I have come to the conclusion that Frugal Guy (aka Cheap Ass Neighbor) invites me to his events for the sole purpose of showing his other frugal friends an example of what they aren’t supposed to do. I’m not exactly sure why I continue to go other than for the free beer, but crap (literally in this case) happens at these get togethers that makes me realise that there are times that being a guy with no other goal than sitting on the couch wanting to watch TV and drink beer is actually a better option than what others out there are doing.
I think I go because it’s kind of like when an actor decides to go down into the basement in a horror movie — you know absolutely nothing good is going to come of it, but you still have to watch and see what happens. This time it was an urgent call of nature that got the ball rolling. I don’t really like to go number two in other people’s houses because even a beer guy realises that nobody really wants to smell what has been churning inside another person’s body for the last few days, especially when that somebody eats the way I do. Despite knowing this, holding it for later was not an option so I let nature do its thing. It wasn’t until my system was clean that I looked around to see that there was no toilet paper.
Luck was on my side when I looked under the sink to find a new roll of toilet paper and spray air freshener. I placed a new roll into the toilet paper holder, used a generous amount of air freshener and thought I had escaped unscathed in what could have been an embarrassing situation. It wasn’t long before I found out that I couldn’t have been more wrong and you can’t make stuff like this up.
Frugal Guy comes over to me and asks if I changed the toilet paper roll.
“Yes,” I said, “The toilet paper had run out.”
“You did it wrong,” he tells me. “You need to have the toilet paper go over the top, not under.”
Frugal Guy then goes into a long explanation in an excited enough voice that all the other people invited are soon listening to an impassioned speech about how he has done research with his family and found that “they use 16 less squares a roll when the toilet paper is placed over instead of under.” His audience is affirming his logic and frowning at me for making such an obvious mistake. I look at him dumbfounded as he looks back at me as if he expects me to lavish praise on his discovery at the same level as if he had just discovered penicillin.
It takes a lot to shock a beer guy, but being scolded for potentially wasting 16 squares of toilet paper is one thing that can do it. To try and lighten the atmosphere, I make a joke that he could also split the two-ply toilet paper in half to double the amount he gets per roll. My bad.
“I have done that experiment too!” he announced and then explained that although it would seem to be a way to save money and use less toilet paper, his research with is family showed that splitting the toilet paper into two single layers made it so thin that the family actually use more of it and so he doesn’t do it anymore. He had shown the room of people that he was king of toilet paper and had done his research. Everyone was impressed except me as I thought that the mere fact that he did split toilet paper at all confirmed again that sitting on the couch watching TV and drinking beer isn’t nearly the waste of time that many consider it to be.
I should have just left it at that, but I let the beer I’d been drinking get the better of me. “If you really wanted to save money, you would use reusable toilet paper like I do.
Frugal Guy was silent with shock. He looked at me like I was crazy, wondering whether or not I was joking.
“No, seriously,” I said. “How can you justify wasting money on toilet paper when you can wipe your ass with a towel that you can use again and again?”
Frugal Guy was not pleased with the realization that he had just been dethroned in front of his entire entourage as the toilet paper king, and I don’t think I am going to be invited over again to one of his get togethers anytime soon. I’m all for finding ways to save money, but when it entails hours of work over a several month period to find out that “over” is 16 sheets better than “under” (not to mention even consider splitting two ply toilet paper to save money) pretty much typifies the penny wise, pound foolish mentality.