Wednesday, April 22, 2020


This just in from a confirmed source in the Roseville, California municipal system: Some people are almost too dumb to breathe.

That wasn’t actually the news item – that’s just my takeaway. You’ll agree with me soon enough.

Please understand, I am not making any of this up. The Roseville municipal system put out an alert to the city employees to be aware that they have fielded multiple calls of hopelessly backed-up sewer pipes.

Multiple calls. At multiple locations.

How many is multiple? I don’t know, but a single one of these incidents is far more than ever should have occurred.

What happens to be clogging these sewer pipes in Roseville?


“Shirts?” you ask, confused. “Did you mean to put the R in there?”

No accidental misspellings here. Shirts.

“Shirts?” you ask again, still confused.

Yes, shirts.

“What do you mean, shirts?” you ask, still trying to wrap your normal brain around this information. “Like pieces of shirts?”

No, whole shirts. Details were not given as to the types of shirts involved - whether they were the T-, under, button-down, polo, sweat, or Hawaiian variety, but one thing was universal in the reports – it was the whole shirt.

“How does a whole shirt get into a sewer pipe?” you might ask aloud, still violently perplexed. “Surely, no one would try to flush an entire shirt down the toilet.”

Yes, yes, that’s exactly what’s been happening – on multiple occasions in multiple locations – in the town of Roseville. People are wiping their butts with a whole shirt, and then somehow flushing the entire shirt down the toilet.

So many things remain unclear regarding this story. One would be inclined to assume this situation is arising due to the nationwide psychotic phenomenon of COVID-19 toilet paper hoarding and the resulting scarcity of TP, however, we are dealing with people who intentionally flush an entire shirt down their own toilet, so I don’t think we are safe in assuming anything here.

However, for the sake of argument, let’s say the shirt flush was a result of being out of traditional toilet paper. Are they also out of facial tissues? Paper towels? Fast food napkins? Baby wipes? Newspapers? Magazines? Printer paper? Old toilet paper or paper towel rolls? Gift tissue paper? Leaves? Cotton balls? Swiffer duster refills? Post-it notes? Old receipts? Junk mail? Corn cobs? Small pets?

And those things off the top of my head are just better alternatives to traditional toilet paper than a shirt. But what about the bidet option? I mean, Roseville is in America, so no one there has a bidet, but the phenomenon of running water being able to clean body parts is not foreign. At least, not to you and me. It might be to a shirt flusher.

I’m just saying, chances are these toilet paperless future shirt flushers were sitting on the commode looking at a shower or a bathtub the whole time, and apparently, they were completely unable to put number two and two together.

Also unclear is the question of the shirt itself. Regardless of type, was it the shirt they were wearing when they went into the bathroom, or did they plan ahead and bring a separate wiping garment?

And again, back to the fact that the shirts are being flushed whole. Let’s suppose you are so unimaginative that you have decided your only option is to wipe your butt with your shirt – are you also so insanely dense as to not tear it into smaller strips first? Obviously, the answer is yes.

These are strange times in our history, made ever so much stranger by the startling revelation that there are people among us, some maybe in the next town over – a town you used to think was completely normal – who turn out to be whole-shirt flushers.

Is it a sign of an impending apocalypse that will start in our sewers? Only time will tell.

I am choosing to look at it as a reminder - a reminder that no matter how odd and disjointed our lives may have become, we non-shirt flushers are doing just fine, comparatively.

See you soon,


Copyright © 2020 Marc Schmatjen

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