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It’s not rocket science.

March 30th, 2011 · 74 comments

Our submitter in Huntsville, Alabama says one of her male co-workers shared this note from the men’s restroom at their office. “And yes,” she says, “we really do work for NASA.”

Hey. You. You know who you are. This. This is not OK. We just.. had.. this.. fixed. Do NOT. Paper-mache. The toilet. Three squares of paper. Three wipes. Maybe four if you're feeling adventurous. Flush multiple=

By the way, if you’re traveling to Indonesia any time soon, you can pick up some papier-mâché materials of your very own!

NASA Toilet Roll

related: Toilet-flushing memo from the Empire State Building

extra credit: Mary Roach explains “fecal decapitation” and other toilet issues astronauts encounter in space []

FILED UNDER: Alabama · all clogged up · most popular notes of 2011 · office · toilet · toilet paper · you know who you are

74 responses so far ↓

  • #1   Cyclotron

    That toilet tissue… *sunglasses* …is out of this world.


    Mar 30, 2011 at 8:37 pm   rating: 45  small thumbs up

  • #2   Sesquipedalian

    knew it!
    does work.
    in outer space.

    Mar 30, 2011 at 8:50 pm   rating: 96  small thumbs up

    • #2.1   AuntyBron

      He’s an Iowa farmboy – he only works in outer space.

      Mar 30, 2011 at 9:09 pm   rating: 6  small thumbs up

    • #2.2   Jeanine

      I was totally reading this in The Shat’s voice too.

      Mar 30, 2011 at 10:02 pm   rating: 12  small thumbs up

    • #2.3   AuntyBron

      I would have done it a little differently:

      I KNEW… it. William Shatner… really does… WORK… in OUTER… space.

      Mar 30, 2011 at 11:43 pm   rating: 7  small thumbs up

    • #2.4   bored@work

      NASA – like Shatner – has issues wiping out klingons on uranus….

      Mar 31, 2011 at 10:15 am   rating: 28  small thumbs up

    • #2.5   TickleMyBambo

      *Shatner walks in and sees paper mache all over the toilet. He clenches his fist and his eyes flare up in anger and yells* “KHAAAAAANNN!!!”

      Mar 31, 2011 at 1:51 pm   rating: 9  small thumbs up

    • #2.6   mcgrimus

      I was reading it like De Niro. Or maybe Silvio from the Sopranos.

      Apr 1, 2011 at 11:32 am   rating: 0  small thumbs up

  • #3   Mama Wrench

    Three squares? Seriously? I have a tiny caucasian-girl ass and even I use an average of 6 squares. And I splurge on the nice TP — Charmin soft and strong, baby, awww yeah.

    Mar 30, 2011 at 8:50 pm   rating: 41  small thumbs up

    • #3.1   Mrs.Beasley bang

      I’m with you! Three squares of TP? NASAty!

      Mar 30, 2011 at 9:20 pm   rating: 35  small thumbs up

    • #3.2   Who? Me?



      The note was in the “little boys” room.

      Nuff said.

      Mar 31, 2011 at 1:39 am   rating: 7  small thumbs up

    • #3.3   watchtower

      Maybe 3 squares are enough if they’re using both sides.

      Mar 31, 2011 at 2:14 am   rating: 12  small thumbs up

    • #3.4   The Elf

      Maybe this is the special space toilet and fewer squares are needed?

      Mar 31, 2011 at 8:28 am   rating: 8  small thumbs up

    • #3.5   Lauren--NY

      Same here. If you work for NASA, you should probably know how to clean yourself without assistance, which would require the knowledge that three squares doesn’t cut it for anybody, let alone women.

      Apr 2, 2011 at 4:53 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

  • #4   Lindsey

    You would think that someone smart enough to work at NASA would know that the ellipsis has 3 dots… not 2.

    Mar 30, 2011 at 8:54 pm   rating: 17  small thumbs up

    • #4.1   Mrs.Beasley bang

      It would appear they’re conserving dots along with squares of toilet paper.

