Dear Toilet Paper Hoarders…

CALM DOWN!!

The commercial toilet paper that you are hoarding for yourself — while leaving other humans high and dry (dirty/wet), fending for themselves to find alternative methods to wipe their butts after taking a dump — originated in the year 1857. That means that for 1,857 years A.D., humans just like you survived without toilet paper. And, you will, too, I assure you. We all will, for where there is a will, there is a way.

We shall prevail and continue to wipe our butts! I know it! Do you want to know how I could possibly know that? I’ll tell you! Because people have survived without toilet paper in the past.

According to http://www.toiletpaperhistory.net, in the 1800’s humans used leaves, grass, ferns, corn cobs, maize, fruit skins, seashells, stone, sand, moss, snow and water to clean their backside. The simplest way was physical use of one’s hand [Yuck! I think I’d rather scoot around on the grass…like a dog]. Wealthy people usually used wool, lace or hemp. Romans were the cleanest. Seashells? Really?! Ouch!! Hemorrhoids, be gone!

Now, I’m not suggesting we go way back to those very crude, and likely painful methods used more than 200 years ago. There is absolutely no need for that. We have suitable, kinder, less skin-gouging alternatives that are very likely in all of our homes at this very moment. I’ll explain.

What items can we use as alternative (temporary) toilet paper, if need be, when there is no more left on the supermarket shelves and you’re waiting for it to be restocked? I have given this a lot of thought lately and here are my suggestions:

Washcloths. Yes, washcloths. You can wipe your bum, throw the cloth in a bucket, NOT down the toilet (that would cause a major plumbing problem), and cover the bucket with a lid if your poo is stinky. Then, when you have amassed a bucket-full of poo cloths, run them through the laundry. Re-use. This is no different than using cloth diapers, for goodness sake! Plus, it’s a lot more humane than using an outhouse — your butt won’t freeze to the seat this winter! Just wanted to throw that out there.

Rags. Those old towels, sweatpants, raggedy t-shirts, can be cut into pieces and used to wipe up after having a healthy bowel movement. I would suggest you throw those away when you’re done with them, unless you truly want to run them through the laundry because they have some life left in them. By the way, did you know that the phrase, “on the rag” originated sometime in the 19th century, way before Always maxi-pads or Tampax tampons were invented. Those pioneering women would layer pieces of absorbent cloth or other material together until they created a pad of rags that was sufficiently thick enough to absorb their menstrual flow. They also would use pins to attach it to their undergarments. After each use, women would wash the cloth or “rags” so they could be used again (verywellhealth.com). My mother lived through that era and told me about having to wash the “rags.” Women endured that mess for over 1,900 years. I think you can make it through a temporary, ridiculous, panic-induced toilet paper shortage.

Old sheets. That’s a no brainer. Read the first two sentences of the Rags method. Voila! More butt-cleaning swatches! Don’t have any old sheets? Go to the Goodwill store and buy some!

Clothes you do not/will not wear any more but haven’t gotten around to throwing out. Yep! Cut those suckers into squares, strips, or whatever size you desire, use them, launder and re-use, or throw them out. They’re doing you no good now anyway and are taking up precious space in your closets and dresser drawers. Re-purpose them!

Socks. You know you’ve got a drawer full of unmatched socks, socks with holes, socks that you have no idea where they came from in the first place, and socks that you don’t even like. But, you’ve kept them for “some reason.” Guess what! Some reason is NOW! Use them to wipe your butt! Wash them, or throw them away. And, you can wear them like hand puppets while you wipe. May as well have some fun with it! Yeah, I know. Crazy.

Like I said, we shall persevere and continue to wipe our butts! High-fives, everybody! No, wait. Go wash your hands first!

NOTE: Please do not flush anything down your toilet that didn’t come out of your body unless it is commercial toilet paper that you have the luxury and privilege of owning because you hoarded it all for yourself!!

That is all.

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