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  • Writer's pictureunkillbilly

Second Greatest Invention of All Time

Something to think about...

In addition to your stock of toilet paper to keep the lavatory operating, you may need a water supply at some point. I mean, if the economy collapses completely, the people who keep the water running might not be able to keep it running. Or, the flow is intermittent, as may be the electricity from time to time.

What's interesting is one of my books revolves around a guy who goes back in time, transporting with him a large box of toilet paper, and he becomes the inventor of modern toilet paper. In fact, the whole story rests on the toilet paper. For me, it's, like, an homage. To TP. You're no doubt aware that I regard the toilet as man's greatest invention ever. Eh-ver. You can have your fire, which mankind really didn't invent. And you can promote the wheel, as the greatest ever. And right behind toilets, in second place, is toilet paper. To me, the invention of toilet paper was a threshold for civilization.

My thought is we could lose the power of the almighty wheel if the crises we face follow a worst possible trajectory. All that's needed is one more element, to make a triad, a perfect storm, that will compound and multiply the worst of consequences for both the elements already present: Pandemic and economic collapse. Add, say, a devastating cyber-attack or intervention in the power grid. Just one more major disaster, or a bunch of more localized natural disasters—well, we may just wind up back in the stone age.

If nothing else, I hope we'll take the opportunity, once it's over, to look around and say, "You know, the crap we had before, the governance, the monetary system, our 'me-first' mentalities—that shit didn't work out so well. Whata ya say we start from scratch, with completely open minds, and design something that works?"

Who knows, maybe there are no answers to the disunity and divergence of our collective existence. Maybe the approach is to turn inward for solutions, to seek our better selves, perhaps even find our real selves. Take care of our side of the street, as my social worker friend describes it. Make sure I have my needs covered, and then see if there's anything left over to help others with. All you gotta do is cover your needs, which means you have to know your needs.

In fact, I think we're about to see some serious wake-up calls with respect to wants versus needs. The coronavirus has changed everything, and there's an avalanche of change still coming, even if none of us has a crystal ball to see the future. We will learn the difference between want and need—most likely because the wants are going to be stripped away, early in the disaster, like, soon. And if the worst case scenarios come down? There will be some deficit in the supply for needs. When we're standin' in long lines for hours to get a meager stash of food (or toilet paper), we're going to come to respect our food (TP), and the source of it, much more than the way we do now. We take food (and TP) for granted. Easy to do, but a terrible mistake.

I'm notorious for leaving loose ends hanging in my musings/writings, though it's a problem I believe I'll overcome. Besides, leaving loose ends on the subject of toilet paper too easily conjures an ugly graphic.

It appears a bunch of the people who bought large quantities of toilet paper are feeling the weight of the me-first attitude. Some tried to return their purchases, and we're justifiably rejected by the businesses. Others, more compassionate and kinder, donated a portion of their toilet paper wealth to the proverbial good cause. But then others...(I saw a report about a family that built a toilet paper fort, that was big enough for an adult to walk around in fully upright…and a whole bunch of memes with dogs and torn up rolls of toilet paper in the background.)

As for the bathroom water supply? Reuse plastic containers, the biggest ones, fill with tap water and store around the bottom of the toilet. Might look weird, but its better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it. Showers? It's the post apocalypse—we don't need no stinking showers!

Yes, things are likely to get ugly, and the long lines for necessities are going to be a visible indication of our impending devolution. People stand in line for food all over the planet.


I'll tell ya what—you can (and should) grow food in your front yard—there's no toilet paper plant! (Some would argue it was when we steered into cultivation of food as man's most important development. I say the decision to go agrarian is what doomed us. If we'd just kept hunting and gathering. KIDDING! Well, not really. Excuse me while I go study the YouTube video on how to field dress a jack rabbit.)

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