COLUMBUS, OH--After waiting as long as possible for his "lazy, good-for-nothing" roommate to buy toilet paper, area resident Joseph Barber, 34, finally broke down and bought a 12-roll pack on Wednesday.
"I'm kind of miffed at Scott, to be perfectly honest," Barber said. "I bought toilet paper the last time we ran out, so it was clearly his turn to do so. We said we'd share the basic necessities 50/50, so I don't see why I'm the one who always has to buy them."
Ever since moving in with self-described "bachelor for life" Scott Cowell a year and a half ago, Barber has found numerous reasons to become disenchanted with the living arrangements, but has been unable to voice his grievances owing to his desire to stay on good terms with Cowell.
"I'm what you would call a non-confrontational person by nature," Barber said. "I prefer leaving notes or other subtle hints and hoping people pick up on them and act accordingly. Unfortunately, Scott wouldn't be able to pick up on a subtle hint even if it came right up and bit him in the ass."
According to Barber, this latest conflict - which he has dubbed "WC-gate" - started a little over a week ago when he took the last roll of toilet paper out of the bathroom closet because the one on the dispenser was getting low. As a message to his roommate he left the empty plastic packaging out on the bathroom sink, but after a few days threw it away because it kept getting in the way whenever he wanted to wash his hands. "Besides," Barber added, "the message wasn't getting through."
Next, Barber left a number of coupons for toilet paper on the kitchen table and counter. "They were for $2 off a pack of 12 rolls or more, so I figured that would attract his attention," he said. "The 'SAVE $2.00' was in big, purple letters, too. Alas, they just sat there, undisturbed."
With their last roll running out, Barber was rapidly running out of options. "I realized I had let things go too long to risk leaving a note," he said. "That's when I arranged a chance meeting in the kitchen."
Barber said he waited until he heard Cowell leave his bedroom to get something out of the refrigerator, at which point Barber appeared and asked him how things were going. Cowell is reported to have replied that things were "all right."
"I tried to be casual about it," Barber recalled, "so I said, 'Oh, hey. We're almost out of toilet paper.' Scott nodded and said, 'Okay,' so I figured that meant things were in hand. But lo and behold, a whole day went by and he still hadn't gone to the supermarket to buy more."
The situation reached the breaking point for Barber late Wednesday night when he was dealing with a bout of diarrhea after eating some undercooked kielbasa. "I'm just lucky there was enough paper to get me through my first attack," Barber said. "As soon as it subsided, though, I grabbed one of the $2 coupons and ran to the store. Luckily there wasn't a long line at the checkout, otherwise things could have really gotten unpleasant."
As it turns out, toilet paper isn't the only thing Barber finds himself buying with more frequency than his roommate. "I always seems to be the one who had to buy light bulbs as well," he said. "And don't get me started on paper towels or trash bags."
When reached for comment, Cowell, a 32-year-old video store clerk, said, "Wait, we were low on toilet paper?"