Sheeters and bunchers

WHILE my wife was away for three weeks I consumed one loo roll from a pack of six (and no, I didn’t eat it).

She’s been back a week and the other five are gone. What can you do with five loo rolls? In a week!

About 300 sheets of it are down to me, by my estimation.

The rest — enough lavatory paper to join Maggie island to the mainland — is hers. I want to know what she does in there, but there are some things you don’t ask, even if you’ve been married 24 years.

Especially if you’ve been married 24 years!

I made a list.

You can blow your nose on it, wipe your hands on it, clean your ears with it, make a farmyard of origami animals out of it, blot your lipstick with it (but she doesn’t wear lipstick), fold it up to keep the little door under the wash basin from swinging open, pick up a dead insect in it and, of course, the usual, but we won’t go into that.

You can drain spinach in it, use it as a coaster on the saucer of your coffee cup and mop up gravy spills with it, but if that’s happening in the lavatory then my problems are worse than I thought.

Maybe it’s something to do with the industry research I heard about (there’s a whole industry devoted to loo rolls – just look at the supermarket shelves).

Apparently the industry has researched the human race into two basic groups: sheeters and bunchers.

That is to say, there are those of us who fold our little perforated sheets into tidy layers before we… you know what.

And there’s the other kind.

Am I living with a buncher? I can’t live with a buncher!

Quite apart from the distasteful idea of placing the entire human race in two categories, I don’t believe such a thing as a buncher exists.

I mean, how does that work? What do you do, exactly, if you’re a buncher?

Roll it up? Crush it into a ball?

Make little paper flowers, like they do with serviettes in posh restaurants?

Or maybe ‘bunchers’ refers to some physiological technique involving high-level muscle control.

But if it is something to do with the loo paper, what happens after you’ve… bunched it, so to speak?

The horrors that lie around that bend prompt me back to my original thought: is it really only women who are pouring the world’s forests down the toilet?

I’ve compared notes with good friends (you can only talk about this to very good friends) and they say the same: it’s the women!

Are they all bunchers, God forbid?

This is serious. The loo roll consumption in our house is out of control.

I’m just glad it’s happening with the door closed.