Wednesday, June 26, 2019

I carry my own toilet paper everywhere. Don't you?

I carry paper napkins in my purse. Not because I'm always spilling stuff, but because I never know when I'll need toilet paper.
Empty roll? No problem.
The habit began long ago in a bar in South America when a woman I was drinking with stopped me on my way to the bathroom.
"Here, take this," she said, handing me a cocktail napkin. "There's never any toilet paper in the bathrooms here."

That was cool

Cassandra, if you're reading this, I love you for that. You not only saved me from a miserable situation that night, but created a habit that has saved me from countless more miserable situations since then at toilets with no paper hanging next to them.

And this compulsion to have my own toilet paper handy at all times helps not just in countries like Chile (where the plumbing at the time of my visit was so bad that bars preferred to not offer toilet paper rather than trust their customers to drop it in the bin instead of the bowl) but just about everywhere I go these days. Especially now that I'm hiking as much as possible. 
Because there's two things you quickly learn about the bathrooms near trails: 1) you can't trust that the door actually locks, and 2) you can't expect to find toilet paper.

This is especially true for a park bathroom I use nearly every day. Ideally, the maintenance guy comes once a week to clean it and refill all the paper products. But the toilet paper disappears fast, even with the new rod that locks on one end. Before the lock, all the toilet paper would be gone the next morning. Then the paper towels. Then the seat covers. By the weekend, there wasn't an inch of paper in any form to be had.

This was left by the elusive toilet paper fairy.
Which is how its been again for two weeks now since the last time he came, so only those of us with paper towels folded in our packs having been using that toilet lately.
Until today, when I saw that someone even nicer than Cassandra had arrived: a toilet paper fairy who left a skinny roll propped on the empty rolls for everyone to use.

That was cool, too.

But you can't wait on the toilet paper fairy, folks. Trust me. She comes like every three years. Carry your own toilet paper.