      Mar 30, 2011 at 9:18 pm   rating: 53  small thumbs up

    • #4.2   Rhamza

      I doubt that these people actually work at NASA, maybe a company with those initials… you would also think that maybe they would see the incomplete sentences and horrible formatting.

      Mar 30, 2011 at 9:31 pm   rating: 2  small thumbs up

    • #4.3   Betch

      I think it’s pretty obvious that it’s formatted the way it is to emphasis his irritation and the tone of voice he would be speaking in if this were not a note.

      There’s no excuse for the ellipses though. Those are indeed wrong.

      Mar 30, 2011 at 9:56 pm   rating: 11  small thumbs up

    • #4.4   AuntyBron

      But if he used 3 dots he might mistake it for Cassiopeia (or do I mean Orion’s Belt?)

      Mar 30, 2011 at 11:46 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

    • #4.5   dave

      Since when did NASA become English major’s honeypot?

      Mar 31, 2011 at 12:13 am   rating: 13  small thumbs up

    • #4.6   lurkadurk

      What Dave said. Scientists and engineers are notoriously awful at ALL communication.

      Mar 31, 2011 at 12:44 am   rating: 24  small thumbs up

    • #4.7   The Elf

      No, this has got to be for tone. Putting a period after every word makes you “sound” like you are biting back your words in barely controlled anger and that Any. Minute. Now. You. Will. Erupt. In. Hulk-like. Rage.

      I can’t explain the elipses though. Maybe he’s going for an extra pause. “We just (deep breath, exhale, maintain control of deep rage) Had (deep breath, exhale, maintain control of deep rage) This (deep breath, exhale, maintain control of deep rage) Fixed (deep breath, exhale, maintain control of deep rage).

      No! Meditative Breathing Failed! NASA Man Angry! Puny Human Destroy Toilet! RAAAWWWRRR!

      Mar 31, 2011 at 8:39 am   rating: 16  small thumbs up

    • #4.8   purplehatjoan

      Rhamza – Go see

      And you can see that there is in-fact a NASA facility with lots of Rocket Engineers in Huntsville, AL…(Hey Lindsey, my ellipsis has 3 dots!) plus you can read my post #30 below for additional information about toilet issues and signs in Huntsville at NASA!

      Apr 1, 2011 at 1:28 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

    • #4.9   Mike

      No, I haven’t got a third dot.

      No, I don’t have a square to spare. I can’t spare a square.

      Apr 3, 2011 at 12:34 pm   rating: 3  small thumbs up

    • #4.10   Marie

      Nice Seinfeld reference, Mike. :D

      Apr 3, 2011 at 2:57 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

  • #5   Canthz_B bang

    This just in:

    Even rocket scientists call plumbers.

    Still laughing at the Vo-Tech kids?

    Mar 30, 2011 at 9:18 pm   rating: 29  small thumbs up

  • #6   Canthz_B bang

    NASA can send a man to the moon and bring him safely home, but has a sad track record when it comes to toilets.

    Mar 30, 2011 at 9:22 pm   rating: 4  small thumbs up

    • #6.1   The Elf

      Mary Roach wrote a great book about space travel called “Packing For Mars”. The chapter on the problems with zero gravity toilets is hilarious. My favorite is the quotes from Apollo 10, and since I have the book handy you all get to enjoy too:

      CERNAN: …You know once you get out of lunar orbir, you can do a lot of things. You can power down…. And what’s happening is -
      STAFFORD: Oh – who did it?
      YOUNG: Who did what?
      CERNAN: What?
      STAFFORD: Who did it? [laughter]
      CERNAN: Where did that come from?
      STAFFORD: Give me a napkin quick. There’s a turd floating through the air.
      YOUNG: I didn’t do it. It ain’t one of mine.
      CERNAN: I don’t think it’s one of mine.
      STAFFORD: Mine was a little more sticky than that. Throw that away.
      YOUNG: God almighty.

      Mar 31, 2011 at 8:48 am   rating: 8  small thumbs up

    • #6.2   The Elf

      Dang, just realized the Mary Roach thing was linked to at the top. Fail.

