Alf found himself on a super-secret international black list of toilet paper buyers/users for undisclosed secret reasons that may have been about his penchant for wearing a London Fog raincoat and Stetson fedora in Midwest sporting supply outlets specializing in croquet equipment and related acrobatics. After he found himself being followed around by nondescript men also wearing raincoats and fedoras he started wearing Bermuda shorts. That’s when this happened: no matter where he attempted to buy a roll of toilet paper the vendor was either out of stock or didn’t know what it was.
After a couple of weeks without toilet paper Alf started to drag his, uh, you know what. After months of dragging his "you know what" and he still couldn’t break the black list -- not in Rio, Bonn, Toledo, Darwin, Mumbai, or Bangor -- he grew desperate. Obviously, given the situation, he had to adapt (and quickly).
So, he tried newspapers.
This, of course, is where things got interesting:
While newspapers aren’t as form-fitting-cuddly as toilet paper Alf did notice that they had printed words on them. This discovery led to another discovery and another: in fact, there were stories, headlines, columns, cartoons, exposes, all kinds of information, and other cool stuff in these freakin newspapers. So, Alf started reading the papers before he used them (and when he was lucky this was a regular occurrence).
No matter what armchair philosophers say that which doesn’t kill you doesn’t necessarily make you stronger -- it can make you crazy or catatonic (or married) -- but as an avid newspaper reader Alf became more erudite, wiser, more learned, and a better haggler when buying fish (that was wrapped in newspaper) than he had ever been
Despite this, the recent Supreme Court ruling that struck down a “person’s legitimate right to fair and equitable access to purchase toilet paper from any vendor or source that sells or provides toilet paper to anyone, unless the seller doesn’t freaking feel like it for any arbitrary reason of prejudice or speculative slander,” was a real bummer. I mean, once you’re on The Toilet Paper Black List you can pretty much kiss your ass goodbye.
A carbuncle is a roiled mass of skin or a beautiful gem. The incredible gem is pictured in the logo below and at the bottom of the short story section...
Kevin O'Kendley is the owner of Carbuncle Moon, and the author of all original material -- cartoons, blogs, shorts, essays, articles -- on the website (there has been a very limited editorial input in some of my work). Quoted sources are noted. I am responsible for all posts.
Kevin O'Kendley: P.O. Box 172, Winterport, Maine, 04496, and 200 P Street, A-32, Sacramento, California, 95814, firstname.lastname@example.org.
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