Tuesday, March 24, 2020

It's a whole new world: a world without toilet paper

A lot has changed these past few weeks with the global outbreak of the coronavirus. One of the big changes, at least in the United States, is in the lack of toilet paper for sale at grocery and convenience stores. Last Thursday, I visited a Dollar Store and asked a cashier if there was any toilet paper left; he looked at me like I had asked him if there were any talking elephants left.

"No," said what I'm assuming was a Greg. And then he giggled a bit, as if to say this is nuts, isn't it? Now, do you still want that 30-pack of Airheads?

Just give me the airheads, Greg.

Anyway, we all know what we use toilet paper for.

No, no, not toilet paper forts.

At least, not anymore.

Whatever toilet paper you have right now might be the only rolls you have for a while. But there are other solutions. Mainly: napkins. In better times, most people would probably never be in the bathroom and think of using napkins instead of toilet paper. But these are not better times.

A napkin problem

I basically collect napkins. Any time I visit a fast food restaurant, or really any establishment that gives away napkins, I grab a handful. And the past six months or so I've been delivering food for Uber Eats and taken my "game" to another level, [new reality show idea: Napkin Hunt, Portland, Napkin Hunt, Chicago, etc...] collecting hundreds from all different types of places. It seems all my hard work in the past half-year is finally about to pay off in an awkward, perhaps sometimes painful way.

Now, let me be realer than real deal Arnold Holyfield (Evander's fictional brother who is even realer than Evander): as of about 1:30 p.m., March 24, 2020, I'm down to four rolls of toilet paper. So to preserve those rolls as long as I can, I need to start getting creative. And that means my napkin collection is about to be put to work like it's never been before. But you can't just grab the first napkin you see.

Level 1

White square napkins

You can actually buy these in packages in stores. Basically as soft as toilet paper and thick enough to not have to use 400 every bathroom trip. You can also quite easily roll them into empty toilet paper rolls in case you're feeling nostalgic.


"More than a gas station"? I couldn't agree more. They have as soft a napkin as anyone, though a little on the small side, so you may need to use a few extra each trip. But the next time you're stopping in for one of those Chorizo/Taquito/is this a hotdog? things that are slowly rotating on their bacteria grills, look to your left and grab yourself a handful of napkins.

Other level 1: Starbucks

Level 2

Panda Express

They advertise themselves as "gourmet Chinese food", which means I must not know the definition of the word "gourmet". But we're not here to talk about Panda Express' food, or what might that smell be coming from the area that says Mandarin Chicken. Just do a point-at-the-menu-with-a-puzzled-look face, seen here:

give it a couple "hmm...hmm...yeah, ok, maybe" 's and get you a handful of napkins instead. They'll get the job done, even if it's a job that takes the entirety of D3: The Mighty Ducks to complete.

Other level 2: cocktail napkins, Chronic Tacos

Level 47

These white rectangular things

I don't remember where I got these, and that's for the best. It's like a cardboard box and sandpaper had a little napkin baby. And they are not proud of their little bundle of joy.

Other level 47: paper towels, Wendy's

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