      Mar 31, 2011 at 12:00 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

  • #7   aquapt

    PA Potty Poetry Slam.
    I like it. :-)

    Mar 30, 2011 at 9:23 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

  • #8   mediabrat

    NASA’s pipes can’t handle big jobs. See Casey in Alien Resources if you have any questions.

    Mar 30, 2011 at 9:39 pm   rating: 24  small thumbs up

  • #9   Carlton

    he forgot to make the metric conversion. Three metric squares = 5-7 American squares. Point being, use enough but no more.

    Mar 30, 2011 at 11:19 pm   rating: 4  small thumbs up

    • #9.1   The Elf

      Last time that happened they lost a spacecraft as it went into orbital insertion. It went in at the wrong angle and incorrectly entered the gravitational field.

      I hate it when that happens.

      Mar 31, 2011 at 1:34 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

  • #10   cizzerhand




    Why.. are you using…a typewriter?

    You work at NASA.

    You should be able to use a computer.

    Mar 31, 2011 at 1:41 am   rating: 14  small thumbs up

    • #10.1   Canthz_B bang

      Have you seen NASA’s budget lately?

      Why, that typewriter ribbon’s probably been around since the Gemini Program!
      I wouldn’t be surprised if they’re wearing hand-me-down spacesuits and eating leftover freeze-dried beef stew.

      Toilet paper rationing is probably the latest cost saving measure they plan to present to Congress in hopes of acquiring some additional funding.

      Mar 31, 2011 at 7:02 am   rating: 3  small thumbs up

  • #11   Who? Me?


    You work at NASA.

    Bad Wipe You!

    Mar 31, 2011 at 1:44 am   rating: 5  small thumbs up

  • #12   trev whatev

    wiping your ass isn’t rocket science…

    Mar 31, 2011 at 1:51 am   rating: 3  small thumbs up

  • #13   Odious

    My note, to hang next to that note:
    You work at NASA and you can’t spell papier-mâché ?

    Mar 31, 2011 at 3:14 am   rating: 6  small thumbs up

    • #13.1   Hand Banana bang

      Rocket scientists aren’t French. “voila!” and the french forget to say a lot of letters in their words. who would have known a freakin I is in the word “paper” …. hmmmm


      Apr 1, 2011 at 7:07 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

    • #13.2   FeRD bang

      But, see… that’s the thing, HB. When it’s pronounced correctly, there’s definitely an ‘i’ in the word papier. As you can hear for yourself, via the “Prononciation” section of its French Wiktionary entry

      So, it’s just us mispronouncing their words that led you astray. Two wrongs definitely don’t make a right, here.

      Apr 2, 2011 at 10:55 am   rating: 0  small thumbs up

    • #13.3   Odious

      Hand bandana,
      And yet you accept that the second half of the hyphenated word be correctly spelled French?

      Apr 2, 2011 at 11:32 am   rating: 0  small thumbs up

  • #14   Liz

    *jaw drop*

    Mar 31, 2011 at 3:54 am   rating: 0  small thumbs up

  • #15   Harmy G

    3 wipes my ass!

    Mar 31, 2011 at 6:02 am   rating: 1  small thumbs up

    • #15.1   Hand Banana bang

      sometimes 4, depending on the viscosity of the “job”

      Apr 1, 2011 at 7:08 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

  • #16   Neal

    3 squares, maybe four? When did Sheryl Crow start working at NASA?

    Mar 31, 2011 at 6:27 am   rating: 4  small thumbs up

  • #17   Canthz_B bang


    Economy = Must Conserve squares

    Mar 31, 2011 at 7:21 am   rating: 28  small thumbs up

    • #17.1   Hand Banana bang

      all too convenient …. could Einstein have told the future!?

      Apr 1, 2011 at 7:09 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

    • #17.2   Canthz_B bang

      I wouldn’t put it past him, though he published nothing on it.

      Albert Einstein showed that space is curved, time is relative, and time travel is theoretically possible.

      See his special theory of relativity.

