Thursday, July 10, 2008

Essential Life Lesson #1: Over is Right, Under is Wrong

Courtesy of

As part of our ongoing effort here at Current Configuration to make your life not only better, but also 10% more crunchy, we’re offering you this first installment of what will be an ongoing series of Essential Life Lessons. Kicking off this series will be a critical but even-handed examination of a common misunderstanding that occurs in a realm of many misunderstandings: the bathroom.

Put simply, there is a right way to hang the toilet paper, and a wrong way. Read on to determine the status of your own roll.

Toilet paper has a natural curve, a way of being that lends itself to certain orientations on the toilet paper spool.* If handled with skill and knowledge, it can provide an abundance of both sanitation and comfort, quilted together in each square of pillowy ply. If handled with clumsy ignorance, or worse, carelessness, it will beset the user with pain, filth, and frustration. Don’t let it end this way, with you curled on the tile floor of the stall, weeping in frustration, covered in wasted papier de toilette. To convince you, we’ve created some diagrams, harnessing the power of SCIENCE, to demonstrate the natural benefits of the over hanging method. First, we examine the optimal viewing benefits of the over hanging method.

Below are examples of the helpful and fruitful over-hung method on the left and the annoying and detrimental under-hung method on the right.

Notice the dramatic difference in the amount of visible toilet paper. Ironically, it is the over-hung toilet paper that has both the most visible free sheetage and the least amount of sheetage free from the roll to do it. Now, this may not seem like a big deal on its own, but in these extra sheets lies your undoing. Observe.

We here at Current Configuration, for the purposes of ease and expediency, do the one-handed tear (okay, really, it’s just me, but bear with me, er, us). The one-handed tear is a quick maneuver that takes advantage of the perforated squares, allowing your bundle of toilet paper to be liberated with one quick swipe of the arm. This is the foundation of bathroom ease, the cottony bedrock on which enjoyment rests in the restrooms of many nations.

The one-handed tear relies on a quick and forceful motion directed either away from or towards the tear-er. The forces applied in this motion are great and, like the atom, are not to be trifled with. The natural curve of the over-hung method allows the roll to stand fast after a one-handed tear, but the under-hung method creates a calamitous tendency in the roll. This tendency can only lead to this:

Wasted paper, frustration, the destruction of our forests. While we realize that it is possible to execute a one-handed tear on an under-hung roll, this is a game of sanitary Russian roulette. You are bound to lose eventually, and there is no re-rolling an unwound toilet paper roll. The results will only cause you grief. Don’t let this happen to you. Restroom attendants, janitors, maids, facilities crews, and responsible toiletowners take note: Don’t use the under-hung method for your toilet paper rolls. It leads to the destruction of our precious resources and the pillars of civilization as we know it!

*Does that thing have a proper name?

I post this because of my work, and how irritating the toilet paper thingy is.
Not only is it always hung under, but it is so tight, that I barely pull on the thing, and it tears. So I get one square at a time. Hmmm...maybe that was done on purpose.


heather said...

So when I was dating Mr. Sartori he and I had issue with this. I was all for the over technique, he for the under. 8 years later I get a confirmed "you're right". Thanks for the fan-damn-tastic post!

"Can you spare a square"
"I don't have a square to spare."

Jess said...

You kill me Teish. And can I say how much i LOVE this post, such concise visual aids! I am totally OCD about little things like this. I will even go so far as to change the offending role at someone else's house, uncouth, I know. And the public TP hung to snugly to get more than one square at a time... simply infuriating.

Cathy Clark said...

With three messy boys, I am just lucky to get the toilet paper on the roll let alone the right way. UUUUGGGGGG

You are to funny!

Tara said...

It is about time that someone seriously analyzed such an important subject. This post is hilarious!

I am a little scared to tell you now though that I don't even notice how I put the roll on. I don't really care either way! That is pretty damn annoying though when you are in a public restroom and you can't get more than a freakin square!

bboy said...