Thursday, 24 October 2013

The Last Square

We were chatting in the staff room yesterday afternoon and somehow the talk moved to the ubiquitous loo paper situation...that the primary female in the house (building) seems to be the only one with the skill and know how to put a new toilet roll on the holder. Now I know loo paper holders can be tricky and sometimes need basic problem solving skills to interpret, but seriously, anyone with a brain (or even half a brain) ought to be able to work them out because they are designed to work. They are designed to hold a roll of toilet paper for the duration of its usability and then to relinquish the empty cardboard tube with minimal effort in readiness for a pristine, end stuck to itself in a most annoying fashion, burgeoning new roll. Sometimes there is a movement required; to shift the chromed bar holding the empty tube a little to the left or right and then upwards to enable the tube to be slid off and replaced by a new roll. The chromed bar is then moved in the opposite direction; down and little to the right or left, allowing it to click back into place for use. A satisfying sound it is; it's a shame more of the population are not privy to it (pardon the pun). Sometimes, in a slightly trickier and more creatively designed version, you might have to push one end of the bar into the other end, thus shortening the bar and allowing the old tube to slide off easily. These can be a bit more difficult to operate as the new roll (especially the new super-duper 3 rolls in one) can be a tight squeeze to put on. It can be done but some determination and persistence may be required. The old unhook one wire end from the wooden bar and slip the tube off and the roll on then hook the wire back into the hole in the end of the wooden bar; they are the ones many of us will remember from childhood, but they are still around in some older buildings. They are foolproof really but still seem to baffle some potential roll re-placers.

Given that it really is relatively simple to replace a depleted loo roll with a new one it raises the question - Why do so many people seem to avoid doing it? Many will use the last scrap; wipe, flush and exit apparently  without a backwards glance. Do they think the next person in will not need paper? Do they think it is beneath them to undertake the lowly task of replenishing the loo paper? Do they think it might be too difficult for them or have they not been able to find the instruction book? Are they unable to see the new roll on top of the cistern or cupboard, in the basket or on the shelf...or stacked on the stick-holder thingy in the corner? Are they so relieved to unburden themselves of their unwanted load that they are in a funk...or some state of ecstasy that blinds them to the obvious? Are they deep in thought about the article they've just read to distract themselves from the evacuation taking place? Are they so important, so busy, that they can't take a moment to think of someone else i.e. whoever is next to visit the little room! Are they afraid the X-box will die in their absence? Or that someone will post on their social media page and they won't know about it...although seeing the addiction to those digital 'comforters' I imagine they accompany the users wherever they that can't happen! Or that their team on the box (more like a tray than a box these days) might score a these days of instant replays, slow replays, fast replays, upside down replays and replays from each player's perspective, I'm sure they'll be out in plenty of time. Seriously though, what is the problem here? Why are so many people not considerate enough to spend 23.4 seconds (generous estimate) to make life a little easier for someone else? 

I wonder if the ones who won't refresh the loo paper are the same ones who thoughtlessly hoick their Macca's refuse out of the car window. I wonder if they're the ones that won't let the old lady with two items go ahead of them and their trolley load at the supermarket. I wonder if they're the ones who can't make the effort to take their empty pizza boxes and cola cans to the recycle bin. I wonder if they're the ones who don't bother to say please or thank you when others do things for them. I wonder if they realise that they are being inconsiderate. I wonder if they ever have that little glow that comes from quietly doing something that makes life easier for someone else without them knowing that it was you. I wonder most of all about the ones who leave one square of loo paper stuck awkwardly to the cardboard roll. What is going on in their tiny minds? Do they think that ANYONE can manage a toileting exercise with ONE SQUARE of toilet paper? Do they? Would they avoid the dexterous challenge of replacing the loo roll yet expect the following customer to manipulate one square of paper to clean and shine their nether regions after depositing a poo? Surely not. They know damned well that one square won't be enough. 

This is a worse crime if the new rolls are kept out of reach of the throne; even in the hall cupboard or under the sink in the laundry or bathroom. Ever been caught? It's easily done, because when one is heading INTO the bathroom, there is often a lot on your mind. It's often a high speed event, especially if one has a 'delicate' system or if one's work is so important that one cannot leave to answer nature's call until the very last second. I prefer to think of this as being 'in the flow' and not having an immature alerting system at this later stage of life. You can forgive kids for leaving it 'til the last minute but we older folk should have our warning systems worked out so that we get there with time to spare I suppose. It's a nice thought, but if others are like me, there will be an element of 'hurry up' in their decision to move towards the bathroom (toilet, john, WC, dunny, little room...depending in which country you sit as you read this). I know I don't have time to check the paper holder when I get there. It's all about getting my clothing out of the way in time!

Might I suggest here today that we all check the paper before we leave the loo and ensure that there is sufficient left in working order for the next customer. It's not that hard. It just requires you to be in the moment. Be mindful of where you are, what you're doing, and that there are others in the world worthy of the same consideration as you are. Make it your project in life to never leave another bereft of ample or enough tissue to complete their task in comfort. If you leave one square on that roll you are a stinker! Don't be so lazy! Get off your behind...yes...and get a new roll and put it on the hanger. If there are no new rolls to be found then do the least and put a box of tissues or a phone book handy. Thank you.

PS If you really can't get the darned thing on the holder, at least leave it close so someone with more intelligence can do it when they venture by. Thank you again.

1 comment:

  1. hahahahahaha, great Kerry! or is it that those of us who replace toilet rolls...even in public toilets....and I even sometimes put a new roll on before the other one is finished and put the nearly finished one resting on top of the new it that everyone else who uses the loo thinks that the toilet roll holder replaces toilet rolls automatically so there's no need for them to do it? or that the toilet roll itself has a mechanism in it somewhere which springs into action when it needs to be replaced? I don't think it's the inconsiderate ones that are the only culprits. I think so many people just ....don't think or do...for some reason. I haven't worked out why yet. It's a mystery!