      Apr 2, 2011 at 3:11 am   rating: 0  small thumbs up

  • #18   Elmo

    I wonder what kind of TP they use at NASA. Every darn employee toilet I’ve ever worked in has had those giant rolls of extra-thin paper that seem to be intended to deter employees from stealing the 14 inch diameter roll and taking it home with them. Not that they’d have to worry because the stuff is thinner than onion-skins.

    I wonder what kind of TP they have in the executive toilets at the paper companies that make this drech.

    Mar 31, 2011 at 7:59 am   rating: 7  small thumbs up

    • #18.1   Hand Banana bang

      good point. At my school, it takes me more time to unroll enough TP for one wipe than it takes me to do my entire “job”!
      They are deterring us from sufficiently wiping!

      Apr 1, 2011 at 7:10 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

    • #18.2   Canthz_B bang

      Which is a good thing. Far too many schools are turning out a bunch of ass-wipes these days! :lol:

      Apr 2, 2011 at 1:10 pm   rating: 2  small thumbs up

  • #19   GhostWriter bang

    Secret message: send your answer to Old Pink:

    Hey you,
    You know who you are
    This has really gone too far
    I mean, Really?

    Hey you,
    We just had this fixed
    Now you’re gonna make me sick

    Hey you,
    Don’t papier-mâché the toi – oi – let
    Don’t screw up; this ain’t rocket science.

    Hey you,
    Using too much paper
    Wasting squares on ev’ry wipe-up
    Conserve usage!

    Hey you,
    With your ear against the stall
    Hoping that your squares won’t run out
    Only use three!

    Hey you,
    I’m embarrassed to have to men – tion – it
    …maybe four, if you’re feeling adventurous.

    You know you work at NASA; Geez!
    Use minimal squares, and to wipe, just three.
    Flush multiple times if it needs to be.
    but the worst is papier-mâché…

    Mar 31, 2011 at 10:12 am   rating: 10  small thumbs up

  • #20   Dan (the monster man) Reeder

    Okay, this was fun. But let’s not make “paper mache” a dirty word (says the paper mache artist).
    If it were my paper mache on the toilet, you’d be sitting on a dragon!

    Mar 31, 2011 at 10:40 am   rating: 5  small thumbs up

    • #20.1   GhostWriter bang

      I’ve accidentally sat on the dragon before- it’s no fun!

      Mar 31, 2011 at 12:17 pm   rating: 5  small thumbs up

    • #20.2   Mama Bear

      Well doesn’t that just sound kinky!

      Mar 31, 2011 at 1:43 pm   rating: 2  small thumbs up

    • #20.3   Canthz_B bang

      What’s my hair got to do with dragons? 8-O

      Mar 31, 2011 at 11:02 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

  • #21   Frank

    I suggest we get rid of toilet paper altogether and use bidets. Or, failing that, get rid of toilets and just use a hole in the floor like they use in Thailand. They are soooo much better. After all, who actually SITS on a public toilet?

    Mar 31, 2011 at 11:06 am   rating: 0  small thumbs up

    • #21.1   *snerk*

      Holes in the floor are difficult for women wearing pants. It is my theory that this is why skirts were invented. Given the anatomy difference, skirts make it easier for women to squat just anywhere and pee.

      Mar 31, 2011 at 11:40 am   rating: 4  small thumbs up

    • #21.2   Mama Bear

      Seriously? What is so bad about public toilets that isn’t remedied by a good shower? I mean barring any open wounds on your nether regions that are open to infection, who the hell seriously cares about sitting on a public toilet?

      Mar 31, 2011 at 1:42 pm   rating: 11  small thumbs up

    • #21.3   JumbleJumble

      *snerk*, now that you’ve said that I agree entirely.

      BTW, I have never once in all my life (including many [drunken] camping trips) managed to squat and pee without ending up with piss-soaked trousers/undies/feet. This frightens me. It’s either impossible for a woman to do or I’m functionally retarded.

      Mar 31, 2011 at 5:20 pm   rating: 5  small thumbs up

    • #21.4   The Elf

      I think the drunken part might be a clue….

      I’ve popped a squat in a lot of woods and not had a problem. Pro tip: pee downhill.

