Genevieve Quigley was mad.
As the writer explained in an article for Essential Kids, Quigley walked into her family's bathroom only to discover a sight worse than a barren toilet paper roll.
There, before her, was just one square of paper attached to the empty roll:
There is literally no reasonable excuse on earth to leave just ONE SQUARE OF TOILET PAPER on the roll.
Leaving just ONE SQUARE OF TOILET PAPER says this to me: “I am too lazy to throw out the empty roll and replace it with a full one. I'll just leave that to Mum. She'll deal with it.”
Not only was leaving just one remaining square an egregious act of indolence in this mother's eyes but a sign of premeditation at that:
More so, the fact there is just ONE SQUARE OF TOILET PAPER left behind clearly means the culprit has premeditated his/her actions and decided, “I'm not going to leave it technically empty, therefore I am cleared of the responsibility to change it.”
To Quigley, furious her family naturally expected “Mum” to fix the problem, leaving a solitary sheet of tissue was an absolute insult to the next bathroom user:
ONE SQUARE OF TOILET PAPER is definitely not enough to deal with a Number Two...
ONE SQUARE OF TOILET PAPER is not even enough for a Number One. Unless you're okay having your fingers covered in wee as they poke through that flimsy tissue...
ONE SQUARE OF TOILET PAPER isn't even enough for when you've run out of Kleenex and need to blow your nose...
At the most, ONE SQUARE OF TOILET PAPER could be used to tear off tiny shreds to adhere to shaving cuts a la Norman Gunston. But as our household consists of two children, a woman, a man with a beard, a dog and a goldfish, this excuse isn't going to cut it, so to speak (though the fish's whiskers could use a trim…)
Quigley lamented her family's blatant disregard of the ease with which a toilet paper roll can be replaced:
Changing the roll is hardly a sweat-inducing, labour-intensive task, right? ... You can slip off the empty roll without having to unclasp any attachments. It can literally be done in one swift move ...
The angry mother wondered what possible reasons her family had conceived to excuse themselves from the task of replacing the roll:
Is the cupboard holding the pack of new rolls a good distance away from the loo? At most it is two metres. And the recycling bin for the empty roll? Well, it is in the kitchen which is two rooms away, so perhaps those extra steps were just too much.
Determined to find the stingy culprit, Quigley lined her suspects up one by one:
One by one I interrogated each of my family members to determine who was responsible. Through muffled laughs, they all denied being the perpetrator of this bathroom crime (though the dog barked suspiciously and the goldfish exercised his right to remain silent…)
Just as Quigley saw in her family's eyes they were convinced their mother had “lost it,” Quigley was hit with a double-ply truth:
How many times had I crammed rubbish into an overflowing bin knowing my husband will take it out?
How often had I waited just that bit longer in bed knowing my kids will make their own breakfast once hunger kicks in?
Was I not guilty of leaving post-dinner crumbs on the floor knowing the dog will lick up the scraps?
Quigley realized she, too, had rested in the comfort of knowing that where she took shortcuts, someone in her family was there to fill in the gaps. As she wrote:
The truth is, we're all a bit lazy at times. And the great thing about being part of a family is the fact that there's always someone else to step in to pick up the slack — which my whole gang do (though the goldfish could pull his weight a bit more…)
After having given it some thought, Quigley realized perhaps her family's situation wasn't as dire as the empty roll suggested:
If I hadn't been the next person to enter the loo after the one-square bandit, there's a pretty good chance it would have been changed by someone else.
“Especially if they needed to do a Number Two.”