SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska

We’ll have less to go on!



March 03, 2015
Tuesday PM

Ketchikan, Alaska -
As if there isn't already a lot of things to be worried about, I read on the internet (so it must be true) that companies that make toilet paper are cutting back on the sheet size.

jpg  Dave Kiffer

Once upon a time, the little squares used to be 4 1/2 inches by 4 1/2 inches. Now they are going to be 4 inches by 4 1/2 inches.

Natch, the price isn't going down.

Just the coverage.

Like health insurance.

Fortunately we don’t worry quite so much about bottom line coverage decreasing in Our Fair Salmon City, where the men are men and everybody out in the woods uses sphagnum moss.

Okay, that was a very LOUD collective eeeeewwwwww there!

Seriously, some folks are contending right now they have NEVER EVER used moss when calls of nature have caught them unprepared out in the Great Out (House) of Doors.

That’s your story, and you’re sticking to it. The same way that toilet paper used to stick to your shoes when you’d leave the high school lavatory.

Well, whatever!

I‘m sure that some of you have never gone to the bathroom in the woods.

Just like some of you have never peed off your deck when you thought the neighbors weren’t watching.

Speaking of which, a while back Facebook (or in this case RedFacebook) was all atwitter (get it??) with reports that a new device had been devised to allow women to go to the bathroom standing up.

Being a guy, I never realized that it was such a problem.

I do, however, remember a female relative getting in a spot of trouble for trying to go standing up off the porch like her brothers. Needless to say, her parents were not “tinkled” pink about it.

But I guess that if there weren’t other women interested in peeing standing up some smarty (incontinentary) pants inventor wouldn’t have devised a solution.

Anyhow, now women can also pee off the back deck if they so desire. And apparently they do, based on all the cheery responses to the original Facebook posts.

Apparently it is the second greatest invention of our times, right after Astronaut Diapers.

But, as usual, I digress.

Back to the shrinking toilet paper. The purveyors of toilet paper have decided that we can get by with less. And we will pay more for it. That is so wrong it is shocking to me that the “evildoers” in this case are in the Private Sector and not “gubbermint.”

This really sounds like the latest indignancy from the Department of Homeland Insecurity.

For all these years, I have been told “The Market” will always take care of everything! And The Market has apparently decided that for all these years we have been using ½ inch of toilet paper that we didn’t really need. Just like socialism.

I suspect that that ½ inch really belonged to the upper 1 percent because they were actually the (potty) job creators and deserved to reap the full benefits of their capital risk.

Anyway, thank God the rest of us have sphagnum moss.

Speaking of which, what the heck is sphagnum anyway?

It does sound like something vaguely icky. Like that weird lint that grows in your belly button.

As in " Honey, you need to clear that sphagnum out of your ”innie” before we go to Mexico this year! It’s weirding out the cabana boy!"

Or maybe it’s a TV show about a private investigator who also dabbles in bryophyte cultivation: Sphagnum P.I.

Suffice it to say, we have plenty of whatever sphagnum is around these parts. It’s literally growing on trees, and everything else, in the temperate rainforest.

Which, I have to note, seems pretty danged intemperate some days, but I digress again.

Of course, for those who would prefer to not “sphagnum” their bottoms in an outdoors emergency, there are other options.

But you have to be careful.

A female acquaintance of mine once had to "use the facilities" in the woods and, when it came time to wipe, grabbed a Devil's Club leaf, not realizing that even Devil's Club “leaves” have their own prickly protection.

They say that Devil's Clubs are always "good for what ails ya."

Not in that case.

I guess, I should probably just say that we shouldn’t be all that worried about Charmine shrinkage.

After all, it wasn't that long ago when no one used "toilet paper" at all, primarily because it hadn't been invented.

In the old days, humble folks just used moss, when they used anything at all. Which was another reason to wear armour. It kept the smell in.

Folks who were slightly better off used lambswool. Which explains why sheep are so nervous.

The Kings, of course, had an even better solution, a servant called the "Groom of the Stool." In those days, stool was the proper term for "commode."

The Groom was tasked with certain activities that were deemed beneath a monarch, such as wiping his or her own privates. When they say that proximity to the crown is a type of power in itself, I suspect they don't mean that type of proximity.

Later the "Groom of the Stool" title was bestowed upon whoever was "in charge" of the King’s or Queen’s boudoir. That was a very powerful position because it meant the person was one of the monarch's closest aides. And was most assuredly NOT tasked with personally polishing the crown jewels.

And that leaves us back where we started.

Whether we are kings or commonors, we’re going to have to make "do" with less.

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Dave Kiffer is a freelance writer living in Ketchikan, Alaska.
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