I Won't Apologise For Inventing: The Toilet Paper As A Tissue Substitute Edition
Recently I had a cold. I hadn’t been sick in over 18 months. It was my claim to fame. By ‘fame’ I am referring to my close circle of invisible fans, the ones that cheer and egg me on to do terribly outrageous things like jay walk across Bourke St Mall when there is no sign of an oncoming tram. I’m bad ass like that.
When you break it down, me not being sick for 18 months actually implies that I am a failure, a failure of pathogenic carrying proportions. My immune system is so undesirable that no germs/pathogens/viruses want to to sip from the white blood cell daiquiri at the Lisa Marie Corso Genetic Club.
My insides are basically the Muffin Break of the food court, a dying franchise that has been superseded by the boutique cupcake bakery, and one that loosely survives off the ‘End of Day 2 FOR 1′ business model. But even then it isn’t worth it because the only muffins left at this time of day are the gluten free ones. Not that I am complaining, being aggressively healthy is amazing, but occasionally I would like to cash in my sick leave and watch back-to-back Netflix all day long.
So when I was eventually struck down with the common cold after being healthy for so long I must admit it bruised my ego a little. Mainly because I started having fantasies that my perpetual health record might land me in the Guinness Book of Records or on an episode of Ripley's Believe It Or Not (both childhood dreams of mine), and for a very non-athletic but competitive person like myself this could be the only opportunity in my life where I might be able to break a world record. I instantly recognised the hallmarks of the common cold when I fell victim to its assault.
First your tonsils will tense up. Don’t get excited, you don’t have tonsillitis and a week of ice-cream does not await you. Secondly you will have a coughing fit and your eyes will redden and fill with water. You’ll look in the mirror and see a resemblance to yourself and Meryl Streep in Sophie’s Choice, and contemplate enrolling into NIDA. Don’t. Thirdly the sneezing and general sinus congestion will start, your decibels will drop a notch and the sound of your voice will fluctuate, sitting somewhere between a very nasal Fran Drescsher to a husky Scarlett Johansson octave.
Then the tissues will run out.
When the tissues ran out for me I was at my most vulnerable. Why? Like any low level and self absorbed functioning hypochondriac, I was dying, of course. But to the world I would present myself as a selfless human.
A human who would not risk the health of humanity and self incubate and fester in their bed with crumpled tissues, rather then spread their disease along the tissue and toilet paper aisle of Safeway, thus saving mankind.
It was also probable that due my state of inertia and a really good episode of Orange is the New Black I couldn’t be bothered driving five minutes to Safeway to restore my tissue supply. Either way, I was left at home and needed a solution from the drip tap that was my nose. And really there was only one logical solution that made sense – use toilet paper.
Let’s not pretend we haven’t ever used a tissue to mop up nature’s mess when the toilet paper has run out, it was plusher than usual and we enjoyed it. So why not flip the tissue to nose vs toilet paper to butt paradigm again?
I tore my first few squares of toilet paper, neatly folded them to create a makeshift tissue and raised it to my nose. And I did it again. And again, until tiny snowflakes littered my bedroom floor like a scene straight from Miracle on 34th Street. I was able to turf my DIY tissue after every use, in the bin or the toilet, a wasteland that was never an option for the tissue (which any plumber will tell you is the number one cause for a blocked toilet). I was no longer stifled by the vast emptiness of the generic tissue size, one that you are forced to use time and time again, folding the tissue over and over until it becomes the size of a pocket square for a MOUSE. The feeling of miniature embossed dolphins scraping my nostril cavities was so therapeutic that no amount of VicKs VapoRub could compare. I had instinctively created a bespoke tissue, a tissue that was right for me and proportionate to my nose, and for that I won’t apologise.