Roll reversal

I am not a vain man. When I am wrong, I will gladly admit it. It’s simply not a frequent occurrence, and almost never happens now that I am no longer married.

But, being a reasonable fellow, I’m willing to entertain the possibility that I could be wrong about something, especially in the face of overwhelming evidence.

I have ranted here once before about people who hang the toilet paper the wrong way. I have been an “under” person as long as I can remember. I have determined through empirical research that most people go “over.” Friends, including my ex-wife, have visited my apartment and turned the roll around on me as a subtle hint, which of course caused me to dig in and cling even more firmly to my belief.

I remained an “under” person because I discredited all the reasons people prefer “over.” Some people feel that dragging the paper (or your hand) against the wall is unsanitary. I think this argument is meaningless unless you live in a gas station.

“Over” is also the preferred way to hang the roll in order to show off patterned paper. Of course, if you use patterned toilet paper, you are probably also the sort of person who puts those decorative furry covers on the toilet seat lid, which not only make your toilet resemble a Muppet but are also completely superfluous and an indication that you have far too much time on your hands because it’s a freaking toilet for chrissake and not a craft project, not to mention how utterly annoying those covers are to us persons with dangly parts who have to hold the lid up with one hand or else pee all over it, which will probably happen anyway because the act of slouching over and holding the lid upsets our balance and throws off our aim and for that reason and many others no one will ever love you.

However, the best reason for “over” is that it makes the paper easier and faster to dispense. I have always maintained that this benefits females only.

You see, women go through a hell of a lot more paper than we men do. Women will pull an average of six yards at a time and bunch it all up. We men take a few sheets and fold them. A neat packet of three sheets is just right unless I’ve been eating chili dogs. Going “under,” I believed, was a good way to regulate the distribution and not waste paper.

I finally realized that I usually don’t get three sheets. I’ll get two. I’ll get four. Often I’ll get two and a half, as the third sheet rends itself in impossibly complex patterns to avoid tearing at the perforation. So, I figured, maybe they’re on to something.

Last week, I began a Grand Experiment to see if I could improve my sorry life in some small way. I turned my toilet paper roll around.

I am now ready to report on the results of my experiment.

“Over” doesn’t work any better than “under.” You people are full of crap. No pun intended.

It only took a couple of days for me to stop reaching under out of habit, and to learn to regulate the flow of paper to dispense the desired three sheets instead of a four-foot party streamer. But the paper doesn’t tear any easier. Either the over-under debate is patently ridiculous, or I am just uncoordinated.

Or maybe it’s my brand.

Was I the only one to notice some years ago when they did something to Charmin Ultra, taking the best product on the market and rendering it just slightly more effective than candy wrappers? When they started spending more money on cartoon bears than their product? That started me on my previous Grand Experiment, to find a new brand of paper that was worth a crap. Pun intended this time.

I finally decided that Angel Soft was as close as I could get to the old Charmin, and that has been my brand of choice since.

Come to think of it, that may be when the perforation issues started.

Well, I’m not going to be changing brands any time soon. Even though I live by myself, I’ve caught the warehouse store bug and love buying in bulk. I’m just two rolls in to my Angel Soft “Busload Pak.” My bathroom vanity is stuffed full. If you open the cabinets, it looks like an editorial cartoon of Jimmy Carter smiling. If my sink starts to leak, I won’t know for two months.

Nonetheless, my Grand Experiment did yield one very important conclusion.

I was not wrong.

And that’s the news. Thank you and good night.

Comments are closed.