The controversy has pitted mother against daughter, Republicans against Democrats, families against relatives.
But, after the dispute raging for decades, someone has finally come up with an elegant solution.
You might ask what is this social-rending controversy? And I might tell you. In fact, I will.
And here it is: Whether the toilet paper roll should dispense from the top or the bottom.
This is another one of those social divisions that has perplexed me. The only thing I care about involving toilet paper is that there is some when I need it. The question of being a top or a bottom is neither here nor there.
Some of these social controversies are based on fun. Like whether or not to put pineapple on pizza. But I have been told by more than one friend that they could never date (let alone marry) a person of the opposite toilet paper persuasion. A Southern Baptist might have no qualms about marrying a Rastafarian. But if she was an advocate of the top dogma and he was a believer in the bottom philosophy, the marriage would be over in a flush.
I worked with a young woman who believed that the world was divided into two categories of people -- introverts and extroverts. Extroverts were tops. Introverts were bottoms. (We are still speaking of toilet paper rolls.) Because she is quite clever, she added "most" to both groups -- simply to save her argument from the Aristotelian categorical error crowd.)
Well, I have good news for all of us. Someone has come up with a solution to what seemed to be a zero-sum game.
While I was sitting in the REI bathroom in the Old Mill Shopping Center today, reading The Oregonian, I glanced to my right. And there it was. Like an epiphany. A toilet paper dispenser with two rolls at the ready. One for over-the-top supporters. The other for the under-the-bottom crowd.
And the solution does not need to be limited to public bathrooms. Any home bathroom should have space for two rolls on the wall.
Or people could adopt my approach that was designed to side-step this toiletry controversy. There are no rolls on the walls of my bathrooms. The toilet paper rests at the ready on the tank and each person can pretend it is top or bottom depending on their own proclivities. It is my personal contribution to mediation -- and performance art.
Now, I am going to put some pineapple on someone else's pizza.