THE DREADED C.O.L.         - 29/8/ 2005      <--Prev : Next-->


I think I should be the government economic advisor.....

If you wish to know anything about inflation in Zimbabwe, just ask yours truly !!

Because I have been plotting the rise and fall of the common toilet roll. Yes you know, Tissue, bog roll, loo roll. I am old enough to even remember that Jeyes toilet paper, that used to come in single sheets in a flat box !!

That stuff was dreadful, it was like using a slab of grease proof paper on your tender derrière !!

I always say you can tell the affluence of society by its toilet rolls !! The softer, smoother, silkier, more scented the loo roll, the same quality applies to the home, hotel, or country that use it.

We stayed in an hotel in Hong Kong once, well, it had to be one of the top ten hotels in the world just judging by the quality of the quilted and embossed tissue.!! It even bore the coat of arms of the hotel in gold filigrees mind you, on every single sheet !! It was rather more suitable for framing and placing in one's foyer, than for using you know where !!

And so during the years of striving to keep up with the Mountbattens, I have endeavoured to maintain a decent standard of tissue in the bathrooms of our home. None of that green, pink and blue excuse for toilet tissue will be seen in my privy !! Oh no, the Drinking Club with the Bridge problem girls will always have to respect me for my choice of closet cloth !!

My comfort station must be comfortable in extremis, no latrine loo rolls here I promise you !! We will always boast of a VIP W.C. !!

But lately I have been having second thoughts......

My graph which carefully plots the cost of the necessary stuff has gone off the top of the page. When I first started the graph, a single roll was a mere thruppence !! If one was a careful shopper one could get one's annual supply for a quid !! But as the vagaries of sanctions during "Independence" set in, a roll cost four shillings. (Faint) Our enterprising businessmen began then to manufacture toilet paper out of recycled odds and ends !! (Our ends soon became very odd let me tell you.....)

When we decimalised it looked a bit better and a roll of Zimbabwe's finest stood proudly on the supermarket shelf at a whole darn dollar !! And then as we gained our so called freedom from suppression, the gallop started..... two dollars, four dollars, ten dollars !! Shriek.

When the Little Girls came home at the beginning of summer 2005, one entire dinner table discussion was devoted to a pack of four rolls loo roll at the ridiculous price of $96,000 !! We compared it to the Aussi prices and the yankee prices and it was shocking, our retailers were ripping us off even if you added in the duties !!

It is enough to cause grave constipation (I mean consternation) in every single home !!

But wait, worse is to come still. When the summer holidays were over and the penultimate assault on the supermarket shelves was made in a final tissue foray, our quest resulted in the exact same four rolls of toilet tissue, just six weeks later... at now wait for it !! TWO HUNDRED THOUSAND DOLLARS !!

It will be cheaper to use ten dollar notes !!