You might have noticed some countries going crazy over toilet paper. And in case you think you are missing out on something, and personally I am wondering a bit myself, here are my top six things we can do with it.
1. Insulate your home: As we know houses in Nepal are rarely, if ever, insulated. Particularly those made of concrete. Hot in the summer, cold in the winter. So while those living in traditional mud brick or bamboo houses are laughing at us in the winter as we shiver in our fridge boxes made of concrete blocks, we can now have the last laugh. Use your hoarded toilet paper to create a barrier between yourself and outside world—for insulation I mean. But of course if you don’t get on with your neighbors you could always use it to block off your windows and gate to keep nosey parkers out too. Saves money on curtains as well. Bonus!
2. Ear plugs: As your neighbors retaliate to the fact they can no longer peek into your home to see what you are up to by turning up the volume on their TV or YouTube channel, simply stuff your ears with toilet paper! Excellent also for those with teenagers who play MTV at high volume.
3. Escape route: If you really cannot stand your neighbors (or kids) any longer, simply unroll the toilet paper and create an escape rope to climb out of your window. Don’t forget to use double-ply for this. Also very handy for teenagers trying to head to Thamel without parents’ permission in the evening!
4. Decorate early for Tihar: I’ve always been surprised that Tihar decorations tend to stay up for months after the festival has been and gone. So here is another way to get one up on the neighbors—decorate now for this coming Tihar! If you are artistic, you can color the toilet paper or make spectacular flowers out of it. Alternatively, spend a little more money and get some already decorated with dolphins. Also good practice for your next wedding. Just think how lovely the party palace or bride’s car will look decorated with toilet paper flowers. More savings!
5. Get the kids involved: Once you have the house decorated, your kids will want to do more! One suggestion is to wrap yourself up in toilet paper and play Invisible Man or The Mummy. Hours of fun! Too exhausting? Use the empty cardboard toilet roll holders you now have by the dozen in a more peaceful activity. There are a million and one things—okay, slight exaggeration—to do with the toilet paper inners.
Make puppets. Either the more basic kind by simply drawing faces onto the cardboard roll. Add legs and arms by cutting up another roll. But come on folks, let’s get more artistic here. My favorite is wrapping the roll with wool you have stolen from Grannies knitting bag. Cover the roll with glue first so it sticks. Add eyes and a tail and there you have an animal of your choice. For older children, let them make gifts such as pencil holders or (artificial) flower holders. The list is limited only by your imagination!
6. Write your memoirs: Forgot to stock up on writing paper? Fear not, you can always write your memoirs on toilet paper. Who knows you might become the next big thing in print! And if your potential Booker prize winner is a flop, you know what you can do with the manuscript.