It's High Time We Talked About Toilet Paper

Good afternoon. Earlier this morning, Editor Anna asked me my stance on "potty humor." I am somewhat pro. Thus, it is my privilege to discuss with you today's most important global issue: Toilet paper.

In Japan, "toilet poems" are part of a new effort to make squatters consider their toilet paper usage. The Japanese Toilet Labu (I took Japanese in college, so I know this roughly translates to: Japanese Toilet Lab) research center is putting poems like, "that paper will meet you only for a moment" and "love the toilet" at eye-level in public bathroom stalls. It's genius, really. Perhaps if we all thought of toilet paper in a more poetic manner — considered each and every square like, say, a goodbye kiss experienced in the last, lingering days of an extraordinarily beautiful autumn — the world would be a better place?

Of course, being frugal with the bath tissue can be taken too far. Take the cautionary tale of Amador Bernabe, who may have been fired from his job at an Australian engineering firm because he chose to abstain from toilet paper altogether. This story, besides being completely disgusting, is an important lesson for us all. There CAN be downsides to conservation.

Finally, back to America, where TP sales are actually down 5.5 percent. According to Kimberly-Clark Chairman-CEO Tom Falk: "[Americans] are conserving cash and don't want to build any household inventory."

This, of all today's toilet paper news, I find the most shocking. And sad. Are any of you actually rationing your squares? Because I know I never feel more American — hell, more alive — than when I'm clutching a really excessive fistful of Charmin.

Japan Group Launches "Toilet Poems" to Save Paper [Reuters]
Townsville Engineering Firm Denies Worker Sacked Over Toilet Habits [News.com.au]
Even Toilet-Paper Sales Suffer in Recession [AdAge]