      Mar 31, 2011 at 7:53 pm   rating: 7  small thumbs up

  • #22   bitchy the dwarf

    I think the offender needs to wipe his arse with the note next time and leave THAT stuck to the toilet.

    Mar 31, 2011 at 12:52 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

  • #23   TickleMyBambo

    Maybe this is a part of training for these individuals for when, by the off chance and their hopeful dreams, they do get to go in space. Think about, you’re out there in zero gravity… To prevent unwanted UFOs (Unwanted Flying Poops) they take the tissue paper, and wrap it around the toilet to secure all bodily fluids and waste from floating among the masses.. They may even add a wad down the pluming for extra protection! But this should only take place in emergency when there is no access to an airlock.

    Mar 31, 2011 at 1:38 pm   rating: 3  small thumbs up

  • #24   Mama Bear

    Well obviously his coworker doesn’t understand the importance of his mission to explore the capacity of toilet paper as a plastering substance. With any luck, his project could be adapted into the next launch!

    Mar 31, 2011 at 1:40 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

  • #25   Casting Los Angeles

    And the definition of “not rocket science.” I wonder how long it took before a note to this capacity of passive aggressiveness was made.

    Mar 31, 2011 at 1:46 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

  • #26   Karate Los Angeles

    Reading this exactly the way it’s punctuated definitely makes for a laugh. It’s amazing how smart some people are scholastically and how much they fail in comparison common-sense wise.

    Mar 31, 2011 at 3:30 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

  • #27   Allie

    Is it just me? I seriously do not understand this note. Is he complaining that too much paper is being used and slowing up the works? That doesn’t result in paper mache, just a soggy mess. In any event, no one is going to use 3 squares of the 1-ply toilet paper used in most workplaces. Might as well just use your bare hand.

    Mar 31, 2011 at 5:01 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

  • #28   Therapist Los Angeles

    Why doesn’t Nasa come out with their own toilet paper in the United States and that way they can fun themselves. However, I don’t suggest the guy who wrote the note to be on the marketing team.

    Mar 31, 2011 at 5:54 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

  • #29   kittakitta

    For those doubting this note is from a real NASA employee…I’m from Huntsville. Marshall Space Flight Center is there (a genuine NASA facility). I have many friends and family members that are “rocket scientists,” no joke. Love to see some passive aggressive behavior from my hometown! Oh yea, and is anyone tired of grammar trolling? That’s for hipsters. C’mon, nobody likes a hipster.

    Apr 1, 2011 at 12:09 am   rating: 2  small thumbs up

    • #29.1   The Elf

      If people would take a moment to proofread their passive aggressive notes, we wouldn’t have to troll them.

      Apr 1, 2011 at 6:22 am   rating: 1  small thumbs up

  • #30   purplehatjoan

    I’m a NASA rocket engineer in Huntsville and there seems to be a broader issue here…bad building designers and initial plumbing installation…However, I guess, I have to agree that there is an issue with some of my male co-workers and their use of a toilet ’cause I share a ‘His/Her/Wheelchair’ restroom with these male co-workers and someone has posted the following above the toilet:

    Facilities plumbers are reporting that paper towels are being disposed of in this toilet, causing obstructions.

    No – I didn’t make the sign ’cause it has the wrong color scheme and font style for a NOTICE sign. I think I’m the only female at this end of the building. So someone here at NASA felt that toilet instructions were needed.

    Also in the building across the street, there are laser printed address labels stuck by the toilet paper dispensers in both the mens and womens restrooms that says:

    “HELP stop back-uped toilets – Please flush during use if you use a lot of paper & then flush again when finished.”

    True facts from behind the walls of NASA!

    Apr 1, 2011 at 12:37 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

  • #31   Miss Monroe

    I am not sure three squares would be enough for me.

    Apr 1, 2011 at 4:15 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

  • #32   From the Bowels of NASA

    I work at this NASA facility, and I can tell you firsthand, their bathrooms leave much to be desired.

    Apr 1, 2011 at 9:44 pm   rating: 5  small thumbs up


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