The Paper Towel Apocalypse

April 29th, 2013 · 50 comments

It you want people to actually pay attention to your bathroom signage, it’s go big or go home. This one certainly made Jennifer in Tennessee take notice.

Ladies, Please do not put any paper/plastic products in the toilet paper other than toilet paper (ie paper towels, feminine hygiene products, etc). This is hugely important as these toilets are directly connected to the epicenter of the planet earth and the world will end is a cataclysmic explosion of apocalyptic proportions if anything, other than toilet paper, is placed inside. We have provided these cute, little silver trash cans for your convenience...and to help you save the world from certain destruction. Thank you.

related: Things not to flush down the toilet: your hopes, your dreams…your sweaters

FILED UNDER: all clogged up · i.e. or e.g. it's all greek -- or is it latin? -- to me · Tennessee · toilet

50 responses so far ↓

  • #1   Marie

    I’m okay with this. It’s pretty funny compared to some of the rude stuff posted.

    Apr 29, 2013 at 4:57 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #1.1   Beatus Mongous

      I’m only replying to this because I want to share with everyone what happened to me on Saturday.

      I was working on Saturday, and before I left, I had to poop. It was nasty. And it got stuck in the toilet and wouldn’t flush. The toilet paper went down just fine. It was the poop that got stuck, because it was too big to flush. It took four flushes before it finally broke up and went down.

      I know, that was horrible, but I just had to share.


      May 6, 2013 at 11:33 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #2   Crystal

    I have no doubt that this is true. I’m pretty sure the toilet is the center of my husband’s world, too.

    Apr 29, 2013 at 5:15 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #3   Herne Hill Dave

    Um … there’s no big arrow pointing to the ‘cute, little silver trash cans’. People might not be curious enough to look around. Just saying.

    Apr 29, 2013 at 6:22 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #4   zenvelo

    I wish they’d clarify. Is it okay to drop a deuce in the toilet? Just makin’ sure….

    Apr 29, 2013 at 6:39 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #4.1   Beatus Mongous

      Nope. Please feel free to do that on the floor.

      Apr 29, 2013 at 7:04 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #4.2   Who passed out the Haterade?

      Only if you’re not on a high-fiber diet (of the paper product variety).

      Apr 29, 2013 at 8:26 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #5   Sabine

    As much as this note is articulate, shown in a well chosen font and displays a subtle sense of humor, you know that the writer will be in there with a snake and plunger within 24 hours.

    Apr 29, 2013 at 7:25 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #6   Jami

    Ladies, unless your parents were too uptight to sign the permission slip, you learned in fifth grade from that lovely little film about your “budding bodies” that YOU DO NOT FLUSH TAMPONS!


    When will they understand?

    Apr 29, 2013 at 9:49 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #6.1   Ermengarde bang

      And there’s the problem. It’s Tennessee. No one’s parents signed the permission slip.

      Apr 30, 2013 at 8:23 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #6.2   H for Toy

      I seem to remember the one I saw never addressed tampons at all. They assumed 5th grade girls wouldn’t be comfortable with tampons, I guess? Or I’ve blocked it out of my memory.

      Apr 30, 2013 at 9:38 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #6.3   Raichu

      And therein, H, lies the problem…

      Apr 30, 2013 at 11:29 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #6.4   pooham

      Some of it may truly be ignorance, no one ever taught them any better, but some women are just plain nasty anyway.

      I’m happy to work in a field that is mostly male. I rarely have to share a bathroom. (That’s also one of the reasons I am happily single, no bathroom sharing.)

      Apr 30, 2013 at 1:11 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #6.5   Beatus Mongous

      Do tampons flush at home? Nope. So why would someone think that the toilets at work are magically different?

      Apr 30, 2013 at 2:28 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #6.6   Ermengarde bang

      No one ever told me not to do it, certainly not my terminally squicked-out mother… but I figured it out right quick after the first time tampon-flushing went wrong. Only took once.

      Something tells me that these women unclog their toilets by getting a man to do it.

      Apr 30, 2013 at 3:18 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #6.7   Jami

      I honestly can’t remember a whole lot about the “coming of age” movie we watched in 5th grade. But I do clearly remember when the girl in it was being told by her mother how to dispose of her pads and tampons, the girl gave this “I’m a bad girl” look and said, “Can’t I just flush them?” Just like if she was planning on stealing money from mom’s wallet for cocaine or something. Just this real wicked look and inflection in her voice.

      I can also remember her using the same look and same tone of voice when she asked her mom if she could wear a tampon and a pad at the same time.

      Apr 30, 2013 at 3:48 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #7   Bailey

    How many times do women have to be reminded? All I heard my entire life is how mindless us guys are in the loo (poor aim, toilet seat up/down, etc.). Seems like the chicas have dubiously one-upped the boys.

    Apr 29, 2013 at 10:11 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #7.1   Poltergeist

      Women are just as disgusting as men, it’s just that they try to hide it as best as they can in order to convince men that they’re the superior class of human.

