @Dr. Cynicism - Knowing that we are making others out there smile is all that we ever need. That and donuts. Thanks!

    P.S. And Scotch.

  15. When I was in grade school, we didn't get toilet paper. We had to pull tiny, cheap, one-ply napkins out of the dispenser hanging on the stall wall. Seriously. And people could tell if you had pooped by how many *swish swish* sounds came from your stall as you grabbed more napkins. It was stupid and cruel to do that to us.

    On another note, not only do I put my roll with the paper hanging OVER, I also flip the rolls everywhere I go. It doesn't matter where I am. Hotel? Sure! Church? Bring it! Homes of friends and family? Absolutely! Homes of people I don't even know? If I can get to it, I'm flipping that roll.

    I'm hardcore.

  16. @Yvonne - You are hardcore. I like it. It looks like we are going to have to change this world one toilet paper roll at a time. Keep up the good fight.

  17. Because I believe in the 'Over' toilet paper rule I assume that is what gives me the right to ridicule.

  18. So, so glad you linked this up for #findingthefunny because it made me laugh out loud again! Love, love how you yelled at the "pepper and salt" guy!

  19. Love it! And I'm totally with you -- TP over the roll and salt, then pepper. Although, I never have them salt my sandwiches at Subway because I always get pepperoni on them and that's plenty salty enough for me.

    Now don't get me started on people who salt and pepper their pizza...

    1. Oh yeah, people who salt and pepper or pepper and salt their pizza fall into that crazy group too.