…And The Headline Said “She Died in TP Avalanche”

Maybe the buying has turned into hoarding now.

I went to the bedroom closet to get two rolls of toilet paper from the shelf, and nearly got conked in the head by a pack of 48 rolls in the mistaken belief than I could just get two rolls out of the pack with a wire hanger.

Before the pandemic, I never bought a pack of 48 rolls of toilet paper. I rarely bought anything in that size, unless that’s the only way it came. My special sport jelly beans come in a box of 60 little bags, but aside from those, packages of four, six, eight 10 or 12 seemed to be the prevailing rule.

Then along came COVID-19 and shortages. All of a sudden, you bought it when you saw it. Didn’t matter what it was: tissues, toilet paper, hand sanitizer, masks, gloves, paper towels, your cat’s favorite food, soup, flour, yeast, or whatever the short supply of the day was, you grabbed it when you came upon it. I ended up with the 48 rolls of toilet paper because of bananas. I stopped to buy bananas at a big-box store after swim practice on Saturday and thought, “We could use some more toilet paper. There is some space in the bedroom closet to store a package.” So from produce to personal care section I went, at 7:30 on a Saturday morning, no shopping cart (I was just there for the bananas, remember) to scope out the paper goods. And there it was: a whole shelf tidily stacked with big packages of forty-eights. And the price was right, relative to the regular supermarket prices (except the supermarket shelves were devoid of most paper goods at that time, and many here still are).

So I grabbed a package, thinking it would be no problem to haul it a half-mile back to the check-out. But there I was, clutch containing my phone, keys and wallet under my arm, bananas in one hand and big-ass (!) pack of toilet paper riding on my shoulder. Good thing the store was fairly deserted. A woman with a towel wrapped around her wet hair, no makeup, dressed in warmups and hauling bananas and toilet paper at 7:30 a.m. is environmental pollution for all the senses.

And that is how the killer TP got home, wrestled onto my bedroom closet shelf, and came to nearly kill me the other day. As The Husband would say, “Happy now?”

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