Knowing Your Toilet Paper

Knowing Your Toilet Paper

by: Ed Williams

At work several days ago, I walked into the kitchen area of our office early one morning to grab a large cup of coffee. Having slept nada the night before due to my typically horrible nocturnal habits, I desperately needed some chemical means of survival for the upcoming day. While walking in to grab some that I secretly hoped was stronger than a five day old Nu-Way hot dog, I heard Ray and Bob, two of our carpenters, make the following comment to Lynn, who works in purchasing….
“I always put the toilet paper on the holder however I pull it out of the bag.”
Made perfect sense to me. I wondered why the topic was even being discussed at all. Funny thing was, Ray’s remark didn’t seem to make any sense at all to Lynn. She replied back,
“How could you be that insensitive? Any man that cares about his woman knows that you always put the roll in the holder so that the paper unfolds from the top. It’s unladylike to have to scramble around and reach underneath the roll. What if someone accidentally walked in on you while you were doing that and saw you? It‘s too horrible to even imagine.”
Ray, as polite a man as you’ll ever see, apologized profusely for his terrible lack of toilet paper etiquette, and then got out of the office as quickly as he could. I didn’t blame him, either. After a second or two of incredibly concentrated thought, I decided to pursue the toilet paper issue with Lynn just a little bit further….
“Lynn, wouldn’t it be easier just to slip your hand underneath the roll? Seems to me that would be less strain on your hand and all.”
Lynn glared at me like I’d just proposed that we kill her cat with toothpicks. She replied,
“Ed, this may come as a surprise, but women are built differently than men. It’s not as easy for us to reach under the toilet paper roll as it is for you.”
I feigned shock at this, even though my own personal research into the “women are built differently than men” issue have proven her comments true many, many times before. Not to worry, though. I figured I’d mount the offensive again by saying,
“Lynn, I really can’t believe this would be an issue at all between men and women.” I was proud of this strategy, and said the words just a tad haughtily, so that she’d see that this whole topic was crazy and beneath her.
“Ed, if you’re that ignorant of such a basic genetic and scientific fact, I guess I won’t ever be able to convince you. But do yourself a favor – don’t give your viewpoints on this to any women’s organizations or clubs when you‘re out there making speeches. Its okay that you and I know that you’re clueless about this issue, but, no need for you to spread the word around to the general population. It can be our little secret.”
Know the bad thing ? That got me to believing her viewpoint, so much so that when I walked into my house that evening, I did a quick quality control check on the positioning of all the toilet paper rolls in our bathrooms. I did flip a couple of them around, and thought I was being pretty discreet, but that ended when my wife walked in on me in flipping the third (and last one) over in our downstairs bathroom,
“What’re you doing?”
“I was just thinking about you, and decided to make sure that the toilet paper is in the right position on all the rolls for you.”
She smiled and replied, “That’s nice of you, but everyone knows that you put it on the roll where you can unfold it from the bottom. It’s easier for a lady to pull some off that way. Women are a little bit different than men, you know.”
And there you have it. They sure are. And all that I could do at that point was to mosey on out into the backyard, slip into my hammock, and reflect on how much simpler the usage of the old corncob was…..

About The Author

Ed’s latest book, “Rough As A Cob,“ can be ordered by calling River City Publishing toll-free at: 877-408-7078. He’s also a popular after dinner speaker, and his column runs in a number of Southeastern publications. You can contact him via email at:, or through his web site address at:

This article was posted on March 16, 2005