Friday Filler – The Great TP Shortage of 2020

Thank Grog It’s Firday!

I have to admit, that I really didn’t think anything would get weirder than last week. But, of course, I was wrong.   I have been playing the update in “REAL TIME” which is really weird, because “real time” in lock-down mode feels surreal.

But of course, I’m sure there is virtually nobody reading this who isn’t in the exact same predicament.  Playing in real time just makes the weird dialogue excruciating. I hate it when the writers have Marge and Homer fight, separate, and almost divorce.

But, from what I am reading, this “Stay At Home” order we are under in most states (that actually have common sense) are predicted to see two rising statistics.  One in the number of births in nine months, the other in the number of divorces.  If absence makes the heart grow fonder, the opposite apparently could mess with other body parts. So…like most things…when thrown together unexpectedly, you just don’t know if it will bring you closer together, or further apart. Or together, apart, together, apart. together…you know what I mean. 

My lovely bride of 38 years and I had exactly one of these situations this past week… It was serious. It was dire. And required me to test the limits of sanity in the wee hours of the morning!

The whole thing came to a head (an appropriate horrible play on words, that isn’t what your dirty minds imagined, as you will see…), when my wife created what became a legitimate Toilet Paper Shortage.

We had run the numbers… Like so many others… On this site…

The “Stay Home” order made us actually count our rolls…and we figured that we could just barely make 2-3 weeks, if we stayed pretty consistent in our use.

I had originally thought about just ordering it online- but soon realized that the TP Scalpers are far worse than EA and their Donut Hustle!

But then, another shortage (a simple $1.23 box of Onion Soup mix), created the kind of unpredictable situation that forced me into venturing into the world…at 5am…for Senior Shopping Hour at Walmart.

Deb, wanted onion dip. It is that weird thing that happens when you are told you CAN’T have something.  She never makes onion dip…unless it is the holidays, and tradition calls for it.  But, something about “Lockdown” makes you crave weird stuff…and in this case, it was onion dip.

And frankly, her attempt at homemade onion dip may not have been a total disaster, had she also not combined it with an attempt to recreate a recipe I had for collard greens. We have cooked collard greens once.  We did so on the return from our trip to New Orleans, for a Mardi Gras party for our book club.

But, again…it’s just one of those things you crave when you are sequestered, and you re my wife.

Let’s just say that the result was a Gastro- Catastrophe that greatly depleted our rationed store of TP, and threw me into a world I had simply not anticipated. 

You Might Ask… “What About Your Amazing Backporch Backside Cleaner you debuted last week?”  (See Video Here ) Good question. And here’s another… Why does the word debut look a lot like De Butt?  But, is pronounced in a way that rhymes with “View?”

However…back on track, and to answer your question, ”The Mrs. isn’t nearly as inclined to use the Back Porch Backside Cleaner, once the “privacy curtain” blew off in the rain and wind on Monday. But I digress…

Walmart, is the closest store to our house…and as it turns out…they offer a “Special Senior Shopping Hour” from 6-7am on Tuesdays. And it being a  Tuesday, and with the aforementioned unplanned TP Shortage ensuing, I set out to try my hand at filling the gap (another bad play on words…sorry!)

Maybe I’ve seen too many news clips of Black Friday Mobs, fighting over a $300 Big Screen TV…or even people going crazy over TP this past weekend.  But, I fully expected to see some modified version of the Walking Dead…especially as it was the FIRST DAY of the Total Lockdown.

However,  when I pulled up…at 5:30 AM… I was shocked to find an almost empty parking lot.

In fact, for about 20 minutes, it was me and the two Walmart employees, who were doing “crowd control,” talking about how nuts it might be. But, the message from them was clear…in the trenches of the TP Wars…it’s mostly nuts in the morning…and then dead the rest of the day.

By the time it was close to 6AM, we had been joined by a bunch of Seniors, all keeping their Social Distancing (we’re polite) and all wondering the same thing; Is There Any TP?

I’m not proud to say…but will admit, that I was the first to the TP aisle and thought, “HOLYFREAKINSHIRTis this all there is???  And, we can only take ONE package?”

In front of me…there were Four 8-Packs and Eleven 4-packs…of the tiniest rolls you’ve ever seen. So, yes...The TP Shortage is REAL. Even on Senior Day!

