Thursday, June 07, 2012

First notes towards a historical study of toilet roll architecture

The origin of toilet roll towers is veiled in the mists of time. When did the first primitive peoples start using the toilet rolls that were left-over once all the paper had been taken off to make rudimentary constructions? What did the first towers, consisting of a mere two or three toilet rolls, signify? Were they a monument to the Gods? A technical experiment? A demonstration of the power of some local ruler? The more we delve into this matters, it seems, the less we know: if we are to accept that the Ancient Egyptian Pharaohs used the power of slave labour to erect their toilet roll pyramids, then how did they get all those slaves into the toilet? Like I said, it is veiled in the mists of time.

Today, toilet roll architecture stretches across the globe, and also into the Baron and Tim's bathroom. Who are the Baron and Tim anyway? What ancient secrets do they have linking them to the time of Sumer, when it is thought the first true toilet roll architectural guilds began? While we may never know for certain who Tim and the Baron are, it seems fairly clear that they live in Lalor and have a sizeable toilet roll tower in their bathroom. It is less clear just who is responsible for it: the Baron says Tim did it. Tim maintains the cats did it. The cats ignore me and lick their tails. Is there something I am not meant to know? During the whole of time I spent with this shy and vulnerable ancient tribe, although impressed by the resilience of their simple tribal ways, I never managed to get to the bottom of this question.

One thing is for certain: if you are thinking of making a toilet roll tower for yourself, make sure you do it away from the front of the toilet, lest someone going into the toilet should accidentally cause the tower to topple by shutting the door. Also, you might find that any cats or tigers that are around the house might like to play with the toilet roll tower. But was that one thing or two things? Alas, that is yet another question that we may never know the answer to in the still-developing science of toilet roll architecture. Let me just repeat three words: veiled, mists, time.


Anonymous said...

Good sir, a most commendable, if tantalisingly brief introduction to this most fascinating, if somewhat culturally and academically marginalised subject. I have devoted my surprisingly long and active life to the study and archeological research of ancient toilet rolls and various hypothesis concerning the exact genesis of the original antedeluvian toilet roll (I was entranced by the notion of the original toilet roll architecture being found in Atlantis, but alas after 72 years of continual digging, there has been scant reward.) I have been studying on digs around ancient Sumer, Babylonia, and the Nile delta. Indeed armed with pick axe, pith helmet, and sturdy British resolve I have dug in virtually every nook and cranny of this planet. I recommend we form a digging team for to resolve the elusive mystery of the Original Toilet Roll - and yes indeed, I have countenanced the theory that alien beings from the planet Lalorian 34B did habitate what is now Lalor, and inseminate toilet rolls in the bog life as then existed, circa 74747733 BC. I look forward to some rewarding work together.

yours frowning with expectation,

Sir Humph Hubert-Humbolt PhD, MFp, OBE, and ZZz

Fran said...

I remember the days when the childrens' infants school asked us to take in any spare toilet roll inners. No longer - health and safety rules. Although, to be honest, I can see the point ...

TimT said...

Sir HHH PHD MFP OBE ZZZ ETC! A splendid notion: we must undertake plans for our architecturalologicaltypical expedition immediately!

Fran - I think I'd better start a petition now to get this fine tradition up and running again. We must not spurn the toilet roll!

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Oh topping good news! I shall bring spade, bucket, excavating spoon, compass, fob watch, Meerschaum pipe, brass tweesery implement, fvending divination utensil, clag glue, string, and a battered copy of Sir Thomas Sedwicke-Scringe's famous tome 'A Quixotic Journey into the Shangri la of Tolet Rollery' published in 1889. A spiffing time what? I might bring a useful offsider to carry our bags and do fag duties, a young idler who lives in Frankston, Mr Gavin Sanderson. To be honest I feel sorry for the young chap, seems to have lost his way, messing around with poetry whatnot. See you in Lalor soon.

felicitatory felicitings,

Sir Humph Hubert-Humboldt PhD, MFp, OBE, and ZZz

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