Friday, 6 March 2020

The Rules for Books in the Toilet

Dear Australia,

I know you're currently suffering a massive toilet paper shortage. You've stripped all supermarket shelves clean. However will you wipe your butts?

A travesty, I know.

What you may not know, having been the Lucky Country for so long, and have previously had a never-ending supply of Sorbent or Quilton, that once upon a time, people didn't always use bog rolls for keeping the nether regions clean.

In 19th Century United States, last season's Sears catalogue and last year's Farmer's Almanac were traditionally found in Ye Olde Outhouse. Even in the 20th Century, the poorer people around the world made do with yesterday's newspapers for their doo-doo.

But now, with the Great Toilet Paper Shortage of 2020, will you turn to...

Books? *gasp*

While literary types and regular patrons of Elizabeth's might be falling into a swoon, let's face it. It might come to that. If you do choose a mighty tome to replace the long-lost toilet roll, please follow these rules:

  1. Remember, everyone is reading the same book. Please be considerate.
  2. For every loo visit, you must read x + 1 pages, where x = the number of people in your household. This rule also applies for men popping in for a pee. Yeah, you might not be using any pages, but if you don't keep up, you might miss out on a scene.
  3. You are allowed only ONE PAGE from the book for wiping. Otherwise, your housemates may hunt you down and see how good your memory is.  Remember, if you use more than one page, they might not have read up that far. 
  4. ONLY TEAR FROM THE FRONT OF THE BOOK!!!  It is a travesty to tear from the back of the book. They who wipe their butt with the climax of the story before its time ruins the ending for all.

Just saying, my novel God of the Dark is available in print and currently is cheaper than a pack of toilet paper. Also unlike a pack of toilet paper, you can actually buy a copy. (I swear, TP can't be had for love nor money off most Australian grocery store shelves.)

Okay, so what if you buy the even cheaper ebook version of God of the Dark but you still need to keep clean?

Here's how to use newspaper instead:

  1. Fetch in that free Community Newspaper some poor kid keeps leaving on your driveway. Be sure to get it before your Watering Days or your neighbour pinches it.
  2. Open it up and press each sheet with a hot iron. No, really. Ironing your newspaper will set the ink and prevent it from leaving inky black streaks in your nethers.
  3. Pre-cut newspaper into squares. Tearing it at time of use is only a recipe for disaster.
  4. Just before wiping, give the newspaper several rounds of crinkling up. This will open the fibers and improve the absorption properties.
  5. Don't flush it! Your sewer system really can't handle it. Please dispose of thoughtfully in the trash can. I recommend a sealed bucket, if the scent of the tissue may become bothersome.

Her Grace is sorely wishing she'd installed a bidet when Kneale Manor was built.