The toilet paper at college sucks.
Going to the restroom used to excite me. Now it fills me with a self-loathing dread.
And I’m mad as hell.
I mean, that’s why I started to write this article. I was going to make a whole speech about toilet paper. It was going to be wildly irrational. I was going to tear apart Princeton’s decision to use the thinnest toilet paper in existence with a vicious treatise. It was going to be dramatic, ecstatic, dogmatic, theatric(al), and completely uncalled for. It would have been a declaration, a stirring call to arms against a tyrannical regime that puts a draconian restriction on toilet paper consumption.
But I started thinking, and realized that nobody really wants to read a hate filled manifesto about a subject that Wikipedia lovingly refers to as “dunny rolls” and “bum wads”. So instead I have decided to use the remainder of this article to write a civilized goddamn discourse on what toilet paper means to me.
But what does toilet paper mean to me? Not much. Honestly, toilet paper is not one of the few things that consume my inner thoughts. It ranks somewhere below vintage wall art and slightly above Ghana. The only time that bum wads actively interfere with my daily thoughts is when they are either really good or… you know, really crappy.
I don’t really think I need to discuss good toilet paper to a great extent. I just want to say that there is a world outside of our Orange Bubble where fluffy toilet paper not only exists, but thrives. And I miss it. And I want it back. Because frankly, there is something just damn incredible about the soft yet supple feel of a dense tissue, resisting your pull with a playful joviality, flexible and tender under the strong caress of your caring fingers. It isn’t just an ephemeral moment; it is a way of life.
And unfortunately, this leads me to a more crucial subject—terrible toilet paper. An example off the top of my head would maybe be… THE TOILET PAPER PRINCETON DISTRIBUTES THROUGHOUT THE ENTIRE DAMN CAMPUS. One of the Nass writers told me that the Lewis Center had double ply toilet paper. After the writers’ meeting I immediately left, forgot all of my obligations, went to the Lewis Center, got confused, went to the Lewis Library by mistake, couldn’t find the entrance because I’m a humanities student, walked around the entire library, entered the library, and sprinted to the restroom. All I wanted was proof that decent toilet paper existed on this campus so that I could take a picture of it with my cell and post it to Pinterest. I don’t even use Pinterest. I was going to make a Pinterest account solely so that I could show that double-ply toilet paper still exists. But you know what toilet paper the Lewis Library used? Yes you do! The bad kind. The half-ply tissue paper that tears into a zillion tiny shreds whenever you try to grab a piece! I’ve seen astatine isotopes with a longer half-life than our toilet paper. And if WikiAnswers is accurate, astatine has a very short half-life. I could see this sort of trick working at Duke, but Princeton? Come on— get your head in the game.
Toilet paper, whether we like it or not, is a large part of our lives. And more importantly, it is an inescapable part of our lives. In an average lifetime, we spend approximately 568.7 days in the bathroom, meaning that approximately a year and a half of our lives are spent in intimate contact with toilet paper. The type of toilet paper a person uses is a determinant of their personality, a staple of their childhood, an indication of their sanity.
And I find it deplorable that Princeton is using such a terrible brand of toilet paper. Who among us hasn’t gone to the bathroom only to find the floors littered with scraps of toilet paper that pre-maturely tore and were reluctantly discarded? Recently, Kansas “The Fighting Cougars” University replaced their single ply toilet paper with double ply for a whopping $3.10 increase in tuition per student. If Princeton decided to spend their entire endowment on industrial orders of double ply toilet paper, they could purchase 19,046,091,541 rolls of toilet paper. And while I recognize that that would be a poor investment decision, the fact still remains that that number is huge! If you stacked all of those rolls together, I bet that the toilet paper tower would reach at least the moon. The moon! Have you seen the moon? I have. It looks like it’s really small, but actually it’s huge! That means its hella far away.
I realize that it’s absurd to be complaining about the toilet paper. I should be complaining about something important like the honor code or Ghana. But if the University is cutting corners on something as mundane as toilet paper, I question what else they are skimping on. And more importantly, I really question what they are over-spending on. Last year, The Prince reported that the Orange and Black Ball cost $75,000. That much money could buy 83,535 rolls of double ply toilet paper. We attend a great school. Hell, two different studies have listed Princeton as the best college in the country (suck it Duke!) I only feel that we could be so much greater if the school spent money on things that students really needed.
Things like justice.
Things like America.
Things like toilet paper.
My name is Dan Caprera. I am a sophomore at Princeton University and I will get better toilet paper or die trying.