For the third time in as many weeks, the supermarket down the road had absolutely no toilet paper. Neither were there any tissues, paper hand towels, soap, hand sanitiser or pasta. We weren’t going to buy any toilet paper, we just happened to walk down that aisle; we have plenty left for a few weeks. However, if the panic buying by the bogans or profiteers continues, we will eventually run out. We are not panic stricken about it, as some seem to be, because we have worked out what to do.
Back in the dim dark past when our kids were small and belonged to the developmental stage described by the phrase ‘an alimentary canal with a noise at one end and no sense of responsibility at the other’ they used to excrete into towelling nappies. When the babies were still on the boob, the poo wasn’t too rancid, but when they started solids, the smell could strip paint. When we’d change their nappies, I’d take the offensive nappy to the toilet, hold them in the bowl with both hands and push the flush button with my forehead, so the chunky bits would be washed away. I developed a slight circular depression on the middle of my forehead from the flush button, but my friends were too polite to ask me what caused it. After flushing, the offending nappy was put in a bucket of Napisan, a mild bleach, to get rid of the remaining skid marks. Then the nappy was washed (along with those from the previous couple of days).
So, to wipe your bum in the absence of bog paper, keep a bucket of Napisan nearby and use an old rag or towel to wipe the offending orifice, dump it in the Napisan and when there are a few in the bucket, stick them through the washing machine. No bog paper required! Nudists seem to have no trouble coping with this. On the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s ‘You Can’t Ask That’ last night I learned that nudists carry a ‘bum towel’ around with them, which they sit on so they don’t leave skid marks on furniture, and as some of these nudists were apparently of advanced age, I’d expect that some of the skid marks on their towels would be fairly substantial. This reminded me of an interview I saw several years ago between Michael Parkinson and Billy Connolly, on the occasion of the latter turning 70. Parkinson asked Connolly something along the lines of ‘what have you learned’. Connolly replied: ‘when you get to seventy, never trust a fart’.
While it is easy to cope with having no bog paper, it is even easier to cope without tissues. Back in the old days when I was a kid, we had things called handkerchiefs you would blow your bugle into. You used to carry them around in your pocket and, if you had a cold, by the end of the day, you’d have a nice collection of boogs for your mum to scrape off, before she put the handkerchief in the washing machine. No tissues required!
So, while this all may sound a bit 1800s, this will be a small price to pay when it is alloyed with the joy of realising that the shattered hoarders of bog paper and tissues will wonder what the hell they are going to do with fifteen years’ supply of each now filling their garages. Serves them right.