I had a friend who used to run a vegetarian restaurant here in Bath, and the place suffered badly from a poorly designed drain system. It kept blocking. It reminded everyone about those strange little hotels in Greece which have notices next to the toilets asking you to put the used paper in a bin to the side, for everyone's sake - except the cleaner's.
The restauranteur asked me for help one evening, lifting the external drain cover so he could clear the latest blockage. Not a good thing to be doing in front of paying customers, but better than an overflow on the inside.
"Jesus Christ," he cursed, "Why do women have to use so much toilet paper? They must wrap it around their hands several times with each wipe!'
At the time, I thought he was being a little unreasonable - partly for assuming that women were the culprits and partly for assuming the blockage was caused by them using too much paper per visit, but having lived with H.I. for about 26 years, I now think that he had a valid point.
We seem to get through about a roll a day in this house, and we have to buy it in bulk for fear of running out. I didn't so much confront her about it a week or so ago - having kept silent on the subject for years - but I just casually observed that she must use a hell of a lot. She freely admitted that she did, but didn't go so far as to explain how or why, and I didn't ask. Since then, she has been buying the paper for the house, whereas that used to be my job during the shopping trips for food. I feel ashamed that I may have made her feel guilty.
I used to bring home masses of it from Lidl - great plastic bundles of 24 rolls - in the mistaken belief that this was a more economical way of buying it, but then I did the maths and realised that it was not. Neither is it worth buying the cheaper variety - a compromise between the expensive stuff as advertised by playful puppies, and the sort which is so cheap that you run a daily risk of - quite bluntly - accidentally sticking your finger into one of two orifices whenever you try to use it.
Now I am fully aware that I have already overstepped the mark of decency in a public place, so I might as well continue.
Without wishing to overburden you with information which will never be of any use to you under any circumstances at all in the future, I will tell you that I always wash myself down there with a shower-head. You could eat your dinner off my arse.
This is yet another area in which I and other people of certain religious convictions have something in common.
I was sitting and day-dreaming in the bathroom of a cheap, Egyptian hotel once, when my eyes fell on an incongruously placed little tap within arm's reach on the wall. Being half asleep in the early morning, I leant over and turned it on.
A jet of freezing cold water shot straight up my fundament. In an instant, I was wide awake. It was a blinding flash of enlightenment on a very simple subject indeed.
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