Although the response was admittedly minuscule, I'm beginning to wonder whether this toilet-paper placement debate is a male-female thing.
Three men said I was almost literally right on the money for suggesting that a roll should feed from the front (over the top) while three women were equally passionate that it should come from behind. And, it was a husband-wife debate that set this whole thing off.
Joseph Obernuefemann, of Collinsville, said it was obvious paper should go over the top. When you buy novelty rolls with dollar bills, etc., printed on them, they have to feed over the top or you lose the effect. Ergo, even plain, white rolls should follow suit.
"When I want to wipe with pretty flowers or $100 bills, I want to see the bright side of it before I dull it," he wrote.
But the comment I'm putting my money on is this one (from a man, naturally):
"You were exactly right as far as the economics of it," he said. "When I was in the hospital administration program at Washington University Medical School, we learned of a study -- I think it was the Hilton Hotel -- in which they commissioned some college kids to study this. They determined over the top was the best way to go. Then they obviously instructed their janitorial people to always put the roll on that way, so that is definite."
Not so fast, says a loyal female reader who wished to remain anonymous.
"I crack down on my husband when he puts the toilet paper roll 'over,'" she wrote. "That's the method that seems to bring about waste because the paper just keeps rolling if you give it even a small tug. Requiring just the slightest additional pull when mounted from under seems to better control the paper flow. I could go on, but my comments wouldn't be very ladylike ..."
Sounds like they may need separate loos.
License to help: A recent column dealt with a service offered decades ago by the Disabled American Veterans, which would send out miniature versions of your car's license plate every year. You would put one on your key chain so that if you ever lost it, it could be returned through the mail. However, with all the fear of security and identity theft, it was discontinued years ago.
Bill Hollein, of Breese, tells me that The American Legion still offers a similar service, but the tag now has a number known only to you and the Legion, not your actual plate number. Unfortunately, it's only for Legion members but maybe other groups might want to consider the service.
All vets welcome: In response to a Vietnam-era vet wondering how to introduce himself because he didn't serve in Southeast Asia, Vernon Mohesky says he certainly would be welcome to join the Clinton County Vietnam Veterans Association.
"Our main concern is that all Vietnam veterans and -era veterans are taken care of," wrote Mohesky, the chapter's administrative assistant.
"We have both in our chapter. We treat everyone the same because they all came forward and served rather than dodged. They should be proud they served. (Our slogan) is 'Never again shall one generation of veterans abandon another.'"
I will forward his e-mail and cell number.
Today's trivia: Who is the only person to have won a Nobel Prize and an Academy Award?
Answer to Thursday's trivia: It never fails. The day after I reminded readers not to believe the first thing they find on the Internet, I was called on the carpet for not doing my homework.
It happened like this: While searching for questions for an upcoming trivia night, I found this in one of those trivia quiz books: "What right for baseball fans was established when Reuben Berman won a lawsuit?" Answer: The right to keep a foul ball hit into the stands. (In the early days of baseball, owners made you throw it back.)
Knowing these trivia books are notorious for factual sloppiness, I searched for Reuben Berman online. Sure enough, on a website detailing the history of the old Baker Bowl in Philadelphia, I found that in 1923 a "brave" 11-year-old named Reuben Berman decided to keep his foul ball. The team pressed charges, but the judge dismissed the case, saying the lad did what even the judge would have done as a youngster.
But it turns out whoever compiled the stadium's history may have mangled some facts. According to "The Baseball: Stunts, Scandals and Secrets Beneath the Stitches" by Zack Hample, Reuben Berman was actually a 31-year-old Connecticut stockbroker who was arrested May 16, 1921, after he caught a foul ball at the old Polo Grounds.
As was custom, ushers demanded that he return it, but he reportedly threw it deeper into the crowd. Then, three months after he was ushered out of the stadium, Berman sued the Giants for $20,000 for being unlawfully detained, mental anguish and loss of reputation. In a decision issued by the New York Supreme Court that became known as Reuben's Rule, Berman was awarded only $100, but baseball execs got the message.
Well, they did eventually. Two years later, that Baker Bowl incident apparently really did happen, but it involved an 11-year-old named Robert Cotter, according to Hample.
As I said, you can't be too careful. Thank you, Cynthia Huegen, of Trenton, for filling me in.
Send your questions to Roger Schlueter, Belleville News-Democrat, 120 S. Illinois St., P.O. Box 427, Belleville, IL 62222-0427 or firstname.lastname@example.org