      Situation 1:

      Woman: “OH MY WORD! EWWWW! HOW DISGUSTING AND OFFENSIVE TO MY SENSES! It must have been a MAN who came into the ladies room and did that! What is the world coming to?! Quick, check under the rims of the toilets to see if there are any concealed microscopic cameras!!”

      *later on as she climbs into her car and releases a day’s-worth of built up flatulance *

      “Teehee, I am ever so naughty! Twas I who tinkled upon the seat and flooded the lavatory using my menstrual absorption device of choice! Not a soul will ever discover the true culprit as I have cleverly transferred the blame onto an unidentified male! GuRlZ ROol!”

      Situation 2:

      Man: “Yeah, I pissed on the floor. So what?”

      Apr 29, 2013 at 11:33 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #7.2   SeeYouInTea

      Women are nastier because blood is involved. Which is why proper steps should always be followed when dealing with tampons, pads, etc.

      Apr 30, 2013 at 2:54 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #7.3   nurgleth

      did you really just say chicas.

      Apr 30, 2013 at 4:32 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #7.4   nurgleth

      also blood is not nastier than shit, don’t be such a baby.

      Apr 30, 2013 at 4:33 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #7.5   Raichu

      Blood, shit, piss, hell even jizz (I’m sure that’s happened) – it’s all nasty. Human beings are gross. I’ve seen/heard about it from both sexes PLENTY of times. And from my experience reading PANs, apparently both sexes have trouble figuring out what can and cannot be flushed down the toilet as well.

      Apr 30, 2013 at 11:31 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #7.6   Tesselara

      Oh no! Pee! Poop! Blood! When did it become so terrible to be animals living in animal bodies? I blame it on the commercials–at some point (I hope) they’ll run out of things to make us paranoid about. Underarm hair, dark circles, body odor, dry underarms (is this even possible?! according to Dove, yes.), flatulence, short eyelashes, hairy eyebrows… Completely ridiculous. Man, everyone should live with dogs. Brings the earthiness right back into your life–none of these things radically bother me.

      Apr 30, 2013 at 12:26 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #7.7   Amelia

      I feel like shit should bother you. Not the fact that people have to use the bathroom, but I feel like having fecal matter around you is on a whole different level from BO or farts or even urine.

      Apr 30, 2013 at 6:08 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #7.8   Tom

      Yeah, even dogs will die if they are forced to live in feces all day.

      I think we’re allowed to be mildly upset about fluids that constitute a biohazard or can otherwise spread disease.

      May 1, 2013 at 3:52 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #8   Adriana

    I thought the Hellmouth was in Sunnydale, not Tennessee.

    Apr 30, 2013 at 6:43 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #8.1   Jessi

      Don’t forget about the one in Cleveland.

      Apr 30, 2013 at 5:13 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #9   aj

    I got into a huge argument with female co-workers who were offended by used tampons in the trash can, because that was “revolting and they should always be flushed.” I countered with “Every plumber I have ever spoken with does NOT think that’s a good idea”. They pointed to the tampon box, which says it’s OK to flush the things. I asked – what if there is a sign indicating the system can’t handle them and was told they would flush them anyway.
    If some women are that squeamish about it, there is no hope of compliance for note-writer.

    Apr 30, 2013 at 9:17 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #9.1   Raichu

      haha. That’s what those trash cans are FOR. Do they think they’re just for show? And that is also why you always wrap pads and tampons in toilet paper before putting them in the trashcan. It’s not really a difficult concept.

      Apr 30, 2013 at 11:32 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #9.2   redheadwglasses

      EXACTLY, Raichu! When I was a teen, my dad actually asked my mom to tell me to use less TP for wrapping the used items because we were going through a lot more TP. I just don’t think anyone should happen to look into the trashcan and see a used tampon or pad or liner. Ever. *I* use them and *I* don’t want to see them.

      Apr 30, 2013 at 12:44 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #9.3   H for Toy

      This is what I’m saying. If you do it right, no one should suspect that it’s a tampon. Are these women whipping them out, tossing, and hoping their aim is good today? C’mon. A little TP and a little decency.

      Apr 30, 2013 at 6:46 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #9.4   The Elf

      You don’t? A little tampon horseshoe is the only thing that makes that time of the month bearable.

      May 1, 2013 at 8:06 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #9.5   Raichu

      As someone who has had to clean bathrooms at restaurant jobs (including one I have right now), I hate pulling out the little mini can liner and seeing unwrapped products in there. I’m not that grossed out by blood personally, but it bothers me that people might see it when I carry the larger trash can through the restaurant to the back (both large can and small can liners are clear) which is really nasty, and also it just sort of bothers me that people are so gross.

      The grossest thing the women do is fail to wrap their bloody things. The grossest thing that men do is leave pee all over the toilet seat because they couldn’t be arsed to lift the seat OR aim properly OR clean up after themselves (triple the lazy!) and I had to wipe it all up. So far neither sex is notably worse than the other – the men’s room feels a bit nastier but I think that’s because it’s been overall cleaned less/more lazily.

