My grandfather told this story quite often, but I never wrote it down and asked him to verify the details. What you will read next is my best memory of conversations with him from decades ago.


During the war, many household necessities were rationed. This included toilet paper.

I think you know where this story is headed…

I don’t know if the Hansen family was out of toilet paper and ration cards or if your grandmother was just tired of standing in line at a store. Either way, she managed to nick several rolls and hide them on her person and stuffed them in her bag.

If I remember correctly, Grandpa said she looked quite fat and/or pregnant as a result.

Evie {my grandmother} managed to leave the place she stolen from and got onto the city bus. As she walked down the aisle to her seat, the toilet paper began falling out of her clothes.

At this point in the story, my grandfather couldn’t help but start laughing heartily. As tears would form in the corners of his eyes, he’d tell me that:

…With grit and determined pride, your grandmother picked every single roll back up, sat in her seat, and road home with her chin held high!


Note: It’s possible that the chronology is wrong; I’m not sure when ration cards ceased to be used… this could’ve happened when my grandparents were first married, right after the war? When I confirm, I’ll update.

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