No More Toilet Paper Tubes? But Will That End the Waddle Dance?

His and Her Rolls...an invention of marital harmony?


Just when you thought innovations couldn't happen anymore in America, Scott - the maker of tissues of all sorts - revealed that those cardboard tubes that keeps the toilet roll from imploding despite all that centrifugal force generated...well, really aren't all that necessary.

Witness the revolution:


Has the cardboard tube been a scam all this time, just like the days when detergent makers added unnecessary filler to fool housewives? While I support environmental progress, what of the children's crafts? You know, making mushrooms, ducks, and a toilet paper tree?

But, tubeless or not, as the above reporter notes, the toilet roll dispenser remains a battleground of the sexes. Cadging from a column I wrote back in 2000:
Now, popular wisdom always casts women as the squanderer of bathroom resources. They take too much time in the shower, they take up all the medicine cabinet space, and they use up all the toilet paper. Yet visit any male household and just try to dig up a roll in emergency circumstances.

I lived with a guy for five years (I'll call him The X). Naturally, I, as the female component of this living arrangement, received the unjust condemnation as the toilet paper hog. Since I was always the one changing the roll after he vacated the bathroom (trips which took 30 minutes at a time, mind you), I protested this false accusation. Of course, we were at loggerheads.

I remember that when he went on a weeklong trip, there was no changing of the roll. A little more than a week after The X came back, we were on our second roll.

He, of course, denied the evidence. Worse yet, he reached a stage of such complete denial that he would not change the roll. Changing the roll, you see, would have meant admitting his tissue abuse.

Instead, he would leave the last sheet clinging to the brown paper cylinder. When my yowling would start echoing from behind closed doors, he would merely plead deafness and tap the volume + signs on the TV remote a few more times.

I lived in Boston when the blizzard of '78 hit. This is not earthquake or tornado country, so you don't stock up on canned beans or Charmin. But ever since that enforced encampment, my mother would spiral into a desperate, near-alcoholic panic if we ever dipped below two 18-packs.

However, that has barely affected me. I don't break out in a sweat or add extra perforations with a hole puncher anymore when the supply dwindles down to six. All I ask is for a roll of paper to be waiting for me when duty calls.

So, I tried logic with him. I pointed out that intestinal repression might lead to irritable bowel syndrome (or maybe that's what I called him). I said that most household injuries occurred in the bathroom, and the inelegant waddle dance in search of a new roll was the top reason.

It took an exhausting housebreaking just to convince him to leave one measly extra roll in the bathroom. However, when it came to replenishing the supply, his denial reached a pinnacle of complete slovenly defiance. He would place a new roll on top of the spinning carousel.

Even as I was both enraged and befuddled at the same inopportune time, I couldn't helped but be impressed. That was a truly sublime act of lavatory disdain. Too bad we didn't have a toiletcam to preserve the moment-that and the waddle dance.


Fortunately I am now happily married to someone who mans up to his tissue use. Well, not that he really changes the roll either, but - judging from the duration of his trips - he just uses less, so I usually get to the roll when it approaches its last shreds. Now, without the toilet roll tube, that last bit of subterfuge will be lost to men.