As 2011 comes to an end and we enter our last year on Earth (the Mayans were conspiracy theorists) let’s give a shout out to the museums of the past. By past, I mean dead, no longer exist, gone to museological heaven…or something like that. One museum I wished had never closed its doors over ten years ago, the Museum of Bathroom Tissue, in Madison, Wisconsin, had toilet paper gathered from other museums, like the Guggenheim, as well as international places, like Africa and Australia. My stepfather would have enjoyed the collection of 3,000 rolls because he’s a hoarder when it comes to that shit (take that literally if you want). The former owner of the museum, Carol Kolb (also former editor-in-chief of The Onion…no surprise there) housed the collection in her apartment. Opened in 1992, it was also the same year Jerry mentioned opening a toilet paper museum in the Seinfeld episode “The Pitch”:
“Maybe they should have a toilet paper museum. Would you like that? So we could see all the toilet paper advancements down through the ages. Toilet paper of the Crusades, the development of the perforation, the first six-pack.”
Another Mayan conspiracy? Maybe. Who knew they had a thing for calendars and toilets. The suggested donation for the museum was 25 cents, but that was usually waived with a coupon for free admission that entitled the visitor to a free grilled cheese sandwich if Kolb’s refrigerator contained cheese, bread and butter.
No worries, all that tissue paper has not gone to waste (again…bad joke) as it currently resides not far from me in Elgin, Illinois waiting for a new home. When it comes to weird museums, this place just has to reopen. This country NEEDS it! Let’s hope they go with the tagline “More Rolls Than a Bakery”.