PORTLAND, Ore—A local newspaper editor was shocked to discover an actual roll of toilet paper in a 7-Eleven convenience store near his home today.
"I was out taking a 'mental health walk,'" Portland Mercury Editor-in-Chief Wm. Steven Humphrey tells the Portland Mercury. "I mean, Jesus Christ... this job—reporting on coronavirus all day—it's frikkin' depressing, know what I mean? Anyway, I was walking around when I saw a 7-Eleven... and I was like, 'Damn. I could really go for a 'mental health Jalapeño Cream Cheese Taquito' right now."
Walking into the 7-Eleven, located on a busy intersection in the Sellwood neighborhood, a tony enclave that's home to many middle-to-upper crust Portlanders, Humphrey says he was exploring the aisles filled with low quality wrenches, Slurpee machines, mini Oreo bites, and odd gardening hats, when he saw it.
"I couldn't believe my eyes," he says. "There it was, next to a shelf filled with paper plates and sanitary napkins... a roll of toilet paper. An actual roll of 7-Eleven toilet paper!"
Humphrey notes that recent excursions to several area stores in search of toilet paper have been fruitless, thanks to toilet paper hoarders who have only been taking their own needs into consideration, rather than those who are older, medically vulnerable, or newspaper editors.
"Frankly, I was starting to forget what toilet paper even looked like," Humphrey says with a distant look in his eye. "I finished my last roll four days ago and since then I've been using napkins and lightly used tissues for wiping, and... oh! OH! I know what you're going to say: 'Why don't you just use the Mercury newspaper? That's all it's good for! Oh, that's right... YOU DON'T HAVE A NEWSPAPER ANYMORE HA-HA-HA!'" [Editor's note: We were not going to say that.]
Quickly snatching up the remaining roll of 7-Eleven toilet paper, Humphrey rushed to the counter, paid $1.59, and left, completely forgetting about the Jalapeño Cream Cheese Taquito.
"I tucked [the roll] under my arm, and ran like hell straight home," says Humphrey. "I didn't want to get looted! As it was, neighbors who haven't talked to me in years stopped me on the street and struck up conversations... eventually meandering around to the subject of toilet paper. I told them I didn't have a square to spare, dashed into my home and slammed the door! Now and then I peek out between my curtains... and they're still there!"
We ask Humphrey if he's planning on making 7-Eleven a regular stop during his city-wide toilet paper searches.
"Oh, for sure," he says excitedly. "That 7-Eleven might not know shit about microwave burritos, but they make damn fine toilet paper!"
This report was made possible by donations to the Portland Mercury and readers like you.