With dining rooms closed, some eateries are left with an abundance of the much-needed amenity.

By Jelisa Castrodale
March 18, 2020
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The most incontrovertible proof that psychics aren't actually a thing could be that none of them—not one—predicted that people around the world would currently be stockpiling rolls of Charmin, and that even the worst kind of single-ply would become an ultra-valuable form of currency.

And although everyone's social media feeds are full of toilet paper-related memes, pics of empty supermarket shelves, and videos that attempt to shame anyone whose shopping cart is piled high with Cottonelle, there are some reasonable people out there who aren't actively trying to make things worse.

Credit: Science Photo Library / Getty Images

Johnny Blue, a surfer from Encinitas, California, has been standing on a street corner holding a handwritten cardboard sign that says "SHARE YOUR TOILET PAPER." When people drop off rolls—or literally toss them out of their car windows—he gives them to others who need some TP but can't find it anywhere else.

“It just inspired me to remind people, listen, if you have a lot of something that probably means there are people who probably don’t have very much of it, because you took it all,” he told the San Diego Union-Tribune. “So sharing it is probably a good thing to keep in mind.”

Some restaurants have taken that approach too, even after many of them have been restricted to offering only delivery or carry-out meals. Last Friday, ZaRonis, a pizza joint in Oshkosh, Wisconsin started listing four-packs of toilet paper under the 'Sides' section of its online menu, and customers can add one (one!) package to any order. (It's also giving away graphic novels with each order, so kids—or grown-up comic lovers—will have something new to read while they're stuck inside.)

We've since learned that this has become a bit of a trend, which would've seemed absolutely bonkers, like, two weeks ago. Pizza Schmizza in Portland, Oregon is offering free toilet paper with every order, and it's currently selling any size pie for $15.

Libby's Southern Comfort in Covington, Kentucky is still giving away TP with every carry-out order—and it also has its package license, so it can help customers stock up on wine, beer, and liquor (which may be almost important as that loo roll right now).

Mequon Pizza Company in Mequon, Wisconsin is sending a free roll of "Cottonelle two-ply" with every order, and it is also selling rolls for $1 each, with a limit of six per customer.

Tennessee Pizza Company in Seymour, Tennessee has a "Buy two large pizzas, get one free roll of TP" deal going, and it also says that kiddos can have a free one-topping pizza all week long, regardless of whether the adults order a pie or not.

Danny's Restaurant in Buffalo, New York, is giving away free TP with any fish fry order—and its sign prompted a joking back-and-forth about who did it first, since Pesci's Pizza and Wings is also adding a complementary roll to each pizza order (although last Friday, the offer was so popular, the restaurant ran out of pizza dough).

And Double Zero, a plant-based pizza spot in Venice, California, posted on Instagram that every delivery order will be sent out with… you know what. "Starting at 5, every delivery order placed at DZ Venice will be accompanied by a free roll of TP (while supplies last) to make sure you stay satisfied and also stocked during this time," it wrote.

There are surely others who are taking the same approach, which is brilliant. If you can, please try to support your favorite local restaurant during this unimaginably hard time. You'll get a great meal out of it, you'll help them keep the lights on and their hard-working staff paid, and you might get a few sheets of double-ply, too.