Many marriages end up in divorce these days, and I think too much emphasis is placed on the superficial causes for breakups (money, sex, respect, communication, etc.), and not enough emphasis is placed on the REAL problem: toilet paper.
There are two kinds of people in the world, and ONLY two kinds – those who like the paper to hang over the top of the toilet paper roll, and those who like the paper to hang behind the toilet paper roll. Everyone has a very strong opinion on this topic. There are no fence-sitters, like you often see with non-important issues such as international politics. And if an over-the-top person and a behind-the-roll person marry each other, it can only end in tears.
I have been a behind-the-roll person my entire life. I was raised that way by my kind, law-abiding, God-fearing, behind-the-roll mother. My wife, on the other hand, at some point in her life fell into the clutches of the evil, Satanic, pig-molesting over-the-top lobby, and so we’ve had more than our share of marital strife.
Oh, at first we tried to be civil. We thought that, as mature, caring adults, we could approach the tissue issue with reason and tact, and solve the problem. We would be a model for not only all married couples everywhere, but also Congress and maybe even the U.N. Naturally, I assumed she would quickly see the error of her ways and succumb to the power and logic of the behind-the-roll argument. Instead, we wound up red-faced, six inches apart, yelling like demons, spittle flying from our lips as we each gestured wildly. So we were a model for Congress, but not much else.
This problem isn’t just relevant to couples, though. I thought I’d do a little research at my office, just to see how the percentages broke down on Who Was Right vs. Who Molests Pigs. While the results were inconclusive, I did see two separate arguments break out. Screams of “Top! Top!” were interspersed with yells of “Behind! Behind!” The nice thing was, because of all the arguing and such, I was able to slip out and take a really long lunch without anybody noticing that I was gone.
When I came back, the argument had changed topics slightly. Now we had moved to the classic Toilet Seat Left Up vs. Toilet Seat Left Down conflict. (There wasn’t a whole lot going on in my office that day.) As you might expect, this one was sharply divided along gender lines – men wanted the toilet seat left up, while women wanted it left down. It was tied at five to five when I walked back in, and the men, sensing a moral victory, quickly pounced on me and demanded that I vote.
There was a problem, though. See, sometimes I’ll sit down to perform a toilet-related activity that men don’t usually have to sit down for. Especially in the middle of the night, if I’m groggy and stumbling around and don’t want to trust my aim in the dark. So sometimes I’m a stander, and sometimes I’m a sitter, and as a result it’s hard for me to pick sides in the Up vs. Down debate. I guess if I had a gun to my head and was forced to choose, I’d say Down. But that would fly in the face of millions of years of toilet-using men. I’d be spitting on the legacy of the first caveman who strode confidently into his bathroom after killing a dinosaur for his family to eat, spread his legs in a manly fashion, lifted his loincloth, and proudly peed on his cave wall, because toilets (and their lids) hadn’t been invented yet. I bet he got his proud loincloth butt chewed out by his wife for that one.
So I hesitated in my vote. Silence filled the office. Everyone was staring at me in anticipation. Tension was high. Off in the distance, a wolf howled. I sensed that my next words could seriously alter the course of my working life. Should I remain true to my gender, and put the women in their place once and for all? Or should I break the bonds of society’s expectations of me as a man and be true to my bladder’s desires?
As usual, when faced with a difficult choice, I opted for C: None of the above.
“You know what I really hate? People who squeeze the toothpaste tube in the middle, instead of from the bottom.”
Luck was with me that day, my friend, because one of the hapless souls in the office, before he thought about what he was saying, blurted out, “What’s wrong with squeezing it in the middle?” The rest of the office ganged up on him and beat him severely with staplers for his insolence.
So as you can see, honesty is NEVER the best policy when it comes to arguments over the serious issues in your relationship. Diversion is the key. Get your partner to focus on something else, and while they’re not looking, change the hanging toilet paper to the proper position (behind the roll). If they complain about it later, start talking about cavemen until they drift off to sleep. Or you can call my officemates. They’ll be happy to come over and beat your partner with staplers.