I spend a lot of time on the crapper. So much so, in fact, that I could very truthfully list “toilet paper utilization” as one of my hobbies. It may come as no surprise then that I have considered the benefits of both the “wadded” and “folded” techniques. Each method has its strengths and weaknesses, but ultimately, only one may prevail.
The wadded technique is straightforward in its ease-of-use but proves more crude when it comes to comfort. Wadded paper was used by the first toilet paper advocates in the 1700’s. Using newspaper, they quickly lauded its compactibility (this isn’t a word, but should be). Wadded material is extremely effective at scouring the anus and can remove even the most persistent “cling-ons.” Of course, it is not without its disadvantages. Wadded paper is coarse and can prove discomforting, especially if more than one bowel movement is had in a single day (or, worse yet, within the course of several hours). This makes it a poor choice for anyone who readily consumes tacos. Additionally, wadded paper is more prone to remaining on “butt-hairs” (for lack of a better term) after cleaning is complete.
Alternatively, paper can be neatly folded before use. This procedure results in far more comfort to that oh-so-sensitive sphincter, but it’s also more time-consuming. Folding, as most people know, was pioneered by the French shortly before their invention of the bidet in the early 1700’s. Their dainty little fingers could not orchestrate the chaos needed for wadded paper. In general, folded paper is less effective at removing fecal residue because of its slick nature. As a result, more paper is often required when compared to the average wipe-session utilizing wadded paper.
The debate essentially boils down to comfort versus effectiveness. Does one wish his or her orifice to be exceedingly clean at the expense of comfort? The ideal solution would seem to be the bidet, which maximizes comfort and sanitation, but that is not always a feasible option. For me, it’s wadded paper most of the time, with an occasional venture into the land of folding. It is a decision on which each person must take a stand, for the sake of all that our forefathers have fought to achieve.