There was a smattering of meat.  And hardly any Canned Goods….

But there were Loads of Gluten Free Options…which should tell you something about the American Diet. Plus, you have to admit that it is weirdly ironic, as most people who suffer from Gluten Intolerance often have the same fate as my wife and her onion dip/collard greens combo.  Suffice it to say…Walmart is NOT Whole Foods.

My final assessment?  I LOVED the Senior Hour. Everyone was polite, orderly, and upbeat…and seemed to just take the lack of enough TP for everyone in stride.

And, for those of you bitching that the old people are getting special treatment during this shortage… let me tell you something…”This TP was expensive (the rolls were tiny, in spite of the claim Our Largest Pack Ever!) and no great reward for my efforts.” 

I’m not going to say that the “Rapid Dissolving Toilet Paper” isn’t a welcome backup (NO PUN INTENDED…again)… But, it seems to start dissolving before the job is totally done…if you catch my drift.

Bottom Line on the TP Shortage (yeah…that’s another crappy pun), People Created the Shortage…People, and a Little Common Sense, are going to have to solve it.

If this is a “WAR” like the talking heads are calling it in Washington, then I have some GREAT Ideas for how to make it work for EVERYONE!

  1. Issue ration tickets like they did in WWII
  2. Do an even/odd birthday lottery
    If you have an Even Day Birthday, M-W-F – You can buy a package of TP or Hand Sanitizer – Tues-Thursday-Saturday…if your birthday falls on an Odd Day.
  3. And Sundays…we’ll just put 100 rolls all over the store…and live-stream the action to Sports Fans Who Are Missing all of the Sports that got cancelled (Sorry Alissa!) .
    The WINNER GETS A shopping Spree on the Gluten Free Aisle!

See? Great Problems Deserve Great Solutions!

There was one more weird reality that occurred to me after I got home and caught the latest News Headlines.   It is a CONSPIRACY OF EPIC PROPORTIONS… But, I got to the BOTTOM of it! (final one…I promise!).

Yes…this gets a little political. But, what isn’t political about this TP shortage???  As they say…with all of this crap coming from Washington, a TP shortage was inevitable!

Butt, (sorry, couldn’t help myself), I know that Alissa and a few others don’t like politics on this blog. So, rather than sully the pristine, politics-free, environs of this bliss-filled community, I will simply direct you to my blog for information that EVERY  PERSON  OVER 60 NEEDS TO KNOW... (psssssssttttt….They’re trying to kill us old people!). You’ll get the TRUTH when and where you need it!

Go here for the inside poop!:


Tell us YOUR COVID-TP Stories! You know we never get tired of hearing about that kind of sh*t!

37 responses to “Friday Filler – The Great TP Shortage of 2020

  1. I hope you got your orders in since the 30 day extension. (I bought a couple of 30 packs from Sam’s last summer when they were on sale – TP never goes bad).

  2. Miriam Strysik

    Hilarious. Thanks for the laugh Patric.

  3. Two alternatives. First, for TP, consider boxes of kleenex if in a pinch. Second, if really needing bleach get pool chlorine, same ingredient just stronger, so make sure you dilute. My Home Depot has gallons of pool bleach in a corner where no one goes but zero in the normal cleaning area. Liquid stuff of course not the solid kind duh…

  4. Our local Aldi is a hundred meters from the local Walmart. Walmart’s shelves were denuded of things that were in demand. Aldi’s shelves had plenty, although you could only buy one package, usually. The Walmart shoppers didn’t seem to know that Aldi existed.

    • Good to hear!

      The BIG SCORE theses days is the Costco 30-roll pack. I’m not a member. But, have heard loads of folks showing off their mega packs.

  5. This is -just- the sort of s**t we need to cheer us up in the time of the Great TP Shortage….

    Thanks as usual, Patric, we need stuff like this to keep us relatively sane 🙂

  6. Stir crazy being in isolation, mad panic buyers, NHS staff absolutely brilliant including my wife who goes out to work each day, my job isn’t front line, so I disinfect the house, cook most of the meals and generally look after everyone, very afraid that the situation will decline further like watching an apocalyptic film in real time,
    Look after that TP, we may need it in the coming weeks.

