I’d like to not be made to feel guilty when, after washing my hands in a public restroom, I reach for the paper towels rather than the electric blowing machine (which sounds dirty, but also sounds like a good idea, assuming a device of that nature doesn’t already exist).

Why? Because we, as a people, still make phone books.

In all seriousness, why do phone books still exist? Absolutely no one uses them.

In fact, if you happen to have a phone book in front of you, one of two things can be concluded with a high degree of certainty: either (a) you’re my grandfather, or (b) you’re using it to separate the stems from the seeds.

Anyone who requires the information commonly found within the pages of a phone book has probably already heard about this nifty little invention called the Internet, available on their computer, phone, PDA, iPod, or fancy Japanese toilet. And yet every so often, the fucking phone book fairy leaves a pile of useless words and phone numbers right in front of the door of my apartment building.

Don’t tell me we need to conserve paper and then go and do wasteful shit like that.

While we’re at it, don’t tell me we need to conserve paper at all. We don’t.

Maybe I haven’t stayed abreast of the latest developments in paper technology (perhaps my Google news alert for “new advancements in paper” is malfunctioning), but last I checked, paper comes from trees. Trees are a renewable resource. The coal or oil used to produce the electricity that runs the blowy machine is not.

It seems to me people think that every sheet of paper they use is coming from some 5,000-year-old tree from an Australian rainforest that was housing an entire family of chinchillas.

(Yes, I know what you’re saying now. “Marc, you moron. Chinchillas are indigenous to South America, not Australia.” I know that. Okay? I’m just illustrating the imbecility of these hypothetical people that I made up. Get off my back.)

The reality is, all of our paper comes from tree farms, which are sections of forest specifically grown for the purpose of harvesting wood pulp to make paper. When they cut down one part of this forest, they replant it and move onto another part, and on and on it goes.

Using more or less paper has no effect on this process, other than speeding up or slowing down the cycle.

Paper is also organic, poses ZERO significant environmental threats, bio-degrades quite nicely, and takes up little landfill space in proportion to its overall use, making it a veritable fucking planet-saver. The same cannot be said for the bi-products of electric generators.

So next time you use a public john, if given the choice, go with the paper towels. And answer any objections from self-important, misinformed hippies with a defiant middle finger. Or maybe hit them over the head with a tack hammer. Where does one procure a tack hammer anyway? There must be some establishment selling them.

Where’d I put that phone book…

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