Posted by: Jeremiah Graves | January 25, 2012

Great Moments in Toilet Paper Literature

We live in a very weird time.

I say this today because I just got wind of a story that combines the following: toilet paper, Moby Dick, and e-commerce.

Now, I thought there was probably a good chance that I’d live my entire life and never encounter a situation where all of those things came together.

I was wrong.

There is a listing on eBay right now for six rolls of toilet paper that have the entirety of Herman Melville’s classic Moby Dick typed out on ‘em.

Here is the dude’s official product description from the listing:

My friend and I once joked that toilet paper should have instructions printed on them for certain people.

One day, the conversation grew from there and turned into a wager that I couldn’t (or wouldn’t) be able to type out a novel on toilet paper.

Yes, we did have some time on our hands but, as you can see from the photos, I won the bet.

There are four full rolls, one roll (epilogue) is about 1/5 of a roll and one half-roll

All of the rolls of TP came out of a brand new — clean — package of 2-ply Cottonelle.

They’ve been handled very gingerly and infrequently.

As you’ll see in the following photos, one or two rolls have a tear at the beginning.

This is where I was trying to pull the paper through the typewriter.

I’ve kept this mod oddity in a box in a cool, dry place for the last 10 years and have only broken it out to prove to doubters that I actually did it.

Considering what it’s been through, it’s in amazing condition.

Ten years.

Ten freakin’ years this dude has had this thing just lingering in a box?

Is there any chance this guy isn’t a complete raving psychopath?

We’re talking about a dude who took a bet that he could type an 800+ page novel on toilet paper and he won that bet.

This nutter butter typed every word of the—undoubtedly copyright infringing—epic about Ishmael, Ahab and the Pequod on freakin’ two-ply doo-doo paper for no reason other than to win a bet!

This is not the behavior of a sane person.

Then he kept it hidden away all this time until he suddenly wants a cool grand for some decade-old toilet paper with ink all over it? I can’t imagine that’s even remotely hygienic!

It’s old and inky.

Is there a worse combination?!

Dude is straight-up crazy, but do you know what’s even crazier? Someone is probably going to give him that thousand bucks he wants.

It’ll probably be some rich English professor or a Melville enthusiast or Charlie Sheen or something, but I tell you who it won’t be. It sure as hell won’t be me.

You see, I’ve got a pretty firm policy against spending big bucks on anything I’m going to smear poop on in the near future.

It just makes good sense, right?!

If you don’t have a similar policy and you’re just ALL ABOUT bitter revenge stories involving aquatic life and amputees, you should zip over to eBay while you still can because time is running out on this (hopefully) once-in-a-lifetime deal.



  1. Dude – Moby Dick is in the public domain. I feel like, as a librarian(ish), you really ought to have known that.


    • …wait, so I can sell Moby Dick for, like, a thousand bucks and it’s all cool?!

      I’m totes going to type that shizzle up on some paper towels or sanitary napkins or something and I’m totally going to make bank.

      Suck it, Melville!


  2. This give a WHOLE new meaning to “bathroom readers”. If one was to be silly enough to purchase this tp, it would have to be closely guarded. I’m guessing you’d only be allowed to use as much as you can read through and make sure no one else uses it or you’re missing chapters of the story… And THAT is the true folly of this product.


    • I like that you’ve got a game plan for it.

      I guess I’d just TP someone’s house with it. I can only assume they’d have a serious range of emotion from anger to confusion in a hurry.


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