The Bare Necessities
A friend told me the other day that she had a dream. She needed to go to the bathroom and she couldn’t find a toilet anywhere. I consider that a nightmare, not a dream. Finding a toilet without toilet paper would be next on my list of nightmares. Admit it – waddling across the house with your pants around your ankles looking for a roll is no laughing matter.
I watch the junk mail for specials, every week – I look for good prices on peanut butter, oats and toilet paper.
At the end of the day there are, as far as I am concerned, however only two basic important essentials in life. A good sense of humour and toilet paper! After further consideration I have placed a good sense of humour at the top of the list of survival skills, not necessities. Life is a matter of survival. How else can you survive the high frequency broadcasting of a two year old, in no uncertain terms, in the queue at the busy supermarket, just as you reach the front of the line at the till, that he or she needs the bathroom NOW! Survival - that’s what it’s about!
Somebody once said that you never have to explain or apologize for how you choose to survive. I often think about how people choose to live (or survive) their lives and then also about how it usually is because of how they choose to live sadly how and why they then eventually die. I for a fact know that my heart won’t be the reason for my end. My heart is strong, it has not skipped a beat since the day I was born. My lungs however, théý háve occasionally ceased – once on a downhill, when my boyfriend gave me a lift on his bicycle and let go of the handlebars to grab me, and once when I ate really hot curry. But my heart is absolutely fine. I suspect this is because I usually have delayed reactions to shocking events. By the time the shock hits my system, it is watered down enough to be absorbed by my bladder. When I go one day, it will most probably be my colon. Not irritable or spastic. Simply overworked.
Life provides us with enough roughage, and I don’t mean the daily portion of fibre that our bodies need for optimal intestinal functioning. You are most probably aware of the fact that dieticians recommend that we include 14 - 18 g of fibre – roughage – in our diet every day- You know the All-Bran jingle – “I got it all, you got it all, we all got it all this morning…….” That is just to ensure that you don’t get…… “Stuck”.
Wait!! Before you run to fetch the glycerine suppositories??
Let me explain mý daily supply of roughage:
Impatience and rudeness of people standing in long queues- 15g; road hogs – 24g: rebroadcasts – 14g; reality TV shows – 17g; rebroadcasts of reality TV shows – 25g; unwillingness of people to accept responsibility for their actions – 22g; Ignorance – 17g; stupidity and the inability to make simple and logical deductions – 21g; double standards – 25g and the absence of a basic sense of humour – 30g.
I don’t need laxatives!! I need therapy! And enough toilet paper. And not just any toilet paper. Soft, double layer toilet paper. Pictures of puppies, roses or children’s art – doesn’t matter. What is important is that the toilet paper must be soft and it must tear where it’s supposed to tear!
Now and again, however, there are situations that give toilet paper a good run for being the priority on the list of necessities.
When a young, inexperienced digestive system distributes a chocolate milkshake in a processed and definitely changed form over the cars carpet and back seat while travelling between the grocery store and home, gas masks and emergency exits in front, behind, left, right and above pull rank and an automatic driver option is instantly at the top of my list of necessities - together with toilet paper, of course!
Life does not promise us a fairy-tale world. Whether you like it or not, it’s on the menu . . . . . roughage! And we have options. We always have options. Like Mary Poppins suggests, we can take a spoonful of sugar to make the roughage taste better. I often take this route and that is why I have a shrink in my fridge. Contrary to popular belief, the shrink in my fridge does nót prescribe tuna salad, rice cakes and carrot sticks for my condition. He knows that it would be as effective as prescribing an asthma-pump to help cure haemorrhoids. He usually prescribes blue berry cheesecake, hot chocolate with condensed milk and a touch of liqueur; waffles with strawberries and ice- cream, cappuccino with cream and chocolate sprinkles. In severe cases he prescribes a large slab of dark chocolate and red wine. A severe roughage overdose, followed by the daily prescription of my shrink in the fridge can however not be good for any colon.
Another option would be to like Shrek, apply the last page of the fairy tale in other ways than originally intended.
Unfortunately we are not all blessed with robust digestive systems, and therefore the often uncalled-for roughage in our lives, chafes and grinds our sensitive systems.
I was once standing in a queue when I had the most interesting discussion with a 5 year old little boy. He told me about his twin brother and sister. The first thing and eventually the only thing that he discussed in detail was the amount of times that they had to wipe babies’ bottoms.
All this is well when the babies’ bottom are wiped with double or triple soft toilet paper. How else? It has to be done.
Problems arise however when we have to use our supply of soft toilet paper to help others who should have been out of nappies a long time ago just in order not to upset them. We walk through life on tip-toes, careful not to step in the “crap”. In the process we lose the ability to laugh and enjoy life, because who can laugh when you are constantly concentrating on watching your step and treading softly?
And meanwhile our own supply of toilet paper is depleted while those with inadequate digestive systems are enfolded in layers and layers and layers of soft toilet paper, protecting them against the consequences of their impulsive behaviours and decisions the normal diet of life has to offer.
I am of the opinion that there will be less digestive complications in society if everyone would handle their own “digesting-and-wiping-up” business. We should help carry each other’s burdens - not digest and clean up each other’s crap.
The reality is that there are the burdened goodhearted, armed with toilet paper and wet wipes, and when the going gets rough, newspaper or poop scoops, who continually clean up behind those who, to their own disadvantage have never achieved or acquired independency and the ability to help themselves. We all know the importance of fibre in our diets. Without enough fibre we become clogged up, unsociable, gloomy, depressed. We need a healthy diet to grow and develop in life.
Naturally, those doing the wiping up have no need of laxatives due to an excess of fibre - their own and that of others.
The problem is that these goodhearted souls armed with toilet paper also often feel the need to contain themselves when their own supply of soft toilet paper is depleted rather quickly because of having to continually clean-up, and wipe the bottoms of those who have never learnt to accept responsibility for their own mess-ups. Keeping it in over a long period of time is never good for the digestive system and can lead to outbursts of anger and frustration. This usually leads to innocent bystanders having to dodge the spatters, and they too have to run for the toilet paper.
However, the issue is not about, digesting more roughage than is generally dished out or about having to keep it in or taking care not to step in the crap, or even in trying to save toilet paper. In that case it would probably be better to walk around carrying a “poop-scoop”.
What would the real bare necessities in life be then?
The true necessity is that society must be taught from a young age to handle roughage in their daily lives; to accept responsibility for their own actions and decisions - in other words - to wipe up after themselves, whether it be with one- or two-ply toilet paper, newspaper, or the last page of a comic book. Then there will be less need to master the art of ducking and diving or dodging splatters; there will be more strong hearts and healthy colons because it won’t be necessary to contain ourselves because of a shortage of toilet paper.