Counting squares

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The coronavirus scare has made hoarders out of every day ordinary non-hoarder kinds of folks. Take the toilet paper rush, for instance. Really people? This virus is an upper respiratory one. Not bottom-based.

Nonetheless, you’d think the stuff was made of gold and going to make you a fortune if only you had enough of it. It won’t.

That said, in an effort to bring a little humor into the day, here’s a toilet paper memory I’d like to share:

I started counting toilet paper square usage (TPSU) years ago. I know. Sounds crazy but hey, the question happened to come up at one of the Friday night meetings of the Ole Ladies group I was a regular at in my townhouse community.

There was no health worry or panic going on at the time. So, there was no crazy need to hoard the stuff like there is today. Consequently, I don’t exactly remember why or how the subject turned to TPSU, but a couple of things came out of that get together that I’ll never forget and always make me smile: First, I’ve been counting the number of squares of toilet paper that I use for both Numbers 1 and 2, ever since. FYI, it’s typically not more than three.

Second, and clear winner when it comes to TPSU competition, came from lovely Eunice. Like the other ole ladies in the group, she had been retired for years.

In her career heyday, Eunice had been a field director with the Library of Congress in New Delhi. It was a plum career position and one she was well suited to, and, came with appreciated government perks like live-in servants and drivers.

I’m going to guess it was a 1-ply TP world that Eunice lived and worked in back fifty years ago. While that’s not surprising because 1-ply is still popular and very much used here today, (it doesn’t clog toilets or septic tanks like the really soft 2- and 3-ply stuff does), it was her handling of the delicate yet sometimes harsh tissue that had us all guessing how in the world she managed to keep a tidy bottom. You see, Eunice used 1 square of toilet paper for each discharge. One square. That’s it.

But wait, there’s more. Eunice didn’t just ball up her one, wafer-thin maybe 3”x3” TP square and wipe with it. Nope. Instead, before putting it to its necessary use, this librarian ever-so-gently took her one appointed toilet paper square and first, folded it in half. And then, in half again. Really.

I’m remembering this as one of those jaw-dropping disbelief, shock and “huh?” moments that left everyone around the table belly laughing because none of us could believe what Eunice was telling us: One square, halved then halved again? How could what, an inch of tissue possibly do the dirty work required of it even for those with the tiniest of tushy’s? But, it was for her.

And, maybe it will be for you, too. Next time you go, give it a try.

Be well.

 

 

 

 

 

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