Joining the ranks of the glass bottle and the egg timer, the cardboard tube in the center of a roll of toilet paper will soon be extinct. When I saw this advertised on television this week, I gasped. The longtime staple for children’s art projects and other varied uses will be no more.
The tissue manufacturer at the heart of this move declares that Americans throw away enough cardboard tubes each year to fill the Empire State Building. Seriously? Have they considered all the handy uses those little tubes provide?
What will teachers use for homemade kaleidoscopes? Soundless trumpets? Funnels?
Or budding Thomas Edisons use for test telephones?
Will domestic cats snag a square of tissue and tear through the house with nothing at roll’s end to stop them from continuing on into the neighborhood? Can’t you see all the houses wrapped in white?
Makes one suspicious of what will become of leftover tubes. Will they be packaged like donut holes and offered at craft store checkouts? Hoarded? Will desperate artisans rummage through thrift shops and garage sales seeking undamaged tubes the way beachcombers scan the berm for unbroken sand dollars?
Is this the first domino to fall in a line of them? Will tube biscuits be sold without a tube? Christmas wrap only come folded? Will we resort to magazines?
Imagine, if in transport, the rolls get squashed and they hang lopsided from the rod in the bathroom. Who wants to listen to them unwind in the night? Ka-thump, ka-thump, ka-thump.
Fifty years from now, your grandchild will stare at you and ask the question we all dread. “Grams, did you ever see a Dodo?”
And your answer will be, “No, they were gone before my time. But I remember the toilet paper tube.”
“What’s a toilet paper tube?”
Readers, if this little bit of nonsense makes you smile, I’ll be delighted.
Proverbs 17:22a: “A joyful heart is good medicine. . .”