What was this dude talking about? Toilet paper edition
September 27, 2017 10:41 AM   Subscribe

My wife recently bought some tubeless toilet paper, and that reminded me of a conversation at her mother's house a few years ago. Someone said something that I still don't understand, and I'm hoping you might help me figure it out. Details inside.

At the time (2013), my mother-in-law was dating a pretty eccentric man. He was an alcoholic, and everyone attributed his quirks to drinking, but I think he was just a strange dude even if he'd been a teetotaler. Anyway, my wife and her mother were discussing some then-novel tubeless toilet paper that my MIL had just purchased. They both agreed that it was a brilliant invention, and, having just been caught for not changing the roll, I agreed. MIL's boyfriend, however, said that "there's one major flaw", and, pointing to me, added that I will figure it out before my wife will. This was four and a half years ago; I've used tubeless TP often since then, and have yet to find any flaws. I am completely at a loss as to what the flaw could be.

Some other details:

-I'm 99% certain he was sober at the time of this conversation. My MIL didn't let him drink around her, and he was actively going to AA meetings at the time.
-This was the first time we'd met, so he didn't know anything about me beyond my rough age and gender.
-He didn't elaborate beyond that initial comment, and the conversation moved on to other subjects shortly thereafter.
-He is unreachable for follow up - he eventually fell off the wagon and became kind of a crazy stalker. My MIL actually moved out of state after they split to avoid him.
-He's got a Ph.D. in chemistry and worked in a research lab for a defense contractor, so he's a scientifically-minded person, not a mystical kook.
-My wife, as he predicted, has not yet figured out the flaw, and neither has her mother.

I really have no idea what he could mean. It seemingly must be related to the tube itself, right? I know there are arts and crafts uses for toilet paper tubes, but I'm not particularly crafty, and apologies for gender stereotyping, but my wife would probably know more about that. The only thing I've ever used TP tubes for is as a stickhandling aid on my hockey stick, and paper towel tubes actually work better for that anyway.

So what's the flaw? What am I missing?
posted by kevinbelt to Grab Bag (21 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
uh, fleshlight?
posted by acm at 10:45 AM on September 27, 2017 [15 favorites]

posted by ajryan at 10:46 AM on September 27, 2017 [1 favorite]

Really? Ick.
posted by kevinbelt at 10:54 AM on September 27, 2017 [4 favorites]

Toilet paper roll holders need a new spindle to use the tubeless rolls.
posted by ShooBoo at 10:55 AM on September 27, 2017

I'm thinking it was the fact that if you get your hand(s) wet, you have nothing to wipe it on before changing the roll... Weird, but not as offensive as the above explanations.
posted by Champagne Supernova at 11:04 AM on September 27, 2017

Or, he might have been referring to the fact that you can't just leave on square of tp in the roll and wait for your wife to change it. I dunno, that's also pretty crude, but that might make sense in his mind.
posted by Champagne Supernova at 11:10 AM on September 27, 2017 [17 favorites]

My first thought was that people used to use a tp roll with a small square of aluminum foil to create a crude pipe for smoking marijuana.
posted by topher74 at 11:15 AM on September 27, 2017 [1 favorite]

This probably isn't related, but long ago in pre-internet times I came across the suggestion to use toilet paper tubes to neatly bundle coiled-up electrical extension cords.
posted by XMLicious at 11:46 AM on September 27, 2017

I also think he meant you can't be the lazy asshole who leaves the essentially empty roll hanging and assumes someone else will change it. Tubeless toilet paper removes all plausible deniability.
posted by lydhre at 11:56 AM on September 27, 2017 [4 favorites]

I'm glad your mother-in-law is now free of this man who assumes you like to fuck toilet paper rolls.
posted by Faint of Butt at 12:03 PM on September 27, 2017 [60 favorites]

That would be my guess, especially since you'd just been caught for not changing the roll.
posted by aspersioncast at 12:04 PM on September 27, 2017

Another vote for this being a pot thing. He might have been implying that you're a closet stoner who won't have TP rolls to use as sploofs anymore.
posted by blerghamot at 12:59 PM on September 27, 2017 [2 favorites]

Sadly, to me there's no question that he was referring to that covered in the first two answers above. Happily, your MIL is rid of him.
posted by intermod at 1:36 PM on September 27, 2017 [4 favorites]

Most definitely a wank-toy reference. There is nothing wrong with that. It's the poor-man's pocket vag. That's the first thing that crossed my mind after he pointed to you. He did, however, imply that your wife would eventually realise this herself so maybe he's an innocent and we're all just a bunch of pervs.
posted by ihaveyourfoot at 2:50 PM on September 27, 2017

Without toilet paper rolls, what are you going to use as megaphones to tease the cat? Paper towel rolls are OK, I guess, and wrapping paper rolls are even better, but you really only get them once a year. There's nothing like the Christmas Eve three-piece cat-teasing cardboard tube megaphone band concert.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 2:53 PM on September 27, 2017 [9 favorites]

Well, there is also the toilet paper roll measuring method.
posted by Thorzdad at 3:03 PM on September 27, 2017 [3 favorites]

What would that be Thorzdad?
posted by kittensofthenight at 4:54 PM on September 27, 2017

Wow, I had no idea about the first two answers... I still need to work on understanding people. I thought it meant him not changing the roll.
posted by jadepearl at 5:23 PM on September 27, 2017

Thorzdad may be talking about this: Estimate the Right Condom Size For You with a Toilet Paper Roll
posted by taz at 12:55 AM on September 28, 2017 [1 favorite]

Without the cardboard tube, the roll is more compressible on the axis of the "tube." Toilet paper is packaged with the tube vertical, for stacking strength. Toilet paper with cardboard tubes can be stacked higher than toilet paper without.
posted by yesster at 1:49 PM on September 28, 2017

I thought he meant like... Not having a tube doesn't fix all the problems because you still have to replace the tp. You weren't in trouble because people hate cardboard tubes, you were in trouble for not replacing the roll. He knows you haven't saved yourself any trouble at all and in fact with no tube to visually remind you that the roll needs replacing, you may actually be more likely to forget to replace the roll!
posted by masquesoporfavor at 1:39 AM on September 30, 2017

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