Investigating TP Alternatives
Jan 7, 2001
Not long ago on this very site, David reviewed his recent trip to North
Dakota (his reason for the trip escapes me at the moment, but I do recall
the words "tweaking" and "lab" somewhere in there). We at CSP ferociously
believe that the critic's eye can be cast into any dark corner, and that
rational, intellectual discourse and cross-phenomenon comparisons will cast
light on any social, cultural or aesthetic event or behavior. We believe in
the power of the critic to stir the spirit, challenge the mind, heal the
lame, resurrect the dead, and successfully get the cereal box open without
tearing the top so that the resealable flaps will work. It is in this spirit
that I offer up the following study.
Each and every one of us has, at some point, come to a finishing point in
their defecation when they realize that the essential butt-cleaning
component, toilet paper, is missing or, at the very least, present in an
amount woefully inadequate to the toxic-dump-proportioned cleanup required.
Generally at these times one will attempt all manner of interesting
maneuvers to ascertain the presence of additional toilet paper--hidden,
perhaps, under the sink or in a bathroom closet. After stretching or
waddling about in all sorts of curious fashions to check the obvious places,
the inevitable realization hits that you are out of toilet paper. A
substitute must be found. We here at CSP understand only too well this
frantic and less than envious position, and while we may, in the immediate
sense, laugh at you for being such a moron as to forget to buy the
aforementioned tissue, we also, in a long-range sense, understand your
predicament as it is, at times, our own. While certainly not exhaustive, we
offer this list of various toilet paper alternatives, and some assessment of
the efficacy of each.
Paper Towels and Napkins
While I have been involved in discussions about the advantages and
disadvantages of each of these items, those discussions were extremely dull,
and I won’t bore you with them here, but rather will tackle both of these
"standard alternatives" (if you’ll forgive the oxymoron) as one item.
Certainly, this is a route many people go. Paper towels can even be quite
pleasant though a bit disconcerting as its generally bumpy surface skirts
across your flesh lifting feces from your anal tissue. So while these
solutions are commonplace, it should be noted that you run a severe risk of
clogging the toilet and causing the very same waste material you had
intended to discard of flowing up over the rim and landing in your (or your
lover's, or your auntie's, or your bishop's) bathroom. Use, but use
sparingly. Note that we assume here paper napkins.
A less common though also paper-based solution, coffee filters are the Yugos
of the asswipe alternatives. It is neither pretty nor pleasant, but you will
get there. Clogging is an issue here as well so be sparing. The slickness of
the coffee filter will require a change in your normal procedure: start at
the outside of the contaminated area and move inwards, towards its source.
While it is possible that a used coffee filter could be used in an absolute
emergency, this is a special case which requires more explanation than can
be adequately explained here.
Lefse and Tortillas
It is important, when casting one's mind about the house for potential
solutions to one's personal waste management problem, to remember that just
because traditional toilet paper is made out of paper, your emergency
buttcloth does not have to be. The potato-based lefse will leave you clean
as a whistle and enjoying its smooth texture. The flour tortilla will
provide similar cleanliness and pleasure. The larger burrito-sized tortillas
are fun but not necessary--though these can be doubled and quartered for
reuse. Corn tortillas tear easily and are not recommended.
All of the above alternatives suffer from the same fundamental failing: they
each require (or at least strongly indicate) the flushing of the newly
crap-smeared material at hand. For those willing to try other approaches,
consider grabbing one of your roommate's towels and doing the job up right.
While of course dependent on the quality of the towel, this is an ideal
solution. Towels generally have good feces-grabbing power with minimum of
anal tissue irritation. Note that we are not advocating playing disgusting
pranks upon one's co-habitants--you should dispose of the shit-stained towel
in your roommate’s dirty clothes pile.
It's happened to all of us: we're sitting there running through a list of
possible buttwipe alternatives, trying to remember exactly what items you've
got in the house, which is closest at hand, which will provide you with at
least a semi-satisfactory wiping experience, etc., etc., when invariably the
cat (for those who own cats, or a small dog, perhaps) will walk up and
pehaps rub against the bared shin, seeking a little love or hoping for a
snack, and we, at this point, think to ourselves, "They’ve got fur, they're
soft, and" (if it is indeed a cat) "it will no doubt clean the vile poo from
itself and no one will be the wiser." Cats can at times (and only at times)
provide top-notch wiping -- short-haired cats are best, and smaller cats are
good so you can hold them at each end more easily. Note, however, that this
process should not be attempted by novice ass-wipers. Mishandling or
frightening the cat (extremely easy for most cats; let your knowledge of the
animal's personality come into play) can lead to serious genital mutilation.
Many have reported that once they learned proper technique, they could not
imagine another alternative, and some have reported that they do not enjoy
returning to toilet paper once they have finally remembered to buy some, but
these people are rare.
(depending on the cat)
Your Left Hand
If, after much deliberation and soul-searching, it comes to this, just
remember that you are not alone--there is a reason that much of the world's
population only eats with their right hand. Just remember that you can never
ever EVER tell anyone you did it. They will never let you touch them, or
probably even come near them, again.