Have No Fear, Toilet Paper Is Here!

Are you panicking? According to the media, we are only one step away from being mysteriously infected with Ebola tainted bodily fluids. If not sickened with this hemorrhagic disease, then an ISIS terrorist lurking in our hedges could be the cause of our demise. Yet, if we manage to survive these tragedies, we are still left to grapple with the horrendous U2 album iTunes downloaded on our iPhones.

It’s enough to drive anyone off the deep end. How are you coping? At first, I was a mess. I was losing sleep. I was up all night, pacing the floors (while periodically checking my forehead for a fever and my body for bleeding – the telltale symptoms of Ebola). Every few minutes I would peek out behind my curtains for an ISIS member prowling the neighborhood. Until I had to use the bathroom. Then all my fears and anxieties came to a screeching halt.

The bathroom? You say. Yes. The bathroom. Charmin toilet paper now comes scented. That’s right! This bath tissue smells like chamomile.

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There I was, worrying about coming into contact with the body secretions of an Ebola patient while I’m at the airport when suddenly, I felt so … relaxed! I wasn’t exactly sure what the source of this new found serenity was, until I realized it was coming from my toilet paper! Ebola what? ISIS who? By Charmin simply adding a fragrance to their toilet paper, my life has suddenly become easier. Thank you, Charmin!

The problem is, the scent is so lovely that I don’t want to use it for its intended purpose. Instead, I place the rolls around my home in lieu of potpourri.

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When company arrives, they sniff the air.

“What is that beguiling scent?”

“Oh, that,” I say modestly, “that’s just my chamomile scented toilet paper.”

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“I’m kind of embarrassed,” one friend admitted, “your bath tissue smelled so divine, like … flowers, I just couldn’t bring myself to use it. Do you have anything else?”

“I don’t blame you,” I say, “and you can actually remove that roll and put it right on the shoe rack in my hall closet.”

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Now, my hall closet is infused with the scent of chamomile.

Whenever I feel tense, I now have to whip out a roll of chamomile scented toilet paper and take a nice, long sniff in order to calm myself.

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Ahhhhhh! So what if I’m late for my appointment?

Perfume? Shmerfume! Why would I choose to wear perfume when all I need is one roll of scented toilet paper? I stick a roll in my purse and out the door I go, the aroma of chamomile scented bath tissue trailing behind.

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“Excuse me,” says the woman in the store, “do you know you have toilet paper hanging out of your purse?”

“Oh, yes! And this isn’t just any toilet paper. This is Charmin’s chamomile scented toilet paper.”

“Scented toilet paper? Now they scent toilet paper? When we go and wipe our -“

“But doesn’t it smell lovely?”

“I don’t care what it smells like! Toilet paper isn’t supposed to smell, period. That stuff isn’t for smelling! It’s for wiping!”

And like that, the magic is gone. While driving home, I sniff the roll of Charmin but instead of calm all I hear is the woman’s voice saying, “It’s for wiping!”

That night, I’m back up, pacing the floors, wondering if the CDC will create an Ebola vaccine since two people in our country now have the virus. However, if they do quickly make a vaccine, will the vaccine be safe? Sadly, I am no longer calmed by my toilet paper. I realize Charmin’s chamomile scented toilet tissue is simply toilet paper that smells weird.

**Author’s Note: The toilet paper rolls used in these photographs are not actual Charmin products, nor are they affiliated with Charmin. Any resemblance to Charmin chamomile scented toilet paper is purely coincidental, because why would anyone want to use scented toilet paper??** 

As President …

President Underground Writer: I sit before you today as the forty-fifth President of the United States of America. Members of Congress and Senators, I look forward to working together in unity as we face and successfully address the daunting issues that stand before us all.

Congresswoman Liza Lott: We look forward to working with you as well, President Underground Writer.

President Underground Writer: Why, thank you, Representative Liza Lott. Okay, first things first. The most pressing issue I feel this country needs is a Silver Head Lane. This will be shovel-ready, putting thousands upon thousands of unemployed people to work –

Senator Les Abel: Um … excuse me, President Underground Writer, but what exactly do you mean by “Silver Head Lane?”

President Underground Writer: A traffic lane devoted solely for silver heads, of course. What do you think it means?

Senator Les Abel: A traffic lane devoted solely for silver heads? You mean, old people?

President Underground Writer: Sure. They would have their own lane. Like truckers have on the Jersey Turnpike. Just think of it! Their own lane, where they can dawdle safely, unharassed by people tailgating them. Then the rest of society can get to their destinations on time.

Congressman Ernest Lee Cheating: President Underground Writer, not only does that sound discriminatory, but it also would be extraordinarily expensive. Also, I don’t remember you saying anything about this Silver Head Lane during your campaign for office.

President Underground Writer: Well, sure I did! Didn’t you listen to those annoying prerecorded robocalls that called your house every night? Or what about the dozens of flyers that filled your mailbox every day? Both of those stated I had a plan to improve our country’s infrastructure.

Congresswoman Liza Lott: Wait. Your plan to improve our country’s infrastructure was by building Silver Head Lanes? How come no one knew this? (Looks around room.)

President Underground Writer: I may have been a little vague. Okay, next on my agenda to help this country is texting.  I want a federal law that will make texting while driving a criminal offense.

Senator Les Abel: A criminal offense? That seems a bit much. I mean, haven’t you ever texted while driving?

President Underground Writer: I can’t recall.

Congressman Ernest Lee Cheating: You can’t recall? Did you, or did you not text while driving?

