Archive for May, 2011

Only Four Sheets…

May 9, 2011

I recall when I was a youngster that my father would shout through the bathroom door when I was doing a #2, “Brian – only four sheets!” My father was fanatical in some strange ways. He budgeted 20,000 sheets of two-ply toilet paper a year for our family of five, and he got angry when we went through more than two rolls a week – when we blew the budget. I swear it was my brother who unrolled the excess paper from the roll, not me. I swear. I diligently wiped and folded and wiped and folded and wiped again before the toss into the water – just four sheets. I swear it wasn’t me blowing the budget.

I had forgotten about all that until this morning while watching Modern Marvels’ “Toilet Tech”  on the TV over a cup of coffee and some personal e-mail. The statistic from this show was that the average person in the US consumes more than 20,000 sheets of toilet paper in a year, and here my father was trying to hold his entire family to that individual measure of consumption.

I wonder, now, why my father had this obsession with toilet paper. I guess I’ll never know. I also wonder what bizarre obsessions I have that I think are entirely reasonable and normal – what is that old saying about the apple falling from the tree? So far, most people are too polite to tell me 🙂

I like Modern Marvels – a great show.