Opinion

Cut the crap! This bog roll hoarding nonsense has gone too far

Civilisation will not crumble if you don't have toilet paper to wipe your arse with

As if things aren’t desperate enough with all this nonsense of a second lockdown, we are troubled once again by the idiots who think that the bottom will fall out of their world if they don’t have enough loo roll for when the world falls out of their bottom.

Yes, the hoarders are back in business. On Monday, I went to my local Waitrose about 6 in the evening and, once again, there wasn’t a loo roll in sight. Really? How crazy is this? What is this fetish we Brits have for all things to do with the toilet?

Seriously, would it be the end of civilisation as we know it if some of us were to run out of toilet paper? Is it all just too horrendous to contemplate? Would there be rioting?

How lucky you English are to find the toilet so amusing. For us, it is a mundane and functional item. For you it is the basis of an entire culture

Red Baron played by Ade Edmondson from Blackadder Goes Forth (1989).

However did society survive in the days before loo roll was invented in 1857? Did our forbears just not go to the toilet before that date? Or did they find a way around the problem?

I have visited at least one part of the world where, until about 20 years ago, they were still not using toilet paper. What did they do instead? Whisper it softly, but I think they used their hands or fallen leaves. Don’t think for one nano-second that I am advocating that.

But what could you do it the paper ran out and the last time you bought a copy of the Daily Mirror was five years ago?

Well, this may sound a bit radical, but you could always jump in the shower (if you have one, that is). Too much faffing around, don’t have the time, you might say. You’re stuck indoors for Christ’s sake! What else are you going to do with your time? At least some part of your clothing will be already around your ankles after you have taken a dump. You are part of the way there.

Mick thinks some idiot has put two dunnies in the bathroom
This wash and dry toilet is from Victorian Plumbing. Note the control panel alongside the seat

Something more radical? You could always install a bidet. Though maybe that’s one for the future. Yes, I know it has a French name which, for many, is off-putting, but it can be a clever bit of gear. I recall a scene from the first Crocodile Dundee film where he is put up in a fancy New York hotel that has bidets in the bathrooms. At first, he didn’t know what it was for, but managed to work it out. The film also saw him retreat in trepidation when he first encountered an escalator at the airport. It was funny because it would have been true. The fictional town of Walkabout Creek in the middle of Aus didn’t have a lot of needs for escalators or bidets.

No room for a bidet? How about installing a toilet that will wash you down and dry you off without moving from the seat? It’s the sort of thing that Nick Knowles (a Skinners’ School, Tunbridge Wells, old boy) and his DIY SOS team would install when helping give back a bit of dignity to a person with physical disabilities. But they work just as well for the physically more able.

I first encountered a toilet like this while playing golf near Pattaya in Thailand. I don’t recall the name of the course off the top of my head. But I do remember distinctly that golfers wanted to play it – not because of the great layout of the course, or the well kept greens. No, they wanted to visit the all-singing and all-dancing loos the course had bought in from Japan. Players would turn up well before their tee time to ensure they could relax for a minute or six on the loo seat. Bizarre, but I swear it’s true.

I’ve just looked it up on the internet in case you’re interested, seems you can pick up a “wash and dry” bog set-up for 500 quid – a bargain! I’m going to start a campaign that all new-builds must install these loos, then I (and maybe you) can stop worrying about buying bog roll as if we’re expecting a nuclear war!

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David Buckley

Dave Buckley is a career journalist. “I once went painting girders for a week and discovered I didn’t like heights,” he says. “Apart from that it has always been journalism for me in one form or another.” Past local weekly publications he has worked for include: the South-East London Mercury* covering the Borough of Greenwich as a junior reporter; Orpington-based News Shopper as a sub-editor; and the Kent Messenger when based in Larkfield, Maidstone, as deputy chief sub-editor. He has also worked for the following dailies/nationals: Daily Express, Today*, News of the World* and Hong Kong Star*. All those marked with an asterisk no longer exist (trend emerging?). He owned and edited a Thailand-based property magazine before returning to England and currently works as a production editor on a car fleet magazine. His first foray into property ownership saw him move from London to Rainham (the Gillingham, Kent, variety). He has subsequently lived in Chislehurst, Petts Wood and Orpington in the Borough of Bromley (which he still regards as being in Kent). In more recent years he owned three different properties on the Kings Hill (West Malling) development.

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