Most of us have heard the old adage that “adversity builds character.” But some, offering a new twist to this conventional wisdom, now say, “adversity doesn’t build character, it reveals it.” Also a worthwhile perspective, in my opinion. However, it thrusts us into a bit of a conundrum, because it appears that the common response to adversity within the United States is….buying toilet paper. At a time when we are facing the challenges of a viral epidemic, an unstable stock market and, some would say, an equally unstable President, we buy toilet paper! Mass quantities of it. Grocery and box store toilet paper shelves are increasingly bare and an occasional store clerk gets assaulted for rationing this curiously precious commodity.
Are we to infer from this behavior that adversity basically scares the sh** out of us, thereby necessitating more wipes? Or do we just want to ensure that if we do die from the coronavirus, at least we will have clean butts? Maybe this should be our new slogan: “United States, home of the clean butt people.”? (But this would be a hard sell to the French, who, after all, invented the bidet!)
Periodically in life, diverse and seemingly unrelated events come together to create a witch’s brew of absolute chaos. This is sometimes referred to as a “perfect storm,” or, for our purposes, a “perfect sh** storm.” The exacerbating event in this case, compounding our current toilet paper shortage, is something that our unerringly prescient President warned us about months ago. That is, of course, the low-flush toilet debacle.
President Trump, like a lone voice calling out from the desert (where there is also a lack of toilet paper), tried to raise our awareness about having to flush “10 to 15 times” with these water-conserving models when the old standard flush units did the same job with just one trip of the lever. Certainly, a couple of questions immediately come to mind: One, why didn’t we heed the warning of our Commander in Chief and deregulate toilet flush levels when we had the chance? And two, how big are President Trump’s turds? If 10 to 15 flushes are required to spur their somber journey to William Barr’s office, something is terribly wrong! And three (a bonus question), can’t he just cut them into more manageable pieces before he flushes??
So now, when so many people in our country are literally scared sh**less, we neither have the toilet paper or the toilets to properly handle the load! Clearly, the sh** has hit the fan here in the U.S., but there may still be a way out. Instead of a free education and Medicare-for-all, how about free toilet paper for all. Certainly, free toilet paper is something we can all get behind.
Copyright © Andy Drymalski, Ed.D.
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