Oh toilet paper. A staple throughout the English speaking world and often unrecognized luxury, the dainty stuff leaves us clean and comfortable year ‘round. In fact, saying we consume “a ton” of loo paper doesn’t even come close: Think 400kilotons in 2012 alone. That’s so much toilet paper to build an island, or rocket ship, or bridge to somewhere.
In fact, that’s just what you may wanna do if a catastrophe reduces our proud civilization to ruins.
Sure, you might be thinking,right, the end is nigh. Know what? Dismiss the possibility all you want. Play the ostrich. Perhaps through your denial some Cartesian miracle will save us all. Probably not though.
From nanobot-spurred zombie infestations to natural disasters and climate change, there’s a slew of world-ending scenarios. The result of most? Pretty much a painful and violent death in the very near future. Seriously, could you go, ahem, toe-to-toe with Toecutter? I didn’t think so.
But what if by some freak accident did you survive? What then? Well, you’ll be scrounging for resources and making or taking stuff. That’s how humanity do. And guess what? There’s 400+ kilotons of toilet paper just lying around. While not exactly scarce, the stuff is way more useful for things other than wiping your arse.
The favorite go-too toy for prison-aged kids, the shiv is a nasty piece of work. It can also be made from toilet paper. Roll it up, add some agents for binding and hardening (apparently toothpaste is great for both!), and even sharpen it for some deadly and long-lasting papier-mâché weaponry. Withstilettos, spear and arrow heads, punch-daggers, and more, the possibilities are endless.
Hell, you can even make a toilet paper shiv in three minutes flat. Without a biding agent, no less. Watch it happen. Too impatient or hate YouTube or whatever? Get this: the video features a guy making his three-minute loo paper shiv and then piercing a fucking tennis ball. Yep, you read right. Toilet paper 1, tennis ball 0.
Another thing inspired by oh-so-crafty convicts. Not too long ago proud Ohioan, cop killer, and improvisational rope-maker John Parsons demonstrated the feasibility of loo paper rope. Well yeah, granted, he did also use bed sheets. Not the MythBusters guy though, who managed to repel down a goddamn building through toilet paper alone.
Rope in the post apocalypse is like plastic I.D. nowadays. Build a raft, lasso radioactive cattle, garrote bad guys, or whatever else. The possibilities are endless.
Add a little pizzazz to your post-apocalyptic hovel in the burnt-out remnants of a diner or motel! As demonstrated by the shiv, toilet paper is awesome for paper mache. Make death masks of your loved ones, atmospheric lampshades, gargoyles, and even fun hats!
Cold? Afraid of the dark? What asshat wouldn’t be in a post-apocalyptic nightmare? Lucky for you, all it takes is a toilet paper roll, some cooking oil, some flint, and a coffee can. There! With the toilet paper torch blazing away you can warm up and read by firelight. Just be careful. Light and smoke both may draw unwanted visitors.
Sure, toilet paper might be plentiful during the initial hardship, but it’ll likely become scarce within a few decades. Before y’know it the stuff might even be worth more than gold…or a can dog food. Horde some to briberaiders and barter with the meek.
You’ll eventually have to sneak around, and chances are your busted-up rubber sole boots won’t do the trick. Just imagine sneaking into a hostile camp with noisy shoes. Now imagine being very dead with your tasty parts stewing in a cauldron. Hardly ideal, right?
Loo paper to the rescue! Wrap the stuff around your boots or use an adhesive and be swift and silent when doing recon, stealing double A batteries, or whatever else. Just make sure to apply lots, as the stuff rips easily.
Before anything, toilet paper is a product of wood. If you haven’t noticed, wood is an insulator. Put two and two together and put the stuff between the walls of your shanty and burlap parka alike. Remember this is the post-apocalypse. Insulation doesn’t just trap heat, but also conserves valuable resources. That means more toilet paper for your furnace or torch.
Fresh water is likely to be scarce, and whatever water available will probably include filthy chemicals and dead people. Sure, you could boil the H20, but that’s a waste of resources. Better to collect rain. Pots, pans, and buckets obviously work fine, but waste not! Place toilet paper rolls in strategic areas to collect even more rain water. Once soaked, squeeze them into your rusty water tank.
Stock Up with the Good Stuff
Toilet paper production isn’t coming to screeching halt yet, but do you really want to take that chance? Stock up now. And for heaven’s sake remember “the future is not set, there is no fate but what we make for ourselves.” So, y’know, buy the recycled stuff and wipe responsibly.
Tony Dunning is a full time writer and part time comedian. He lives in Sydney Australia and is passionate about forward thinking social justice. Tony supports companies interested in improving the environment like Toilet Paper Plus.