  7. I see I wasn’t the only one – I was craving ranch dip last night – haven’t had it in forever! Hubby was kind enough to grab some for me lol.

    We got lucky Tuesday & HEB delivered some toilet paper with our morning order!

  8. I can only offer what has been my laugh of the day, and it comes courtesy of actor Alec Baldwin, who mentioned what his niece wrote in her journal.

    January 1st: 2020 is going to be my year!
    March 16th: Just wiped my a$$ with a coffee filter.

    A perfect summation of the year thus far.

  9. I’m all for Senior Day every single day from 6am to 7am – 8am to 9am … because Seniors don’t fight over the necessities AND they only buy what’s necessary.

    Since the Mrs & I are both employed and AARP Members in our mid 50’s, we’re not Senior Citizens (Nevada says that’s Age 60 and olde) but we’re on par with Senior Citizens (we’re polite and only buy what’s necessary).

    Order for Delivery
    Order for Pickup

    Hey everybody has it (Sprouts / Whole Foods, Smith’s / Kroger’s, Albertson’s / Von’s, Walmart, WinCo) …. but it’s the dumbest thing ever that you can’t do this for toiletries and cleansers (we don’t do Costco, but we’ve managed to obtain what’s necessary to wipe our bums, blow our noses, wash our hands – and we can ration enough to make it last a good 7 weeks!)

    TSTO has been a pleasant distraction, the rainy weather is welcomed (just say NO to extended drought), getting lots of ‘honey do’s around the Condo keeps her less cranky (I’ve done enough that she owes me – lol!), we laugh that you can’t order for pickup / delivery what we wish to be easier to obtain ….. but businesses will gladly deliver OR include for pickup alcoholic beverages – even dispensaries are doing this as a Munchies & Marijuana Combo (yes, you can get your drink on at home to keep your sanity, or get high diddly high with a supply of snacks! Senior and AARP discounts are available!) 😂

    Stay Safe, Hygienic, High (or Imbibed) and Alive Tappers (be nice to Seniors and AARP Members cause they’ll get you discounts!) 😀👍🏻

    • Ordering is at a standstill…there dats booked. So- glad we are covered.

      • I am glad there is help for most things 😊
        (we haven’t reached FEMA level)

        AARP has done a good job coordinating assistance for those 50 and older via volunteer deliveries / pick up services for those with mobility issues.

        We just need our ☕ to start the day

  10. Hasn’t anybody heard of using Bidets (buh-DAY or bee-DAY)? Home Depot, Lowe’s, Amazon, etc. YouTube has videos about them. Save yourself and save the environment! (All right, enough preaching from me… lol)

  11. I am surprised you did not state that you arrived at Walmart at the crack of dawn. (also Sorry!) Too far???

  12. This is the dumbest thing I’ve ever seen in my life, it’s mass hysteria.

    I just want the city to fix their sewage problem so we can actually live in our own house without being sick. It’s a really long, awful story and would hate to go into detail. Stay strong, frens.

    • I am imagining you are referring to the people who are clogging up the systems by flushing baby wipes? Mass hysteria or not…I’d HATE to be the guys that have to scoop those things out from the “sludge.”

      • The town refuses to do actual maintenance, which has been causing people problems for a few years now. Unfortunately, it’s so bad we’re trying to move.
        The mass hysteria due to people being whipped up into a frenzy over a flu is another problem in itself.

        • Yeah… I was there with you last week. But, now I have a son-in-law working in a triage tent in Portland. This is no flu. More like instant pneumonia for many.

  13. johnnyicemaker

    TP, what’s TP? haven’t nere hear uh it. We been usin leaves in our outside bathroom shack. Can’t wait til spring when we get new leaves. Da old ones is kind a brittle now. Dissolving TP, harumph, I wish, you fancy city slickers.

    Ugh, the deconstruct of civilization has turned us into raving mad lunatics.

    • Agreed. And yet…the numbers increase. So…I guess we’re all stuck with this for a bit.

      • We’re on a septic system in the country. Can’t flush Kleenex, wipes, or anything not septic safe.
        Have you seen the pictures of the Little Lending Libraries made to hold books? Here in Iowa, good samaritans are filling then with TP!

Leave a Reply