Tomorrow could be a momentous day at the Johnson household. That’s the day my online order of toilet paper is supposed to arrive.
Supposed to. As President Trump says — about everything — “We’ll see.”
When this pandemic first hit the United States, toilet paper began flying off shelves. But, I thought, surely this won’t last. After all, I can’t imagine that the bathroom-going habits of Americans have changed all that much. Or have they?
“Well, Gladys, I got furloughed for the month of April. If you need me, I’ll be in here pooping until May. Thank goodness we bought 847 rolls of Charmin!”
I know some folks are picking up new hobbies to get them through these shelter-in-place days, but how about flying a kite or birdwatching or reading a book? You know, a book — those things that are shaped like a Kindle but have paper pages inside and that if you drop them they don’t break.
We’ve been on a quest for toilet paper for over a month now. I feel like King Arthur from “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” because this quest seems endless — and there’s some guy behind me banging two coconuts together.
“Dude! I said stay back six feet!”
I’m sure by the time I got to the new American holy grail of toilet paper, I would have to fight The Black Knight before grabbing it. By the time I won the sword fight, some granny would have probably snatched the last roll of toilet paper off the shelf anyway.
“It’s just a flesh wound.”
“Sorry, Black Knight, but they’re now out of toilet paper and bandages.”
I thought that eventually Americans would quit hoarding such essential items as toilet paper, disinfectant wipes and vienna sausages, but nooooo. Every time we go into a store and walk down the paper products aisle, it’s like we’re in a third-world country.
Every now and then we hear a rumor about some pack of toilet paper hiding behind a bag of dog food or something in some store, but those rumors never pan out. It’s like when you hear every fall here in Georgia: “You know, they say it’s gonna snow this winter.”
“Yeah, in Idaho.”
Any day now I’m going to start prowling alleys looking for guys in trenchcoats who whisper, “Hey, buddy. You lookin’ to score some tissue. I got some high-grade White Cloud, some two-ply Charmin …”
“How about Angel Soft?”
“Hey, Angel Soft, get over here! I thought this guy was looking for tissue action, but that ain’t the action he’s looking for!”
If tomorrow’s delivery of toilet paper doesn’t come through, I may have to resort to drastic measures like taking out an ad on Craig’s List: “Wanted: Used toilet paper. Gently used preferably.”
I think I could make do for a while with our current toilet paper stash except for the fact that I’m married … to a woman, no less! I can only imagine that we go through toilet paper so quickly because she’s in there making effigies of me out of toilet paper and then flushing it to cope with the emotional trauma of being sheltered-in-place together. I’m just happy she’s not in there setting my toilet paper effigy on fire.
(Wait a sec — I smell smoke!)
If this pandemic and toilet paper hoarding keep going much longer, I want to see another tally on TV news screens right beside the hundreds of thousands of cases and the tens of thousands of dead. I want to see how many people are injured when their towers of hoarded toilet paper collapse onto them. And I’d like to know their addresses, too.
Just in case tomorrow’s a bust.
Update: The toilet paper arrived a little early! Thoughts and prayers — and online shopping — worked!