President Underground Writer: I may have typed some words, but I never actually sent the text. Therefore, it doesn’t count as a text since it was never sent. Okay. Transportation has been addressed. Now, last on my agenda before I leave for Camp David –

Congresswoman Liza Lott: Leave for Camp David? But it’s your first day in office!

President Underground Writer: … is to get rid of Columbus Day. Wasn’t Christopher Columbus a big, fat jerk?

Senator Les Abel: A big fat jerk?

President Underground Writer: Yes. Didn’t he lop off the hands of people? And he never actually discovered the United States. He just bumped into the Caribbean with that old fashioned boat of his. And even then he thought it was India. Some explorer he was!

Congresswoman Liza Lott: So, you would like to abolish the federal holiday altogether?

President Underground Writer: Not get rid of it, exactly. More like tweak it, so we can acknowledge another explorer. Like … Juan Ponce de Leon.

Senator Les Abel: Ponce de Leon … didn’t he discover Florida while searching for the fountain of youth? Why should we have a federal holiday named after him?

President Underground Writer: Since this county esteems youth so much. Look at all the anti-wrinkle creams out there. Instead of Columbus Day, it should be Ponce de Leon Day. That would be more fitting with our country’s values. Now, let’s see … I addressed transportation, infrastructure and a federal holiday. I think that does it for today. If there’s an emergency, I can be reached at Camp David.

Senator Les Abel (rubbing his temples): President Underground Writer –

President Underground Writer: Oh! That reminds me. I would like to be addressed as “Your Majesty.” How come Great Britain gets the Queens and Princes? Huh? That’s just not fair.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Is It Cancer?

You notice a pain in your left elbow. Now that you think about it, the pain has actually been there for a few days. Maybe even weeks. You don’t remember hitting your elbow, or doing anything to injure it. What could be going on?

You Google “pain in left elbow” during your lunch break. The selection of websites that flash on your computer screen are overwhelming. You had no idea the subject of elbow pain was so important. You click on a link, one that has the word “medicine” in its web address. According to this website, your elbow pain could be due to anything from bumping your elbow, to arthritis, to cancer.

Cancer? Your fingers freeze, suspended over the keyboard. You are absolutely certain you did not bump your elbow. In fact, now that you think about it, you’re very careful with your elbows: tucking them in when you walk through doorways, never resting your hands on your hips so your elbows aren’t protruding like wings. And arthritis? Bah! Just yesterday you carried a laundry basket overflowing with dirty clothes up the stairs and never broke a sweat. You’re in your prime.

It must be cancer. You can’t recall anyone in your family history battling elbow cancer, but isn’t everyone getting cancer these days? Because of the food we’re eating … or not eating. And doesn’t cancer spread? You sit back in your chair. Maybe your elbow cancer has spread to your shoulder and now you have shoulder cancer. All at once your left shoulder seems achy.

You need to have this elbow (and now shoulder) examined immediately. You call your doctor to schedule an appointment. After listening to the options in the prerecorded message, you accidentally hit the wrong option and get the medical records department instead of the scheduling department. The medical records person transfers you, only you’re disconnected and need to call back and start all over again.

After choosing the correct option you are put on hold, though a friendly recorded voice reassures you that your call is very important to them. (So important that you are made to wait several minutes.) Finally, your call is answered. You inform the receptionist that you need to see your doctor as soon as possible for serious elbow pain. She tells you that your doctor’s schedule is booked. You feel that making an appointment with your doctor is some sort of race and you have lost.

The receptionist manages to “squeeze” you into your doctor’s busy schedule, making it sound as if it’s a favor and you should be grateful. You are, because since you’ve been on hold your elbow pain has grown worse.

The two weeks until you see your doctor seem endless. Mentally, you have decided who will inherit your most valuable assest. You wonder if you should make amends with the cranky neighbor you haven’t spoken to for three years. Or better yet, wait until he reads your obituary. How you died from elbow cancer. Won’t he feel bad then!

When you finally see your doctor, he seems rushed.  You remind yourself that you were inconveniently fit into his schedule, after all.

“Does it hurt when I do this?” he asks, bending your arm at a ninety degree angle.

“No,” you say sheepishly.

But it had hurt when you did this same movement five hundred times the past two weeks to verify if the pain was still there.

“How about when I do this?” he asks, moving your arm in a different direction.

“That’s okay too.”

“Everything seems alright to me. I don’t see anything to be concerned with. Maybe you just whacked it.”

“I’m certain I didn’t hit it,” you say.

But he’s not listening. He has written in your chart and left the room to see a patient who was not squeezed into his schedule.

That night you tell your friend about your elbow pain, and how you fear it is cancer that has now spread to your brain. She commiserates, and recommends you see her doctor. But her doctor is a holistic doctor, not a medical doctor.

Your friend’s holistic doctor answers the phone on the first ring. Not only are there no phone trees or being put on hold, the holistic doctor will see you first thing in the morning. When you arrive at her office, there is music playing. She smells of patchouli oil. The holistic doctor takes your elbow pain very, very seriously. She explains that discomfort in any part of the body indicates inner pain … as well as a deficiency of vitamins and minerals.

When you leave her office, you have spent two hundred dollars on a monthly supply of vitamins and minerals. You have also bought a manual that will guide you towards inner peace, and a packet of tea bags whose name you can’t pronounce. The holistic doctor promises that, in time, these will heal your elbow and shoulder pain.

As you drive to work, you think about your elbow and how it used to not hurt. Then suddenly you realize it is no longer hurting, as you remember hitting it on the banister while you were carrying that load of dirty laundry up the stairs, without breaking a sweat.