Reaching the end of the roll

By Bruce Stambaugh

If I ever wrote an autobiography, I know what the title would be. I’d call the masterpiece, “The End of the Roll.”

I know this is a family blog. But I just can’t take it anymore. Please make sure your children aren’t anywhere nearby when you read this.

I have been seeking the answer to this important question for most of my adult life. Why can’t men change empty toilet paper rolls?

great egret in flght

No end of the roll for this bird.

I’m serious. If I had a dollar for every roll of toilet paper I have had to put on the holder, I’d be a millionaire. I realize most humbly what that says about my digestive system.

Nevertheless, I’m willing to come out of the stall once and for all and say it like it is. Men have to be helpless if they can’t change a roll of toilet paper.

Of course, never having been a regular in the women’s room, I can’t really know if the same is true on the skirted side of restrooms. I’ve privately asked my wife this touchy question, but she just stares at me in prolonged silence.

I’ll just assume empty toilet paper rolls in female water closets are not a problem. If I’m wrong, I’m sure I’ll hear about it.

But let’s get back to the issue, or should I say tissue, at hand. Is it so difficult a task that men can’t figure out how to take an empty cardboard roll off its holder and replace it with a new roll of TP?

Now I know not all toilet paper rolls are created equal. Shoot. Some TP doesn’t even come on a roll. Some “holders” dispense all too tiny pieces of thin paper that are, well to be truthful, less than adequate for the job, please excuse the pun.

I will say, though, that as long as the supply lasts, they have to be better than those European bidet units. The last thing I need is to be hosed down while reclining in a compromised position. And please don’t try to imagine that either.

But, again, I digress.

I mean how difficult is it to change a roll of toilet paper? These are the same men who rebuild diesel engines, send rockets to Mars, build an entire barn in a day, approve multi-million dollar budgets in the twinkling of an eye, and climb sheer mountain cliffs with no ropes or safety harnesses.

Yet these same masculine minions are so inept that they can’t even unlatch an empty toilet paper tube from its holder, discard the spent roll, unwrap a fresh roll of toilet paper, slide it into place, and secure the holder. It absolutely makes no sense.

Can you tell this is important to me? I mean I can’t be the only thoughtful, regulated man on earth. But then again, maybe I am, given the number of times I’ve had to install a new roll of TP.

dog on beach

No end of the roll for this dog either.

This male ineptitude seems to be universal. It doesn’t matter where the bathrooms are, church, businesses, rest areas, restaurants, even private homes. I’ve replaced roll after roll wherever I go.

Maybe I’m just too old-fashioned. Replacing empty toilet paper rolls with full ones just happens to be one of those important values instilled by my loving parents.

My parents set the tone. If we borrowed something from someone, my brothers and sisters and I were taught to return it in better shape than we got it. If we used someone’s car, we filled up the gas tank before we returned it. Of course, gasoline was 33 cents a gallon then, too.

Maybe that’s the problem. I’m an old guy with old-fashioned values. Replacing empty toilet paper rolls with full ones just happens to be one of those important values instilled by my loving parents. I’m sure they would be most proud of my TP obsession.

So men, please think about this the next time you reach the end of a roll. That’s especially true if it happens to be on April Fools Day.

© Bruce Stambaugh 2017

11 Comments

Filed under family, human interest, writing

11 responses to “Reaching the end of the roll

  1. Linda

    Great subject choice for April 1! Our toilets each have a basket for a spare roll up top, and a waste basket for the empty roll next to them. Can’t get much easier! Now, if I could get my four grandsons to aim a little better and hit the target.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Thanks, Linda. Good luck training your grandsons. Do they leave the seat up, too? 🙂

    Bruce

    Like

  3. pamela lakits

    I have to say it’s refreshing to hear a man complain about the male lack of, shall we say, responsibility in the bathroom. From bad aim, non-flushing, the inability to put the seat down and replace the toilet roll we wives and mother’s of boys have been baffled by this since time began. Glad to know not all of the male species lacks the “bathroom courtesy” gene. Kudos to you Bruce!!!!!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Thank You I needed a good laugh today !! Love your sense of humor !

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Sara and Marlin

    Bruce,

    I often remember what a good friend told me: a true Christian is one who replaces the roll when he/she has used it all. Simply put kindness, consideration of the unknown other.

    Sara

    On Sat, Apr 1, 2017 at 2:17 PM, Roadkill Crossing, and other tales from Amish Country wrote:

    > Bruce Stambaugh posted: “By Bruce Stambaugh If I ever wrote an > autobiography, I know what the title would be. I’d call the masterpiece, > “The End of the Roll.” I know this is a family blog. But I just can’t take > it anymore. Please make sure your children aren’t anywhere nea” >

    Like

  6. Kristen

    Bruce,
    I just happened upon this post tonight and had a good laugh reading it to Brian. You can be at ease; you are not the only man in the world who finds great importance in this subject. It is actually Brian who has lead the way in good bathroom manners in our home. Not only does he replace the roll every single time, he also never leaves the seat OR the lid up on the toilet, and all of our children have followed suit. We are a “lid down” family, and to the kids it is second nature. I don’t think it would ever even occur to them to do otherwise. So, I think it is reasonable for you to have hope in the next generation of bathroom managers.
    Grandma and Grandpa would be so proud 🙂
    Kristen

    Like

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