About Me

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St. Louis, MO, United States
What the name sez, Christian, conservative, 2nd amendment supporter. Physician, wife, daughter and loving mother.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Tales of the Toilet Paper Rollers

In June 2008 I went to McArthur's Bakery in Kirkwood to see my good friend, Dr. Randy Tobler, do his Saturday morning radio show live. At that radio show, Dave McArthur's son, Moose, was interviewed and he expressed his desire to be a Marine. Now 2 years later, Randy was back in town to do another live broadcase at McArthur's Bakery in Chesterfield. The theme of the show was "Pimp My Platoon" and those who came to the live show were asked to bring items to use in creating care packages to send to soldiers in Afghanistan....with particular emphasis to LCpl David "Moose" McArthur, USMC and his battalion.

On Friday morning, Moose's father, Dave McArthur, was on the radio promoting the event and what he said was sobering. As he went down the list of things that soldiers in Afghanistan need to make their time in a stone age country more bearable, he mentioned toilet paper. Now, toilet paper is something that I am sure we all take for granted, but not so the Marines in Afghanistan. It seems that in the daily MRE (Meals Ready to Eat) given to each soldier is also their daily ration of toilet paper.......5 squares of single ply toilet paper (Cheryl Crow would be proud!). Everyone with whom I shared this little factoid was singularly appalled and then there were also the requisite toilet paper jokes like.....so that's why they also ask for hand sanitizer....etc.

The request, however, was not just for toilet paper on rolls, but rather folded flat toilet paper in stacks of 30 squares in a plastic zipper lock bag. This packs easily, stays dry and is easy for a soldier to carry in his gear. So last night I folded the equivalent of three double rolls of toilet paper and added it to the items that we had already gathered for this event.

When we arrived today at 7 AM, there were a couple of collection boxes that were partially filled with small bags of assorted items, however by the end of the live broadcast at 10 AM, donations had engulfed these containers, spilled all along the inside front window and when that space was filled, donations were left all over the walk in front of the bakery. It was amazing to see all of the things that had been donated to the troops in addition to several large and very generous monetary donations that were given to defray the cost of postage for all of these care packages.

When we were leaving, I noticed that a number of very big multi-roll packages of toilet paper were among the donations. Now....who will be folding all of this paper and packaging it in little plastic bags???? I went back in and asked Dave McArthur what his plan would be for this toilet paper. He said it would all need to be folded and packaged, so I volunteered to take some home and bring it back on Monday folded and bagged.

I left the event with 48 double rolls of toilet paper and have spent the afternoon clearing recorded programs from the DVR while unrolling toilet paper and folding it into little piles of 30 sheets and then stuffing them into little plastic sandwich sized bags......To date I have completed 24 of the rolls and I am on track to finish with time to spare for Monday drop-off. But what a learning experience it has been! I talked to several ladies today who also folded toilet paper last night and we shared tips on the best ways to unroll and fold.....who would have thought there were multiple techniques? But there are. There is the 30 square continuous fan fold, the 3 strips of 10 folded together, the 30 square strip wound around a CD case and then slipped off into the bag and I am sure I will learn others! In World War II there were the ladies who were Red Cross bandage rollers, but in the War on Terrorism (yes, I meant that) there are the ladies who unroll and fold toilet paper.