Toilet paper math

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toilet paper

I like to think I’m a fairly intelligent person. I mean I get by on my big words and ability to spell well. Rarely do I dangle a participle. Despite my Midwestern upbringing, I work hard to drive a stake through the heart of the phrase “where are you at?” I do my part.

Nonetheless, I do feel like my education was lacking in one crucial area: School did not adequately prepare me for toilet paper math.

I have spent an inordinate amount of my adult homemaker life trying to decipher the value of toilet paper rolls. I mean is the mega pack of 8 double rolls of x linear feet of a certain ply a better, or worse, deal than 12 regular sized rolls of a different ply? Large? Super? Mega?

What is mega? How mega is too mega?

Will we eventually wheel in a roll of toilet tissue roughly the size of a 55-gallon drum just to save $3 bucks?

The basics

Math kind of lost me back when the running joke was that 6 was afraid of 7 because 7 8 9. (If you don’t get that right away you can totally sit with me at recess).

I am flat out terrible at algebra and advanced geometry (or basic geometry or any kind of geometry, actually). The word geometry makes me nervous.

I am passably good at basic addition and subtraction. I even managed to stumble into a side hustle where they let me count money and make change with my mind. Just goes to show that many small businesses put a lot of faith into hiring friends and/or make absolutely terrible choices.

Still, I’m happy they’ll have me and my drawer balances at the end of the day. Once in a while I come out ahead but hey, I’m making them money right?

That said, I am still basically flummoxed when the alphabet starts getting too involved in numbers. MATH to me could be characterized as (M)ental (A)buse (T)o (H)umans.

Case in point: Despite all the years of elementary prep that led me to believe it would be a regular occurrence, I have never actually had someone give me 12 apples and take away 6.

First of all, that would be a jerk move. Why are they giving me apples if they are just going to take half away again? How do I like them apples? I don’t! I would trash talk someone like that if they did me dirty like that. Giving and taking away food is rude!

Not to mention that only in math can someone buy 45 watermelons and no one wonders what is wrong with them? Are they running some kind of bootleg watermelon scheme.

Fortunately, I learned enough to get by as a functioning adult even if I’m just winging it when purchasing toilet paper. I mean I married well and he is good at math. (That’s come in handy pretty much all of the time when renovating our home. I’m prone to not paying the slightest bit of attention to things like measurements.)

My phone also has a calculator and Google for the really hard problems — so there’s that.

Still, the whole thing with how many sheets of what ply and am I really saving money by buying more — or less — is beyond me. I basically choose the one with the best cartoon advertising and call it good.

Dear Math, I am not a therapist. Solve your own problems.

Am I saving on household tissue? I have no idea. Asking me to take on any additional math at this point in my life just doesn’t add up.

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Warm, witty and just a wee bit warped, Kymberly Foster Seabolt is a native of Kent, Ohio, who survived childhood exposure to disco and grew up to marry and move to the country. Her column weaves her special brand of humor with poignant, entertaining, and honest portrayals of parenting, marriage, and real life. She currently lives in northeastern Ohio with her husband, two children, two dogs, two cats, and numerous dust bunnies who wish to remain nameless.

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