Toilet paper has been in the news a lot lately, probably a lot more than most of us would like. A good deal of the discussion is whether Americans will face a toilet paper shortage again like the one at the beginning of the pandemic last year. Some suppliers and retailers say a toilet paper shortage is certainly possible given the current supply chain crisis.

While worries about a toilet paper shortage are certainly legit, I am more concerned about another type of toilet paper shortage – shorter or narrower rolls of the precious commodity.

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Has anyone else noticed lately how much narrower the toilet paper rolls have gotten? It used to be that they'd fit on the roller with little room to spare. Alas, no more. There is plenty of space left on either side of the roll. This, as the manufacturers promote fatter "mega rolls." Angel Soft boasts "12 MEGA = 48 Regular Rolls," and of course, the price goes up.

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Let me see if I understand this: toilet paper rolls have gotten narrower by about an inch to an inch and a half. Perhaps even more than that, since I only recently began to take notice, but the toilet paper rolls are fatter or longer – and they cost more.

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The question then becomes, are you actually getting more paper, or are they just taking it from the sides and adding it to the end? It seems to be an illusion to make it appear you are getting more paper for your money. Oy, the things I think about are enough to boggle the mind.

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So I guess the next question is, as a consumer do you prefer wider or fatter toilet paper rolls, or does it matter to you? I suppose as long as you can get the paperwork completed in the end, it doesn't really make that much of a difference one way or the other.

Just letting them know that we know what they're up to.

Barry Richard is the host of The Barry Richard Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from noon to 3 p.m. Contact him at and follow him on Twitter @BarryJRichard58. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

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