The toilet tales — Postie ladies lavatory lament

By Colleen Miller

The trouble with toilet paper


Editor in Chief

Commercials have a way of making us want things we never thought we knew existed before. Take, for example, the Cheesy Gordita Crunch (emphasis on Crunch). Since the commercial first aired at the turn of the millennium, I can’t imagine what life was like before Taco Bell came out with it.

There hasn’t been such an influential commercial in my life since then. That is, until Cottonelle made me aware of a debate that could possibly be more divisive and salient than health care reform in this country. Can you guess what hundreds of people did today? Not write to their members of Congress, but voted for “over” or “under,” the great debate on how you put your toilet paper roll onto the dispenser on

Michigan, by the way, is 19 percent under and 81 percent over. We are among the vast majority of states that prefer the over method; California and Connecticut on the rebellious side. The national numbers are something like “over” 75 percent, “under” 25 percent. On the site, Brian from Michigan said he likes over because it’s “easier to grab a handful when you’re in a hurry or on the run.” Hmm, makes total sense! Hope he at least takes adequate time to use the TP when he’s in a hurry or on the run.

I’m a radical; I voted for under. Not because that’s what I may or may not prefer, but because that’s apparently the way I tend to replenish the TP. I never gave it much thought until I laughed and cursed at the commercial because I thought it so ridiculous. Then my mate says, “I like it over. You do it random, usually it’s under. I don’t know if you realize you’re doing it; you say you don’t, but …” He actually seems to think that I do it maliciously.

I guess I have been going to the potty for so long, that the act of reaching over for the cloth was pretty intuitive. The only exception, I’ll admit, is when you’re in a public restroom and they have taken to hiding the one trillion square, one-ply sandpaper rolls in an abyss known as the toilet paper holder. Oh the insanity when it has a weak perforation and you only get one square at a time. By the way, McDonalds is the worst for this. Hey corporate, make sure they put trash cans in the stall too. Thanks! It’s also equally frustrating when folks buy the softest TP known to man. But that’s another gripe.

Since those commercials started to air, I can’t just auto-pilot through the bathroom ritual. I used to think it was sufficient to put a new roll on when it was time. I will embarrassingly admit that as a child I enjoyed refilling the TP. In fact, my parents always had a dispenser that held two rolls and I would make sure they were both pretty equal at all times. I may have to commission a study of which would be used more in a side-by-side scenario, the under or the over? Then another study for when the over is the closer or the farther of the two.

I haven’t been this obsessive compulsive since my fascination with refilling the rolls. In fact I even hate that I have to be more than half conscious to put a roll of paper on a pogo stick in the wall to eventually be used in the most undesirable fashions.

Now that I’m thinking about it, probably too often, perhaps it’s a right or left handed thing. I’m told it’s a matter of physics or something like that; when it’s over the paper is easier to yank off. Otherwise, it requires two hands. Do lefties tend to like it under because it’s not as inconvenient to use both hands (most rolls are on the left side). It’s actually probably easier to yank with the left hand when it’s under. I’m a righty, so maybe I’m just not a lazy wiper — it doesn’t bother me to lift my left forearm.

Do people with vertical TP holders argue over clockwise or counterclockwise? Who knows, screw ’em, horizontal is better.

Public pooping problems


Managing Editor

I’ve made a few sacrifices for this paper, but none so extreme as the one I’m about to make. I’ve posed almost nude for a cover and for a Mouthing Off picture. I’ve actively called out the creepers while I still had to see them in class. Now I have to talk about something so private and embarrassing I’m not sure if I can continue, but here goes anyway…

I hate pooping in public. I know that sounds like a common thing, but I think I’m an extreme case. I am so uncomfortable with the idea of it that I would rather sit in agonizing pain for hours than risk using a public restroom to go “number two.” I’m also that person who won’t fart in public either. And yes, it does cause many stomachaches.

It’s not that I can’t use a public bathroom at all. I could pee all the livelong day if I needed. It’s the fact that I know my shit DOES stink and I don’t want anyone to smell it. You know how sometimes you walk into a bathroom, and it smells like something died three weeks ago and you groan, “Ugh, what’s that smell?!” I don’t want to be the person who causes that reaction. Don’t get the wrong idea; I don’t have anything dying in my bowels, and I don’t think I’m smellier than anyone else, but it ain’t roses I’m leaving behind in the porcelain.

My mom can recall the days when I would get off the bus from school and literally sprint home, up the stairs, and to my bathroom so I could finally release the pressure that had been building all day.

Come to think of it, my weird bathroom habits are not limited to only public restrooms. It took all summer of practically living with my best friend before I could “take care of business” at her house. And even now, I still wait until she’s asleep or right before I take a shower so I can run the water, removing any risk of her or her fiancé hearing me.

My boyfriend teases me all the time whenever he hears rumbling in my tummy. He knows something’s brewing and he knows I’d rather die than let him catch a whiff.

It’s only very recently that I’ve been able to poop in public, and I can credit that to The Oakland Post. Tuesday productions do not allow time for privacy when I’m here from 10 a.m. to midnight, sometimes even later. I still feel a burn of shame and fear clutches at my heart from the thought of someone walking in while I’m doing “that.” But a woman’s gotta do what a woman’s gotta do, especially when it comes to bodily functions that are out of my control.

I still need complete privacy if I’m going to have a BM in public, but hopefully with time I can ditch my neurotic behavior and flush it right down the toilet with the poop I’m not afraid to leave behind.

Time on the toleit is time in the trash

by Amanda Meade

Assistant Ads Manager

Out of all the things humans must do to remain healthy and to survive, there are two that I think are absolute wastes of time: sleeping and going to the bathroom.

While I could go on for several pages in the Mouthing Off section outlining all the things I could accomplish in life without having to sleep, I’ll discuss the latter: how unbelievably useless it is to have to go to the bathroom.

OK, maybe not completely useless—but if humans had been made without the need to relieve themselves, it would definitely free up more time in a day.

Roughly 30 minutes a day, to be more exact. According to, Americans spend roughly a year and a half of their lifetime in the bathroom. That’s far too much time sitting (or standing, for all the lucky guys out there) on a toilet.

Unfortunately, this added time wouldn’t be conducive for most people—there are a lot of people that shouldn’t be given any more free time.

I, however, would make the best of it. If I didn’t have to drop what I was doing every time I needed to use the restroom, I could accomplish a lot. I could get my homework done in a timelier manner than five minutes before class started, finish all of the books I’m reading on my Kindle (and no, I don’t read in the bathroom, I’m an in and out sort of girl) or write many more witty Mouthing Off articles, and turn them in on time, instead of being threatened with rats by our lovely Mouthing Off editor, Mr. Dan Simons.

I’d love to go on and on about all the reasons I hate having to go to the bathroom—but I have to pee.