A bad trip, at least on paper

You know it's time for a Costco run when you're running low on toilet paper. So off I went, to the one out by the airport. I had some other stuff on my list, but it all could have waited, were it not for the TP situation.

Now, I generally spring for the Charmin, but sometimes you have to settle for the Kirkland. There's a pandemic on, or haven't you heard? And if things get really desperate, there's the giant roll for industrial use. Single-ply, a little on the sandpaper-y side, and not suitable for a bathroom in a home. The kind they give you at work. I've never had to stoop that low.

So I'm walking around the warehouse, picking up dad jeans and laundry detergent and wine, and eventually I get to the place where the "bath tissue" (heh) is usually stacked. But lo and behold, all that's there are a few pathetic cases of bottled water. Typical, I thought, they moved the toilet paper. They move stuff around on purpose so that you have to spend more time wheeling around and buying huge quantities of goods on impulse. 

Right then I see a guy who works there and I stop him. "Hey buddy," I ask, "can you tell me where they put the toilet paper?" He looks me in the eye and says, "We're out. The truck didn't show up last night."

I shoot the guy my nastiest outraged consumer look, as if it were his fault, but because I am wearing a tight N-95 respirator, I can tell that he isn't seeing it. Oh, well. Grab the trail mix and the cheap flowers and get out of there. I drive off hoping we aren't back to a critical storage of that precious commodity with which we, ahem, tidy up.

Back at the start of Covid, it wasn't clear that we'd get our TP supply refreshed in time to avert disaster. I still have my 2019 eight-volume complete federal tax regulations set aside in the basement as part of our emergency preparedness. They print those on cheap paper that might not be much worse than the stuff at work.

On the way home, I broke down and bought a dozen rolls at Fred Meyer's, a place I have successfully sworn off for the last six weeks. I got in and out of there quick.

But the Costco outing wasn't a complete bust. In addition to the dad jeans and the Gatorade, I scored one of their chicken pot pies. When you haven't had one of those for going on two years, they're actually quite good.


  1. The Graduate for 2021: “Are you listening? Bidets.”

  2. https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B086W1YZSH/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1

  3. Don’t tell my wife this. After last year (or was it this year?) when I was having so much trouble finding any “bath tissue”, she went on a spree and eventually loaded up a whole closet full of that and paper towels. Being a man, I could had cared less about a T.P. shortage as I could always use napkins, Kleenex, the Oregonian, whatever. What’s a little ink gonna do, especially when there is a shortage underway.

    I thought the whole thing was crazy and that the preppers were nuts. Why toilet paper and not toothpaste or bacon bits? Was Covid causing people to have more “bathroom trips” than normal? God I hope that we don’t run out again.


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