News and Commentary

Police Beg People To Stop Calling 911 When Out Of Toilet Paper, Offer Creative Solutions
finished toilet roll
Peter Dazeley / Getty Images

With panic over the coronavirus spreading, some people across America are hoarding toilet paper, which means other Americans can’t get any — anywhere.

It’s gotten so bad that the toilet paper-less are calling 911 when they run out.

The new wave has prompted the Newport Police Department in Oregon to take to social media to tell residents to stop calling 911.

“It’s hard to believe that we even have to post this. Do not call 9-1-1 just because you ran out of toilet paper. You will survive without our assistance,” the Newport Police Department posted on its official Facebook page.

The humorous officer who penned the plea offered some options for those who can’t live without toilet paper:

In fact, history offers many other options for you in your time of need if you cannot find a roll of your favorite soft, ultra plush two-ply citrus scented tissue.

Seamen used old rope and anchor lines soaked in salt water. Ancient Romans used a sea sponge on a stick, also soaked in salt water. We are a coastal town. We have an abundance of salt water available. Sea shells were also used.

Mayans used corn cobs. Colonial Americans also used the core of the cob. Farmers not only used corn cobs, but used pages from the Farmers Almanac. Many Americans took advantage of the numerous pages torn from free catalogs such as Sears and Roebuck. The Sears Christmas catalog, four times thicker than the normal catalog, could get a family of three wiped clean from December through Valentine’s Day; or Saint Patrick’s Day if they were frugal.

Then, of course, there are always alternatives to toilet paper. Grocery receipts, newspaper, cloth rags, lace, cotton balls, and that empty toilet paper roll sitting on the holder right now. Plus, there are a variety of leaves you can safely use. Mother Earth News magazine will even tell you how to make your own wipes using fifteen different leaves. When all else fails, you have magazine pages. Start saving those catalogs you get in the mail that you usually toss into the recycle bin. Be resourceful. Be patient. There is a TP shortage. This too shall pass. Just don’t call 9-1-1. We cannot bring you toilet paper.

The police department is also having some fun on St. Patrick’s Day, posting a picture of a green shirt to replace the “Kiss Me I’m Irish” shirt. “Blow me a kiss from a social distance — I’m Irish.”

The department also offered some options for all those who can’t hit the bars on St. Paddy’s Day.

“If your plan is to self-isolate with St. Paddy’s spirit in mind, stay safe. You can watch a few good Irish movies, i.e. Michael Collins, Boondock Saints, The Commitments, and The Irish Pub. Draw a nice warm bath and add some green food coloring. Pretend you’re in Chicago looking at the river. Their festivities have been cancelled too, so no parade and no green river for them. Chicagoans will be utilizing their bathtubs too. (Disclaimer: soaking in a tub of dyed green water will most likely leave you looking like baby Yoda for an unknown length of time. Soak at your own risk.)”