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Jeff Whitten: Hey, Horatio
editor's notes

“There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”

Shakespeare’s Hamlet said that. He wasn’t kidding.

Should you doubt, take a look at the photos I took them the other day.

Yep. They’re of an unwrapped but otherwise pristine roll of toilet paper, with its wrapper stuffed in the tube. It’s been sitting in that spot for a couple of weeks, inhabiting the right-of-way in front of a two-story home about a half mile down a nearby street from my wife’s estate.

Maybe someone put it there whilst unpacking the shopping and will come along directly to retrieve it.

“Honey, where’d I stash that roll of two-ply bathroom tissue, the 1,000 squarer? Oh, that’s right, I opened it up and stuffed the wrapper down the hole in the middle and then left it on the (neighbor’s) right of way to season? I’ll just go get it now, shall I?”

Here, I’d like to say if it were left in front of my wife’s domain I’d probably go pick it up and likely mutter darkly in the process. I’m forever picking up things thrown out by others.

Note: I detest litterbugs. If I were in charge they’d be flogged, and forced to take back their trash and roll around in it, or eat it, or stick it in their pants and have to walk places, or something.

The trash I generally find on my wife’s plantation, bordered as it is by two heavily traveled roads, runs the gamut from Chic-Fil-A wrappers and foam cups filled with who-knows-what to liquor bottles and beer cans to, on occasion, the nasty dirty diaper.

But not in all my philosophy, Horatio, have I ever dreamt I’d find what appears to be a full roll of toilet paper just sitting there with its wrapper sticking out, fuse-like, waiting on someone to pick it up.

What if it’s a booby trap, waiting on the right booby to come along and pick it up?

I know the booby would normally be me, I’m just not so sure I’d be playing this time.

Besides, what if it isn’t an improvised explosive device, i.e. an IED? What if it is a sophisticated marking device for an alien civilization in need of squeezing them some Charmin?

Surely not. Any alien sophisticated enough to be able to put a roll of toilet paper on another planet wouldn’t pick Effingham County as the place to put it, even if what used to be Fort Howard is just down the road.

This because there are folks in Effingham who will fry and eat with tater logs anything they can gig, catch, shoot or trap, including toads, squirrels, skinks, buzzards, snakes, possums and probably some of the less elusive bat species. I know this because I live there and have some as neighbors.

Or, what if it isn’t aliens and instead is part of a convoluted plot by the Democrats to take away our right to choose our own bathroom tissue and make us all go to 1-ply made out of hemp? Or what if it belongs to the Q’Anon Shaman, and he’s out of the pokey and wants it back to polish his hat or put on his makeup?

Somebody needs to call Tucker Carlson before it’s too late.

On a lighter note, what if it’s part of some weird game, one where if you pick it up a bunch of scary clowns jump out of the bushes, wrap you up like a mummy with the toilet paper and then beat you with rubber hammers and film it all for Youtube?

I’ve seen stuff like that happen, you know. I was in the Army.

Or, given the low esteem in which the media is held these days, what if it’s some kind of bait to catch ramshackle beat up old hack editors like me who don’t like litter and are prone to going around picking it up?

I don’t know what they’d do with me if they got hold of me, but I am not going to find out if I don’t have to.

Whitten is editor of the BCN. He has a degree in journalism from Georgia Southern.

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