The soft or the hard? I’m fed-up

BY: Sandra
toilet paper
toilet paper

I am fed up; fed up with the quality of toilet rolls being sold on our markets.

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The soft ones are too soft, your fingers go through them, causing havoc. The hard ones are too hard, they scratch and prick your “undercrofts” so badly, they get sore. Seriously, I am fed up.

Once upon a time, there used to be a particularly haaaaaaaaard kind on the market which really caused serious abrasions to one’s backside. In fact, they were so hard, they could pass for printing paper.

I want to believe those rolls were made from recycled newspapers because sometimes one could find a little section of a news article appearing on segments of the roll.


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If you ask me to make a choice between the hard and the soft, the former will be my option. So well, that’s the texture I’ve resorted to buying. With time however, the quality of the brand I patronise has gone from bad to worse.

Apart from the souvenir of scratches it leaves with each use, it has clogged the only toilet in my home.

Yes, if I knew the manufacturers of that particular brand, I simply would have sued them for damages.

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And the annoying thing about those toilet rolls is that they’ve got “super soft rolls”, boldly printed on their transparent wrappers. Such deceit!

Our toilet is clogged. Thanks to the hard “super soft rolls”. My uncle who is visiting for a few days feels so bad about the whole thing. I’ve told him to forget the “catastrophe”, but he doesn’t seem to be able to forgive himself.

But it wasn’t his fault that he should develop diarrhoea, and keep flushing down the potty, excessive “super soft rolls?” You see, he had been to town earlier that day, and had refreshed himself with two ice-cold bottles of sobolo which he bought from a hawker whilst the trotro whose passenger he was, was in traffic.

It was the only thing he had passed through his throat the whole day. It made the diagnosis really easy. About two and a half hours of arrival at home, his stomach began to rumble.

The next few hours that followed met his stay in the washroom. In about 150 minutes, he had used a whole roll and a half.

I wanted to offer him medication to stop the diarrhoea, but he insisted that the loose stool would hold up on its own so I shouldn’t bother. You know these old men and how stubborn they can sometimes be.

At a point, he said sobolo was made from herbs and so to him, he was being purged the natural way. I just left him to do his despondent washroom rounds.

At around 8:45 p.m., Obodai, my uncle and I were watching an interesting sport on TV when he run off. That was his ninth visit to the small room. Fifteen minutes on and the old man hadn’t come out of the toilet.

An alarmed Obodai rushed to see if all was well with him. That was when he opened the door, sweating profusely. Pointing to the potty, he started begging for pardon.
I heard Obodai say, “oh Nene, please don’t do that. It wasn’t your fault. Just wash your hands and go back to the hall. I will sort this out”.

The old man begged me for forgiveness as he took his seat. I was feeling too lazy to rise from the sofa in which I lay. I wondered what the problem was. “Ablah, I have spoilt your toilet. Aww. You people should forgive me”.

I calmed him down and managed to drag myself to the scene of worry. Lo and behold, the whole toilet bowl was filled to its neck, with “soft super toilet rolls” plus brown, rounded bits of light human excreta, floating on its surface. I almost threw up.

And the stench that came with the phenomenon was terrible. The numerous flushing of the “soft rolls” had caused a hoarded pile of hard sheets at the neck of the potty, causing a revolt.

Obodai flushed and flushed to make the risen water subside but to no avail. Then he went ahead to use our plunger to pump down the content. It didn’t work. I pitied him so much because apart from the fact that he had to stir the content at a constant pace, some of the water splashed into his face accidentally. Hmmmmm.

Frustrated, he went out to see if he could find a flexible branch of the mango tree in our compound, to use as a hard hose to shove the potty’s content down the path of the manhole. Hooooh that too failed spectacularly.

Obodai had become a kruuuunyo in his own home. Kruuuunyo was what my grandmother called night soil workers. Night soil is a euphemism for human faeces collected in buckets at night from cesspools, public toilets etc.

Then about 30 minutes into Obodai’s role as a soil worker, Nene had another call of nature. I knew it was a difficult thing for him to interrupt Obodai’s efforts, but he couldn’t hold it so had to rush into the wash room one more time to top up the filled up potty.

There was no other way than to allow him to. I was so worried for him. How was he going to suspend in order to make good his deposit? Because sitting on the potty meant he was going to have to sit in a cocktail of faecal matter, soft rolls and water. Oh it was bad.

Which plumber was going to come to our rescue at that ungodly hour of the day? How we managed to pass the night in our flat with a filled-up potty, a diarrhoea-stricken old man and various bladders to be emptied, is a story for another day.

Thanks to Google. By morning, I typed in “how to unclog your toilet”, and it gave us amazing solutions to the plight. It’s amazing how everything has gone hi-tech in this modern era.