Spare a Roll?

It has always astonished me how much toilet paper people use, as does the fact that they rarely change the empty toilet roll.  Perhaps I was raised to be economical in this area, though I think it also helps being a guy.  I remember first noticing toilet paper usage back in Hong Kong over winter breaks from university in England.  I would typically arrive for the holidays a week ahead of my two sisters as I had longer breaks. In that week I would get through a tiny portion of one roll.  When my sisters arrived it would be a roll a day or more.  Of course there were three of us using the bathroom and many variables involved but the toilet paper math never made sense to me.

Fast forward many years and you come across one of those niggling marital problems in search of a solution.  The bathroom would frequently be out of toilet paper, and I would be indignant that it had not been replaced.  Many solutions were tried.  “Please make sure there is a fresh roll if you run it out” came and went.  Storing a couple extra rolls under the sink, but how did you know how many were there? Answer: none when you really need it.  Finally I gave up and passively aggressively resorted to just leaving the empty roll on the toilet seat when I ran it out.  At least the next user would know they were out before getting down to business.  I was comfortable in my knowledge that since I use less toilet paper than others I would run out the toilet paper at a lower rate so was less responsible…


We finally came up with a great solution, and one that you might already use. Not a bidet (that would be pretty expensive), but rather a toilet roll tower thing.  You place something like 6 jumbo rolls on it, and can see the stack depleting.  This gives even heavy users a long time to react to falling safety levels.  Since then I can only remember being caught short a couple of times.  In fact when we moved and renovated we did not even install the traditional single roll dispensaries, saving on building costs.  We just got the stands.

Life is much better when you solve a simple problem such as this.  That said we are always creating new problems in our lives, which is why we need to be vigilant.  Now the issue is one of choice: you can move the stand anywhere near the toilet, so where “should” it live? Hopefully we’ll solve this one in less time it took to figure out to use the tower in the first place.

Erik Fogg

MidTide Media, Marblehead, MA, USA

We do politics, but we don't do the thinking for you.