From (encrypted) Tue Oct 6 19:45:52 1998
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Date: Tue, 06 Oct 1998 19:45:50 -0400
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Dear Dan,

Maybe I'm facing the wrong way in the elevator, here, but I think I've caught on the something peculiar that I think bears strong relation to your careful observations of tubs and/or pot culture. This is just a stab in the dark, but there seems to exist some residual rule regarding, of all things, toilet paper. This probably seems odd given our culture's otherwise sparse collection of residual rules regarding bathroom behavior, but, nevertheless, this one seems to crop up before me again and again without regard to time, location, or the social delineation of the people in the surrounding environment. The rule is this: replacing an empty toilet paper roll on the toilet paper roll holder with a fresh roll of toilet paper is strictly forbidden behaviour. Curious, eh? Unspoken and pervasive, this quiet remnant of long-forgotten societal rationale still carefully guides elsewhere people's hands as they attempt to replace the empty toilet paper roll with a fresh, full roll, placing it, instead, vertically on top of the toilet paper roll holder or next to the toilet. I see it everywhere. In homes and small business establishments... In large corporate offices and outhouses... nowhere will anyone, save for staff specifically hired to perform this task, replace the toilet paper. Where is the voice of modern reason? What age-old stricture that originally mandated this behaviour still exists that perpetuates this phenomenon? What are the consequences, besides the obvious public shunning, should one choose to break this enslaving chain? And what, my dear Dan, does this have to do with tubs and/or pots?

Asmodeus Desdemona


Your keen perception is overshadowed only by your knack at overlooking the obvious. Though my days of serious research into the mother of all pots are far behind me, I will gladly address your concern with this issue. Your observations though common, seem to paint an interesting paradigm varrying slightly from what we at T&PHQ consider the norm. Our experiences lead us to believe that standard memes lend toward the tossing of the old toilet paper husk to the wayside, leaving the spinny-roll-holder-thing bare. This is obviously either a passive agressive attempt to communicate that which ails society, or the embodiment of a true instance of vulgar cultural relativism. If we accept that each culture is capable of its own code of ethics. Things become clear. In arab nations for instance, it is perfectly normal to chop off a young boys hand for stealing a cookie. This is OK. It is even good and just. If we also accept the average solitary bathroom user as a nation of one; an entity separate from all others, beit for a moment or two of flatulation or what have you... then we must also accept that it is intirely possible that there is no wrong... there is no right... only pleasure and pain. We are at the wimsy of our emotions. We are a different "I" from one moment to the next...
the paradigm shift is striking!
All of a sudden, that which we once thought odd, or bad, becomes fine again... but this is all in the past. We can only think about one thing at any given moment. Are you dwelling on the past? Thinking about the moment? Or planning for the future? I think that somewhere there is an ideal balance... but I am not you. And I am most certainly different from the guy who started writing this... forever changed... wiser, and slightly less jaded. I thank you.
Toilets generally have lids.


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