I entered my local shopping centre with the intention of just stocking up on the essentials like a bag of rice, some tins of tuna and a couple of bags of frozen vegetables. But I crossed the line, I entered the aisle where the newest hot commodity, toilet paper used to reside.
Now being an ex-plumber, I understand the need and importance of those valuable squares of 2 ply paper. Working on many new houses on the outskirts of Sydney, carrying your own toilet paper was essential. I remember very clearly, one morning when I had just arrived at a house site in Yarrawarra, south of Sutherland. I had driven from Hornsby, and I was busting to go. I was in luck; I had a roll of toilet paper. I grabbed it and headed into the bush at the rear of the site. I only just made it behind a large rock and was relaxing into it. I looked up, and to my horror just off in the bush was a man sitting on a balcony that I just did not see, watching the entire proceedings. I was beyond the point of no return, I finished, quickly covered the toilet paper with leaves, and with out looking up, was out of there.
So, the entire focus on stocking up on toilet paper, just in case, is a severe ‘first world problem.’ The media are just having a wonderful time. The bush fires, the flooding and now toilet paper. They will not be satisfied until we have zombies running wild. But it is not the zombies we should be scared of. Whilst checking out with my meagre supplies, there was a trolley of items that had been discarded at the cash register. To my delight there was a six pack of 2 ply just sitting there. As I picked it up, a woman literally snatched it out of my hands, and mumbled that she needed it more than me. It has begun.
But what is this obsession all of a sudden on our hygiene? Will the world end if we do not have toilet paper? News flash, you cannot eat toilet paper. One of my earliest memories as a child was driving with my father to his afternoon hockey match, somewhere near Buckinghamshire, I remember forests and leaves. I was only a young boy and at that age, filling my pants was a definite option to me but not to my father. He pulled over, and to his credit used a bunch of large maple leaves to clean me up. Who needs toilet paper? We have survived for thousands of years by using leaves. I reckon that this must have traumatised my father as it was him many years later that said I would be a great plumber.
We all know that this is not about the toilet paper. It is fear, pure and simple. Like the ‘Walking Dead’ it is not the zombies that we have to be careful of, it is our fellow humans. The homo sapien is the most brutal of any of the current life forms that inhabit the earth. I don’t think I need to give you examples. Our savagery towards animals, each other and the planet is beyond reproach. I can hear you now, ‘but we can all make a difference.’ I don’t think so. So, for us to reach a moral and loving tipping point that would signal an end to the hostility we inflict on each other, there would need to be a gigantic shift in our own awareness. In the meantime, as we squabble over bloody toilet paper, we need to prepare for the worst, but to expect the best.