“Do you have an extra roll of toilet paper in your truck?” Missy asked me last week.
That’s not the kind of question you want to field at 10:17 on a stormy Wednesday night. I had visions of one of us making a run to the store, and you could guess which one of us it would be. It appeared we had like two wraps left on the only roll in the house. That wasn’t going to cut it until daylight.
Missy is an organized housekeeper. She usually keeps plenty of surplus important stuff like dish soap, toothpaste and toilet paper on hand. I had been fighting spring allergies that week and started using the TP when the Kleenex ran out.
Hey, don’t knock it until you’ve tried it. Charmin Ultra is much softer than Kleenex. And while I’m on the subject, why do they advertise toilet paper, or “bathroom tissue” in the biz jargon? Who ain’t using the stuff?
Anyway, as usual, I digress. Back to the column at hand.
After 34 years together, Missy knows me. She knows I have this compulsive hoarder side. So I ran out in the rain, went to the Ranger, opened the extended cab driver’s side door, reached in the back and outed a brand new roll of white gold, secured in a gallon sized plastic baggy. It wasn’t even going to get wet on the jaunt back into the house.
Viola, I had saved the day… er night.. and was able to forgo a late night bathroom tissue run.
I keep a roll in every vehicle we own, usually safely tucked away out of sight. It’s a byproduct of my life. I’ve been far, far away from civilization too many times when the need for the stuff has arisen in some form or another.
I’m not a prepper, but I am prepared. There’s extra pens, AA batteries and legal pads in the truck, a nod to my vocation. Other items in the back cab of the Ranger include a plastic 10-gallon tote holding an extra jacket, rain gear, three bottles of water, an MRE packet and a complete change of clothes down to and including socks and drawers. At one time or another I’ve needed all that stuff.
The change of clothes came in handy several years ago when Missy and I were fishing at the hunting club one fine spring afternoon and I got bucked off the canoe. But that’s another column entirely. The truck inventory also includes a military surplus canvas tool bag holding an assortment of the most commonly used pistol, rifle and shotgun ammunition. Just in case I run low on a range trip, donchaknow.
There’s also a folding chair. I’ve had to sit on the side of the road for to many hours too many times on this job at wreck or crime scenes not to figure out comfort is a good thing. That also explains the water and MRE packet. After a few hours you get hungry and thirsty. Oh, and I almost forgot, the bottle of Tylenol/Advil and blister pack of Gas-X. The antacid really comes in handy after I’ve had to break out the MRE pack on the side of the road somewhere.
And there’s a bottle of bourbon in the rear door pocket on the passenger side. That should be self-explanatory. I’m not even going to begin to describe what’s in the toolboxes of the Ranger and ’79 F-100.
I take the Boy Scout motto very seriously. And it’s tempered with a little redneck common sense.