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Charlie Hatton
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Howdy, friendly reading person!
I'm on a bit of a hiatus right now, but only to work on other projects -- one incredibly exciting example being the newly-released kids' science book series Things That Make You Go Yuck!
If you're a science and/or silliness fan, give it a gander! See you soon!

Rocking the Roll

* First things first: If the Braves tickle your fancy, please check out my latest update on Bugs & Cranks:

Of Bargains, Busts, and Bullpens — Prognosticating the best (and worst) contract inked by John Schuerholz this offseason

Now, on with the potty humor.

Something happened yesterday that changed my life. For thirty-plus years, I’d been walking around with a preconceived notion, and I found out yesterday afternoon that I was wrong. Dead wrong.

I found out that being stuck alone in a bathroom with no toilet paper — and an urgent need for toilet paper — is not the most helpless and embarrassed situation you can find yourself in.

How did I find this out? The obvious way, of course: I got myself stuck alone in a bathroom with no toilet paper. And, naturally, an urgent need for toilet paper. You’d think I’d try to avoid this sort of thing, what with that scary preconceived notion I was walking around with. I’m not the squeeziest Charmin in the pantry, apparently.

“It’d be one thing to explain myself if she walked upstairs and saw me in the hallway like that. But if she found me hiding under the bed, or squirming up against her clothes in the hall closet? Right. That’d go well.”

I can offer only two extenuating circumstances in my defense. First, the bathroom in question was my own, and the missus and I do our best to keep the toilet paper well-stocked in our own private powder room. Two-ply and quilted, too — only the best poop parchment for our tushies. If somebody made the stuff embroidered with little lace borders, we’d probably buy it. Personally, I would welcome our new toilet doily overlords. That’s how serious about T.P. we are here in Chez Charlie.

Secondly, I’ll admit that I misspoke earlier. Technically, saying the bathroom had ‘no toilet paper’ was incorrect. There was one square — one last, lonely, tattered square — clinging to the paper roll, and flashing enough downy whiteness to fool me into believing there was sufficient paper available. When there was not.

(You eco-friendly sorts might scoff at this point, and claim that one square is plenty to use, and that Mother Earth would benefit if we all adopted a one-square-per-visit policy at all times. To you, I say:

“Treehugger, please. Have you seen the size of my ass?

I could take that one square and nine of its closest friends and build a tent down there, just to hold the toilet paper I’m going to need. One square might work for Kate Moss and Ed Begley — not necessarily for the same reasons, mind you — but my conservation efforts shan’t include skimping while I’m sitting on the john.

I’ll recycle newspapers for you, and I’ll use solar power — I’ll even drive one of your freaky little gin-guzzling carlets — but I’ll be damned if I go ‘paperless’ in my ‘office’, if you get my drift. Wake up and smell the matches, Earthboy.”

I hope we’re clear on this, eco-folks. Never pooh-pooh a poo-pooer.)

Now, where the hell was I?

Ah — on the john, all alone, with no paper. Peachy.

When I realized the pickle I was in — after letting the proverbial gherkin out of the bag, sadly — my heart sank. There I was, in the mid-afternoon on an off-day from work, with my pants around my ankles, my wife downtown in her office, and the nearest Charminy salvation thirty feet away. Curse my wretched luck.

(Also, curse that microwave burrito I had for lunch. I’m pretty sure that was the instigator in this predicament. Any jury would convict it for this crime.

Just know that I’m refraining right now from making an ‘accessory after the fart’ joke. It’s taking a lot of willpower. You should be proud.)

Of course, it’s not like this nonsense hasn’t happened before, just a few short months ago. I guess we finally ran out of the seventeen rolls of paper I stashed in the bathroom after the last time. I just wish I’d made it eighteen.

But, I didn’t. So I took off on the same clenched-cheek trek to retrieve as much toilet paper as I could carry. I shuffled down the hallway, trying hard not to trip over the pants decorating my ankles, found a few spare rolls, and started shuffling back to my post to regroup. That’s when I was proven wrong, When I saw the error of my ways. When I found that the current shame and indignity was just the tip of the iceberg when it came to real embarrassment.

That’s when I heard the key in the front door.

My wife, taking it easy on the holiday, had only worked a half-day at the office. She’d come home early to spend a little ‘quality time’ with her husband.

Who was, at that moment, standing in the upstairs hallway with an armful of Charmin, a pair of pants doing no one any good at all, and a glaring need for a ‘cleanup on aisle two’.

From the front door, she couldn’t see me in the hallway. Whew!


She could see the open door to the bathroom. Any attempt to shuffle-clench-sprint back to my perch would surely be seen, and ridiculed soundly. Especially because it was almost certainly me who left a single solitary senseless square on the last roll. Making an undetected break back to the bathroom was out of the question.

On the other hand, I couldn’t exactly hide out, given my current condition. It’d be one thing to explain myself if she walked upstairs and saw me in the hallway like that. But if she found me hiding under the bed, or squirming up against her clothes in the hall closet? Right. That’d go well.

(We didn’t sign a prenup agreement — but if we had, I’m pretty sure that’s the sort of thing that completely negates any legal verbiage that might have been agreed upon.

Wife’s Lawyer: My client wants the house.

Divorce Court Judge: I’m sorry, the premarital agreement is very clear that-

Wife: I found him naked in my closet, muttering ‘Mustn’t be seen!’ and rubbing poo up against my slacks.

Divorce Court Judge: I see. Well, then. You want fries with that house?

This is one of the many thousands of reasons why my wife and I can never divorce. Or so I keep telling her.)

So, I did what I knew must be done. I revved up my engines, took a deep breath, and shimmied as fast as I could back into the bathroom. In full view of the missus.

When I emerged a few moments later, she was waiting for me in the hallway, with a smug little grin on her face. I played dumb, as though nothing had happened.

“What? What are you looking at?”

“Oh, nothing. Just thought I’d roll into the bathroom. I have T. P.


“I said, ‘I have to pee.’ Was that difficult to ass-ertain? Honey bare?”

“Oh, ha ha. Very funny.”

“I’m sorry, dear. I didn’t mean to make you the butt of a joke. It’s just a mean streak, I guess.”

“Mm-hmm. Nice talk. Now go pee.”

“Okay. Oh, by the way, before I forget…”

*sigh* Yeah?”

“Nice dimples.”

I’m never living this one down. At least now I know there’s something worse than being stuck alone on the john with no paper. How em-bareass-ing.

Permalink  |  2 Comments

2 Responses to “Rocking the Roll”

  1. Jenn says:

    I’m shocked you haven’t won a Pultizer Prize yet.

  2. Kerry says:

    but i’m sure you’re a shoo-in for the pooplitzer prize.

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