Recently my family and I were on the road just about half way between No-Place and Nowhere. It is too hot to drive without A/C but I turned it off and ordered all the windows down because the boy was farting like an anabolic reactor. Then I hear from behind me the boy say in an unusual voice “I have to go to the bathroom RIGHT NOW!” I look over my shoulder to see he appears to be in full rigor mortis!
We had just passed a public pit-toilet so I went back to it. Only a moment before we get there a van/bus beat us to it. Now the boy has sweat on his brow like I did before taking my high school final exams. By the time the Brady Bunch, the Partridge Family, and the entire 8 Is Enough gang move out they had used up every last scrap of toilet paper!
By now the boy has lost all his motivation then Gloria and I realize he doesn’t know it yet but he will be ‘going commando’ the rest of the ride home. I say, “No problem. I have a roll of toilet paper in the trunk.” Guess what? It isn’t there!
Fortunately we did have a nearly-new can of ‘wet-wipes’. We also produced a reasonable wad of napkins. Then we scrounged up anything made of paper including fishing up the used napkins and paper towels out of the car trash bag as well as any other nook & cranny paper got stuffed into. I was about to start pitching pine cones into the Throne Room but the Boss told me to hold those in reserve.
Of course I did not let this event go unpunished. First I cracked every comment I could until the cinder-block stink-room was echoing with laughter. Once we were back on the road I then reviewed with the Gloria what may have happened to the roll of toilet paper I carefully enclosed in a zip-lock bag along with a small pack of wet-wipes. She has no idea and neither do I. But I am going to blame her for removing the Mountain Money from the car because I’d have no reason to remove what I so carefully put there.
Moral of this story is “Underwear is a lot easier to replace than toilet paper!”
Setting up your own stash of Mountain Money in all your vehicles is quick, simple, and cheap. Start with one virgin roll of TP, a ‘travel pack’ of antibacterial ‘wet-wipes’ and a common plastic bag.
And there you have it. Repeat for every vehicle.
The History of Mountain Money.
Wayyyy back in my youth, we commonly referred to toilet paper (TP) as “Mountain Money.” This was for the fact that when out hiking in the mountains for days on end a single tissue of toilet paper often traded on the local money market about even with the U. S. Dollar.
The law of supply and demand reared its ugly head to bite the ‘haves’ or the ‘have-nots’ without prejudice depending upon the factors at play. Flashing an entire roll of Quilted Charmin TP in camp on the last day of a hike could get a boy mugged or at the very least drive down the value of TP until it is worth, at best, just one bit per foot – about three little sheets.
It is the wise individual who breaks down his roll of TP into ‘Single-Wipe’ lengths and stashes these into every nook, cranny, and pocket among his entire array of clothing and gear. This requires a couple dozen small plastic sandwich bags but worth the effort in personal convenience as well as hard cash in his pocket on the ride home. Any time the need arises, simply produce a little baggy of TP in sufficient quantity for one ‘job’ and make an exclamation like ‘Ahh, the last of my TP and not a single sheet to spare!’ This audio/visual performance will stimulate the bowels of all the other campers. Upon his return to camp said subject waves a little extra TP to the others who instantly begin bidding for this surplus scrap with all the enthusiasm seen in the Wall Street trading pits. (Parents usually carry the most cash.) The process repeats the next day until someone starts to get wise, (usually a Parent.)
Inevitably there will always be one young new bass-akwards individual who does not bring TP or cash on a hike into the wilderness. This neophyte will be seen entering camp at the end of the day without a shirt and someone will ask, “Where is your shirt?”
The mournful answer will be, “With my underwear!”
“Oh…” will be the understanding reply and everyone will move on to the next subject because they have all been there before.