For 20-plus years at the Index-Journal, apparently something the late pennywise former controller Richard Jackson started, employees and guests have had to dry their hands with leftover newsprint.
In this business, we have what we call end rolls of newsprint. They are to newspapers what those last three or four sheets of toilet paper are to you at home.
But Jackson did not want them to go to waste. We actually sell the rolls. Some people use them to pack dishes and other breakables when moving, some use them for outdoor tablecloths — great for a crab leg feast, by the way, but only when you can have a large gathering of people in, say, October — and some teachers have used them in art class.
Anyway, in the men's rooms at the I-J, the rolls are set upon a shelf. We guys just tear off a section, dry our hands and toss 'em into the trash can. In the women's rooms, it has become customary to cut the paper into nice-sized squares and place them in — are you ready for this? — old free-standing newspaper racks. Not the ones that take coins, but rather the ones that used the honor system and held a dozen or so papers.
Anyway, the running joke was that while many would prefer the paper towel rolls most of us are accustomed to in our public bathroom visits, at least Richard did not see fit to find a way to use the end rolls of newsprint within the confines of the stalls.
But in what seems a desperate time amid the coronavirus, who knows?
Next: "Toilet Paper, Part II: The Home Experience."