I was recently on another trip to the big city for doctor appointments. On the road as per usual there was need to stop and, well in Nevada terms, rest. At a pit stop along the way. This one, gratefully had a full-fledged outhouse to, well, rest.
I found as I was resting, a funny sight. On the wall there were two toilet paper holders that each held four rolls of the needed necessity of the rest area, lined up side by side. Very well stocked for being in the middle of nowhere I must say. Out of the eight rolls only two were used up and empty. Three others had some used and the last three were unused. The holders were made of steel. Flat pieces of iron of about 1 ½ inches wide and maybe 3/16 of an inch thick and painted the same off white color of the walls. Very heavy duty pieces of steel for the duty they were doing. They were bend at both ends, one end firmly attached to the wall and hinged and the other end butted (excused the pun) butted up against another piece also firmly attached to the wall and drilled with a hole to match a hole in the bar that held the rolls.
Now here is what I found oh so governmental—heavy on the mental. Through the holes, holding the toilet paper bars to the wall were two padlocks. Not just your run of the mill padlocks that I remember being issued to me for the purpose of protecting my high school locker and all the books and used gum wrappers that I could stuff in there. The ones that cost about two bucks. Oh no these government supplied babies were first class long necked Master locks worth about $25 to $30 each. How so very govern—mental. I couldn’t have been more proud and happy the eight rolls of toilet paper worth probably about four bucks, due to the bidding process to provide governmental outhouses with paper products, were being protected from a toilet paper thief by fifty to sixty bucks worth of padlocks.
To go on, the padlocks were not even keyed alike. Which would make too much sense. I mean if there were twenty outhouses to service by one guy, and each house had two bars to lock and unlock each time, that would be forty locks and forty keys. Keys that would take time to go through to get the bars opened and the rolls changed. You can’t make this stuff up.
Kind of makes you wonder just who writes these rules and guidelines huh?
The whole thing brought back memories of “toilet seat gate” of 1986 when reports surfaced that the Pentagon had spent like $640 for toilet seats. Some things just never change do they? Except, happily the rolls of toilet paper in that little outhouse we usually stop at, by a guy with a whole slew of keys hooked to his pants which he needs to hold up with suspenders because of the weight of all those keys!
How interesting I found the whole thing as I drove along after “resting.” Who would take the toilet paper from an outhouse? I mean they have a car or they wouldn’t be on the road. They must have some cash or they wouldn’t be traveling. It’s not like out in the middle of Nevada, sixty or seventy miles from the nearest town you’re going to have too many homeless souls to attribute the loss of several rolls of dry, scratchy, not top of the heap toilet paper to. So just who would take it? Especially if you are any kind of nice person who not only thinks of themselves, resting and needing paper, but the poor next guy who will more than likely also need paper, or he would not find him or herself in there “resting.” I came to the conclusion that I really didn’t want to know the type of person that would fill their pantry with outhouse stolen toilet paper.
I’m not upset about this. I gave up being upset about some of the government silliness long ago. There are just too many to choose from. Don’t you agree?
Trina lives in Eureka. Share with her at email@example.com.