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The Perennial

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Pinewood Divided: Toilet Paper Wars


   On Feb. 26, the day students and faculty returned from Ski Week, Pinewood’s normally peaceful campus was transformed into a warzone. The hallways were full of the usual lively chatter about break and groans about upcoming tests when a deafening battle cry rang through the entire school. 


   No one had any time to react before Charmin Ultra Soft Mega Rolls of toilet paper were launched into the hallways, Cue Quad and Murphy Patio in an unexpected but clearly coordinated attack. The chant was repeated incessantly, growing steadily louder each time, as students and teachers tripped over each other in a terrified, scattered attempt to escape. 

   The attack momentarily paused with the entry of freshman Didem Becer, sitting on an 6-foot-tall throne constructed of the same Charmin toilet paper rolls and carried by other students. On her head was a cardboard crown, presumably made from the cardboard tube inside a toilet paper roll, faithfully cut and painted to appear like a poop emoji. 

   “We demand justice,” Becer said to the crowd, gesturing at the students holding up her throne. “Toilet paper must be under!” 

   An angry murmur rippled through the crowd before a small seventh grader at the back of the crowd retaliated by throwing one of the fallen rolls at the toilet-paper-under faction. This started the first true battle of the Toilet Paper War, and the rolls of toilet paper kept flying all the way through second period. 

   Head of Upper Campus Gabriel Lemmon had hoped the battle had been a prank. 

   “I know the orientation of toilet paper rolls is a deeply personal and highly controversial topic, but I never thought this kind of thing would actually happen in the Pinewood community,” Lemmon said.    The following weeks have proved that Pinewood has never been more serious about a controversial issue. The toilet-paper-under faction, officially dubbing themselves Toilet Defenders, continue their attacks with equal enthusiasm. Their leader, Becer, still shows no intention of surrendering. 

   “The COVID pandemic taught us the real value of toilet paper,” Becer said. “We need to respect it, and turning it under is the only way to do that.”

   While Becer has been harboring hopes of a rebellion since the beginning of the school year, it took her five months to gather together a team to execute her plan. 

   “People are too scared to go against the status quo,” Becer said. “They’re out there spreading propaganda that says toilet paper has to be over, so no one wants to do the right thing.” 

   The “they” Becer refers to is the Toilet Avengers, a toilet-paper-over group that comprises approximately 100 students and a dedicated group of teachers. To combat the Toilet Defenders’ attacks, the Toilet Avengers have been stationing sentries in each bathroom to watch for enemy agents who might try to change the orientation of toilet paper. They have also been passing around squares of Quilted Northern Soft and Strong toilet paper with “save the toilets” scribbled on them in Sharpie.

   While they continue with aggressive interrogations of potential enemy students, both groups have been fashioning weapons out of the cardboard tubes in toilet paper rolls. The Toilet Defenders have created mini cannons that they launch wads of toilet paper out of, while the Toilet Avengers choose to attack by mummifying their opponents in toilet paper. 

     As it stands, classes still technically remain in session, but so many students are absent to support war efforts that most students are several weeks behind on their coursework. A sophomore, who wishes to remain anonymous to avoid being pummeled by toilet paper, said that neutral students are annoyed by how the violence has interrupted their lives. As the battles rage on, it has become increasingly difficult to remain uninvolved. 

   “I mean, I don’t really see why they’re so upset,” the anonymous student said. “I don’t even use toilet paper.” 

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