There’s a toilet paper dispenser in my office bathroom that has increasingly become the subject of my thoughts. This dispenser isn’t special upon first inspection, it’s your run of the mill, round metal bar with a circular metal stopper on each end. And every stall in the three-stall bathroom has two of these ordinary dispensers situated neatly under a small metal shelf, which typically holds extra rolls of toilet paper.
Now that’s all fine and dandy, but there’s one minor detail specific to the first dispenser in the first stall that is plaguing me. You see, the circular metal stopper that holds the toilet paper in place is broken, so when you pull the paper from the roll, it gently slides to the right and threatens to fall to the floor. Now, this in and of itself is no problem for the person with common sense (who can easily use their free hand to hold the roll in place), but as Rey’s Grandpa once said, common sense aint so common, and I’ve never heard a truer statement.
It didn’t occur to me until a conversation with a coworker, that this dispenser was more than an inconvenience; it was a disease waiting to happen.
Upon entering the bathroom together and noticing a roll of toilet paper strewn across the floor, my unwitting coworker made the following remark:
“People are so disgusting! How rude do you have to be to drop a roll of toilet paper on the ground and not pick it up?”
It occurred to me at that moment that, holy fuck, she—and who knows how many other filthy bathroom goers—were entering that first stall and dropping rolls of toilet paper from that rickety dispenser, on to the infested bathroom floor, only to pick them up for me—and who know how many other unknowing sanitarians—to walk in and wipe our asses with festering disease rags.
I nearly lost my lunch. I couldn’t even “go” after that little comment, and silently trudged right back out that bathroom door to sit at my desk for the next three hours and stew over the multitudes of diseases I must have been exposed to over the course of my employment, all the while holding my piss.
Sparing any details, I’ve since developed a condition in response to this discovery, and I blame it on that damn toilet paper dispenser. I think I'll start carrying my own roll.