Wednesday 18 March 2020

Loo Roll and Role Play

Image result for bum fodder and absorbing historyAs an important piece of public information in these time of panic and brouhaha, I want to let everybody know that the role that an actor plays and the loo roll or toilet roll that have become so inexplicably fashionable of late, are exactly the same word spelt differently (or spelled differently).

An actor used to be given a roll of paper on which his lines were written. That roll was his role.

In Shakespeare's time, when everything was being hand-copied before production, each actor would be given a roll that had only his lines and cues on. So the roll only contained the role, and if you were given a particular roll then...

Well, you get the point.

And before anybody objects, all Shakespeare's actors were male (apart from the ones that weren't).

Incidentally, if anybody is really keen on loo roll, you should read Bum Fodder: An Absorbing History of Toilet Paper by Richard Smyth. Can't recommend it highly enough. I keep my copy handy.

In days of old
When knights were bold
And paper not invented,
They used a little bit of grass
And went away contented.

Image result for dr syntax rowlandson
The Inky Fool panic-dreaming.


  1. Surely there's a line missing from the poem? Now what could possibly rhyme with 'grass'?

  2. Great present for the toilet obsessed which is almost ant male from the age of about five onwards! Not for children but lots of interesting and amusing toilet paper related facts.

  3. Best one yet, keep 'em coming