      Jun 3, 2013 at 9:25 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #10   Kwyjor

    This is quite possibly the most wholesomely amusing note I have seen on this site so far. It’s downright heartwarming.

    Back to the usual pissery tomorrow, I reckon. That’s amusing in a different way.

    Apr 30, 2013 at 9:29 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #11   Captain Hampton

    It’s a well-known fact that even the most slovenly, disgusting members of our society that ignore standard rules of hygiene and decency are compelled by nature to read and obey signs such as this one.

    Apr 30, 2013 at 9:37 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #12   Raichu

    I love this. One of the most creative ways to put up a “don’t flush stuff that shouldn’t be flushed, dolts!!” sign.

    Apr 30, 2013 at 11:33 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #13   sunshynegrll

    So when does the Michael Bay tampocalypse movie come out? C’mon Hollywood, you’re slipping. Just grab The Core and The Story of Menstruation and smush their faces together.

    Apr 30, 2013 at 4:18 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #14   DLW

    I was never actually taught to not flush tampons. Not flushing pads was obvious. Now if a sign says to not flush them, then I got it. I actually always flushed them when we were on city sewer and never had any issues, for 10 years. Now when we moved and were back on a septic tank, I stopped.
    I think the first time I ever even saw a sign about not flushing them was in NOLA, because they (according to the sign) have tiny ancient pipes.

    Apr 30, 2013 at 8:52 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #14.1   Guest

      Same here, DLW.
      Modern city plumbing FTW!

      May 1, 2013 at 12:35 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #14.2   Tom

      Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.

      May 1, 2013 at 3:54 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #14.3   Beatus Mongous

      Just because it fits doesn’t mean it looks good.

      May 2, 2013 at 7:38 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #15   redheadwglasses

    I worked in an office that, in addition to having the usual sort of restrooms one finds in office buildings, also had a small one-seater just off of the breakroom.

    One of my employees was flushing PADS. Regularly. It took us a while to figure out who it was but after that, she was told that if a plumber had to be called again, his fee would be deducted from her final paycheck.

    May 1, 2013 at 12:14 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #16   AlyInSebby

    After our sex ed films, has no one else but me toured a waste treatment facility? (In college for Anthro.)

    Those folks are who I defer to.

    Most, even big city systems aren’t built to process paper products beyond tp.

    It’s a big sieve in the end and that stuff clogs the ‘filter’.

    I started to default to believing some packaging that says you can flush the items, like cleaning wipes made from recycled materials-nope, nothing beyond tp, NOLA, SFCA, NYC, Seattle…wots the most modern city in U.S.? – Nope! FULL STOP ;)

    May 1, 2013 at 6:47 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #17   jennyb

    I submitted this. I actually thought it was very witty, not so much passive aggressive. The people here are delightful, and I was glad to see a clever note instead of the usual, more straightforward one. I just had to share it. And the little silver trash cans were cute, and right below the sign.

    May 1, 2013 at 11:52 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #18   misspiggy

    Like many people, I was taught to flush both tampons and pads by my mum. The thinking was, ‘British plumbing will cope with anything!’ And it often did. Unfortunately, British sewerage systems are not so impressive, and it took a lot of campaigning by groups like Surfers Against Sewage to end the hideous beach experiences that were a normal part of my childhood holidays.

    May 2, 2013 at 6:50 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #18.1   The Elf

      Guess the surfers got tired of riding chunky waves?

      May 2, 2013 at 6:57 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #19   kbee

    I flushed a tampon once. I can’t recall why, I suspect it was because there was no trash can available at the time. I felt like the biggest ass in the universe, and I sent up a tiny prayer as I flushed it down, hoping it wouldn’t clog up, flood the entire bathroom and spawn some hellacious tampon-demon to come after me.

    But anyway, I was taught to wrap that shit up in some toilet paper and throw it in the trash. There’s even warnings on the packages telling you not to flush things down the loo. I’ve heard terrible stories (my step-father works in the water department and on occasion had to deal with the sanitation department’s water tanks and filtration systems) and seen the damage clogs caused by this stuff can do. I pity the plumbers and sanitation workers who have to deal with it.

    But kudos to this sign writer for being witty and not nasty about a potentially nasty situation.

    May 2, 2013 at 5:25 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #20   Nope

    I’m kind of tempted to put other non-toilet paper items in the toilet and see how cataclysmic all of this really is. Some people just want to watch the world burn?

    May 3, 2013 at 7:44 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #21   Cassandra

    In/near Bethesda, Maryland, I ate at a Chinese restaurant that had a sign in the bathroom warning to not flush toilet paper, but instead place it in the trash can next to the toilet otherwise it would cause flooding.

    Using that bathroom and seeing the big TP trash can before eating would have killed my appetite.

    May 3, 2013 at 5:30 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #22   helen-louise

    Wheelchair accessible toilets fairly often lack sanitary towel bins. It’s as if the people fitting out the loo have forgotten that disabled women have periods! So I sometimes end up taking my own used pads home with me, as the least disgusting option.

    Yes, really.

    May 5, 2013 at 12:17 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up


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