The USS Hubbert, a small transport ship bound for the Trillby Islands, encountered a large storm and ran aground. Twenty people were onboard. The ship’s passengers found themselves hopelessly stranded on a quintessential, uncharted-dessert island.
Due to a snafu at FEMA, the crew was incorrectly determined to be composed entirely of ethnic minorities, so no rescue effort was ever made. Luckily, the passengers of the Hubbert found that the island was quite hospitable. It had ample shelter, sparkling fresh-water streams and plenty to eat. In spite of this, there was a glaring problem:
On the entire island, there was nothing suitable for the purpose of wiping one’s behind.
All of the island’s plant life was covered with needle-like, venomous-thistles or vicious serrations, nothing one would want to touch, let alone rub on unmentionable sensitive areas. The survivors became panicked.
Serendipitously, the ship’s passengers included two toilet-paper industrialists from Flatbraggen, Texas: Leo Durci and Peter Tatum Leislloid. They alone knew that in the ship’s hold resided fifty enormous crates, hundreds of thousands of rolls, of their product: MiracleWipe Toilet Tissue. Under the cover of night, they ventured out to the wrecked ship, and discovered to their delight and amazement that their precious cargo was intact. Once their property was secured, they announced to their comrades the following:
“Our good friends, we have terrific news! We have at our disposal enough toilet paper to last ten lifetimes, which we will happily share with you all! Since we own it, we will take up the responsibility of preparing it and distributing it to you. It is on the ship, and damp from the crash, but we will do all of the work of transporting it, drying it and delivering it to your dwellings, so long as you share with us the food and water you gather, so we can perform our important task without distraction.”
This met with uproarious enthusiasm. There was plenty of food and resources to share with their TP delivering saviors in return for a share of the precious tissue.
And so it went.
After a time, as always happens, the people took their TP as granted. It was always there, ready for their use. Nobody worried about where it was coming from or how much there was, so long as it was waiting for them beside their latrine when they needed it. Durci & Leislloid’s TP Service made delivers daily, collected their payment, and everyone was happy.
Without further set back, the island’s new inhabitants created a small civilization with a population steadily growing into the hundreds. The tiny civilization advanced, Labor was divided, and specialists worked to construct homes, market places and monuments worthy of praise. Farmers harvested edible berries, fisherman fished, and people busied themselves making and selling all kinds of goods. The most profitable business of all turned out to be that of Durci and Leuslloid. Their commodity, used by everyone on a daily basis, made them extravagantly wealthy. They hired employees to do all the work they had once dutifully done for the betterment of their fellow islanders. Their employees too, became very well to do, all of them holding a place of prestige in the community.
As time progressed, new leaders were elected, and Durci & Leislloid fathered heirs to take over their Toilet Paper Empire. These heirs, raised in the lap of luxury, felt disdain for their fellow islanders, and recognized their own power and importance to the society. They often used their tremendous influence to sway political processes, eventually lobbying and bribing everyone involved in the governing of the island. All the while, the supply of TP was as strong as ever. Nobody complained as long as they could prosper economically…. and wipe their rears.
The fisherman of the island were especially apt at catching a certain kind of bright-red fish, which they called the Cherry-Apple Redfish. This fish was incredibly spicy, and upset the stomach accordingly. The TP industry recognized the possibility for a partnership between the Cherry-Apple Redfishermen and themselves, and worked tirelessly to convince the population to switch to a diet comprised exclusively of Cherry-Apple Redfish. The taste of the fish was incredibly addictive and the meat had amazing benefits for one’s vitality. People instantly loved the new food, and quickly learned to deal with the indigestion, so long as they had ample TP around… Eventually, ALL of the island’s diet consisted of Cherry-Apple Redfish. TP profits exploded. Everyone was overwhelmingly happy.
Then, one day, an inquisitive young man asked publicly:
“Where has all this toilet paper been coming from? How much is there? Won’t we run out of it eventually?”
The TP Industrialists were quick to respond:
“Good people, we have an enormous supply, easily enough to last us for the next 50 years. There is no need to worry.”
The busy people of the island were satisfied with this answer. Of course they’d eventually run out, but not for a long, long time. When the time came, they knew, they’d find an alternative, but there was no sense worrying about that now.
The years past and the population grew and grew, fed on a steady diet of Cherry-Apple Redfish, which gave them the super-human energy to grow and prosper as never before. Each new mouth to feed meant another behind to wipe. TP consumption grew staggeringly, but the supply continued to meet demand. A small portion of the population grew weary of the situation. Nobody knew how much TP there was, even the TP industry didn’t know for sure.
TP executives silenced such cautionary voices of dissent, and made politics a very profitable endeavor for politicians that upheld the position of the TP industry. Some citizens attempted to devise viable alternatives to TP, and encourage the population to switch to diets with less spicy food to lessen their rampant TP consumption. These activities threatened to cut into the TP industry’s soaring profits, and were crushed. People were encouraged not to worry, and to continue to consume as much Cherry-Apple Redfish as they desired in the meantime.
People started to notice… TP was getting more and more expensive. TP executives blamed the aquatic creatures which surrounded the ship that were making retrieval difficult. Outraged, the people sent their children to fight the vilified sea life, many young people drowned attempting to keep fish from swimming.
Supply continued to lag, population continued to grow, and TP prices became astronomically unreasonable. Fingers were pointed every which way. People panicked. Only the wealthiest could afford the few rolls that were making it to market. Top government officials and wealthy TP-Executives realized the jig was up, they horded what TP was left for themselves in their enormous private estates, then publicly announced:
“Sorry, there’s no more toilet paper.”
At this announcement, the population suddenly realized the horrible mess they were in, and instantly reverted to a state which could hardly be considered civilized. They had a huge, densely-packed population fed on nothing but Cherry-Apple Redfish, and they had absolutely no toilet paper alternatives.
Together in one colossal sigh, the population of the island muttered their immortal words, marking the end of the “Glorious Age of TP”: