The toilet paper wars, and reincarnation

Although a great deal of planning had gone into the preparations for the 23-day training session that preceded our ordination, apparently no one had thought of toilet paper. Existing supplies were quickly depleted and there were no provisions for providing more. The initial response was not encouraging:  “Just use less.”
“Umm, excuse me,” I wanted to say, “there is a certain, absolute minimum….”

Even eating just two meals a day, 150 men will go through a lot of toilet paper over the course of 23 days. 

The logic of this was hard to avoid, and before long the overseers relented. Of course, their idea of relenting amounted to a single roll in each bathroom. Its appearance on the window ledge would provoke a frenzy resembling a stock market panic, with everyone rushing to secure a couple of arm lengths of insurance. Latecomers were left with a choice between the empty cardboard tube or the shiny wrapping paper. 


For the next few days, everyone was walking around with at least one pocket stuffed full of toilet paper. Finally the overseers caved, and with a flood of heavenly whiteness, the nagging fear of being caught short was forever banished

    This video has been making the rounds , and I thought I’d post it here for anyone who hasn’t seen it yet. The speaker is Wallace McRae, perhaps America’s greatest cowboy poet.

11 thoughts on “The toilet paper wars, and reincarnation”

  1. … rather funny… seems to be the same everywhere some monks come together;)… made exactly the same experience last week in Italy when four monks shared the bathroom with me… it ended that i found my very last ‘arm lengths of insurance’ in my trouser pocket when i was already back in Germany…;-)

  2. Toilet paper – yuck! It’s got to be one of the very worst inventions ever in history! I can’t think of a more disgusting way to ‘clean’ yourself!

    Of course I never used to think like that! But then I moved to Thailand where most toilets (but, sadly, not the ‘modern’ ones) are equipped with either a spray hose or a little scoop in a bucket of water. It took some getting used to, but now, a decade or so down the line, I wouldn’t want to use any other method!

    Now, who would have thought we’d be having this particular discussion on Wake Up and Laugh! LOL! And I love how the video ties in too! LOL! LOL!

    1. I never had the courage (or an extra pair of pants with me) to try that when I was there! Had the feeling that system might take a little practice!

      So I take it you noticed a theme, er, -running through- the post? 😉

  3. Very well done, kept me going to find out more as I read, and the video is priceless (and quite funny as well). Thank you so much.

  4. was there no other paper, like news paper, if you rub it in your hands any paper becomes soft enough for the job.
    (memories of my childhood). They say lack is the mother of inventions. When I came to the west for the first time, the most fascination was that in public toilets there was toilet paper. (now of course it is very different in Russia from what I remember)
    Cosmonauts up in the orbit, have to go through special training with special equipment to go to toilet in zero gravity, quite complicated business!
    I often find it strange that we have to deal with waste in the body, as long as I remember myself, I was thinking about it and thought it is weird to have this “conveyor belt” of food going into one end and waste coming the other.

    “Reincarnation” poem is about recycling, not reincarnation, otherwise it would be very, very depressing.
    Our body is made of star dust, all atoms we have were first in stars.

  5. So many things we take for granted! So many things we cling to! And, yes, toilet paper is one of those acculturated Western needs, that can send us in a panic with its mere absence 🙂

    Funny, and very profound.

    Deep bow to you,


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