Paper towel

Public washroom, Hope, British Colombia © Tanya Clarke 2019

Public washroom, Hope, British Colombia © Tanya Clarke 2019

Writing Prompt No. 40

Anna searches along the paper products aisle for 3-ply recycled, biodegradable, bigger rolls than the competition.

240 sheets! Over three times the size of your usual loo roll. Four rolls, six, nine or twelve? Which is cheaper? Bigger is better. Less money. She reads the label tags along the edge of the shelves looking for cost per sheet.

- Jesus. When did this happen? Remember when you could get loo roll in different colours? Pink. Baby blue. Pale yellow. Now it’s white, white, white. Or not quite white if you buy the stuff made from recycled paper.

- Maybe I should just install a bidet? We can all wash our bums under a warm, steady stream of water. Why are they only available in avocado? Maybe then. Not now. It’s better, apparently, than all that wiping.

She grabs a large pack of fat rolls, environmentally aware, many rolls pack and dumps it in her trolley. Slowly she pushes along down the aisle avoiding a singing child, an elderly man with a basket of tinned vegetables and a wild haired mother of three who appeared to be drinking beer out of a can.

- Really? I must find somewhere else to shop. This is just depressing.

She comes to a halt at the end of the aisle, reaching into her coat pocket for her list. Shampoo. And conditioner. Aisle 13. She knows this, remembers from the last time she was here and had to ask where the dental floss was. And the condoms. So embarrassing. She’d been searching for fifteen minutes and was losing the will to live. If only something better would happen in her life.

Feeling brave? Want to share your own version? Let it go in the comments below.