It’s pretty easy to come up with a list of those profound things in life we all seem to take for granted: the undying love of our spouse and children, the unconditional loyalty of the family dog, the security of a good job, an immune system that’s functioning properly, stuff like that. And I’m sure we’ve all considered how much of a pain in the ass it would be to hold a long-distance conversation while entering the freeway at eighty miles per hour if not for cellular technology, or how sucky it would be to kill a new slab of meat every damn day because no one ever invented the refrigerator or even a decent curing process.
But what about the smaller, seemingly insignificant things? There are countless devices that play far bigger roles in smoothing out the daily grind than we give them credit for.
Take, for instance, the perforation that adorns your toilet tissue at four-inch intervals. Now there’s something I bet you haven’t given two seconds of thought to. But I can assure you that if the tissue dispensers in the restroom stalls of your office building are upgraded to hold a single, gargantuan roll of imperforate toilet tissue, you will realize a previously unknown form of frustration. You will sincerely miss those tiny, perfectly spaced holes. See, it turns out that toilet paper – at least the industrial-strength parchment supplied by the facilities department in my building – absolutely refuses to tear against its grain unless definite paths are precut into it. The result, of course, is that you get to enjoy the challenge of doing the job with a fistful of wispy (if unduly textured) tissue strands. It’s like wiping your ass with dollar store crepe paper, only less colorful.
Perforated TP: a truly underrated modern convenience.