Toilet Paper Blues

John liked summer camp. But he hated the toilet paper they supplied, if you could call it that. It was a near translucent sheet that barely qualified as single ply. It stuck to your butt in the clamping heat and made a good wipe improbable. The cafeteria food often gave you the runs so in a way it was a double whammy. John would toilet during rest hour after lunch. His parents paid good money to send him to camp. Where the hell did that dough go? Not to bathroom supplies. A man’s time on the john is a sacred time, a time for reflection. But in those stalls there was only distress. It was even hard to tear a square from that massive roll. It would snap off before you could get a ply. Years later, whenever he used a public john, whether at an airport in Rhode Island or a DMV in Tennessee, he compared the supply to what he had to work with that summer. Nothing was as bad as the camp rolls.


Published by

Caine O'Rear

Caine O'Rear is a writer and editor based in Mobile, Alabama. He is the former editor in chief of American Songwriter Magazine. Follow him at

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